Swan song for Buddy Holly?
Zachary Stevenson may be winding down his popular run of Buddy Holly productions, but he’ll still be available for dance parties like the one he’s doing in Qualicum Beach this weekend.
Stevenson, who grew up in Qualicum Beach and graduated from Ballenas Secondary School in 1999, has starred as Buddy Holly upwards of 500 times in three provinces and one state.
After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre in Victoria, Stevenson landed his first gig as Buddy Holly in Toronto. That was followed by a successful run at the Art Club Theatre Company in Vancouver (which sold out 51 shows and earned him rave reviews).
Last year Stevenson starred in The Buddy Holly Story at the Chemainus Festival Theatre and sold out more than 40 shows, and this year that cast was reunited for another bundle of packed shows. He also played the role in Kansas City last year.
“For me, personally, I feel there’s a reasonable chance this could be end of road for the Buddy Holly story for me,” he said. “But I never say never.”
He said for that reason it was a little emotional when the lights went down on the last show in Chemainus recently. But the Vancouver resident will continue to perform Buddy Holly and 1950s music at events like the sold-out affair the Qualicum Beach Downtown Business Association is presenting March 29, for the second year in a row.
Stevenson has even recorded a couple of CDs featuring Buddy Holly songs, along with tunes by Hank Williams and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Sales from those CDs helped Stevenson raise over $10,000 for MSF (Doctors Without Borders).
Stevenson said the show at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre on Saturday night will be a ‘50s and ‘60s dance party with Buddy Holly tunes along with other favourites from that rock ‘n roll era, like the Beatles and Elvis. He’ll be bringing his band from Vancouver to join him.
“It’s always fun to take the trip over to the Island and play for the hometown,” he said.
The event will also include a dance and costume contest.
Beyond his work as Buddy, Stevenson has been keeping busy with other performing endeavours. He performed in a one-man-show called Never Shoot a Stampede Queen in Vancouver and Haida Gwaii and scored music for an internet TV series called The True Heriones. Stevenson is currently teaming up with his sister and her partner for a role in their web series for kids called Pancake Manor, which has had more than 25 million views on YouTube. Stevenson will star as a character named Buddy in that series, inspired by the rock ‘n roll star.
Stevenson is also in the early stages of creating a show about the late folk singer Phil Ochs.
For more on Stevenson and his performance adventures visit his website: www.zacharystevenson.com.