Rave On: Todd Meredith plays Buddy Holly for the 14th time


Todd as Buddy
  • Todd as Buddy

Memphis Theatergoers may experience some deja vous at The Buddy Holly Story. In addition to playing in a Buddy Holly tribute band The Rave-Ons, Todd Meredith, the actor and musician currently playing Buddy at the Orpheum has played the seminal Texas rocker in 14 different productions. If you saw Playhouse on the Square’s solid 2008 production, you’ve already seen Todd do that thing he does so well.

Intermission Impossible: Tell me a little bit about how you get in touch with Buddy.

Todd Meredith: He was real person, you know, so there are certain challenges. I do a lot of research to really try get his speech patterns down, to get how he moved down. Because people have expectations it really keeps you from phoning it in. Because you have to live up to being this great rock-and- roll star.

Having done the role so often, do you continue to discover new things about the character, or have you pretty much got it down.

When I go into each production I get a little more perspective on things. It happens in different ways. It keeps things fresh for you and it keeps things fresh for the audience as well. I'm not the type of actor who goes out there and says the same line the same way every time.

What’s your favorite Buddy Holly song right now?

My band just started playing this one song called on "Lonesome Tears" that I hadn't even heard until fairly recently and is now quickly becoming one of my favorites.

We all know Buddy Holly the rock star. Who was Buddy Holly the guy?

He was a polite boy from Texas very polite and all the interviews he comes off as a very well spoken intelligent guy. The musical also shows that he was very tenacious. He knew exactly what he wanted at all times and was always able to express what he wanted. And when he didn't get what he wanted to get he actually become a bit ornery.

Buddy or Elvis?

Elvis was around longer and he kind of had that whole Las Vegas thing. I think that's sort of hurt some people's perspective of him. Buddy died in his prime. We weren't able to find out what he could've done. I'd like to think that he could have done great things. The directions he was taking with his music were really innovative. It’s like he knew he didn’t have much time. Buddy asked his wife to marry him the day they met. He knew he needed to get things accomplished really fast so he wasn't the type of guy to sit around and wait for things to happen. I think that really draws me to the character I wish I could be more like Buddy in that respect.

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