Buddy Holly tribute comes to Schaumburg Prairie Center Oct. 7

  • Singer Zachary Stevenson performs "A Tribute to Buddy Holly" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg.

    Singer Zachary Stevenson performs "A Tribute to Buddy Holly" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg. Courtesy of Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts

 
 
Updated 10/5/2022 9:55 AM

Award-nominated actor and singer Zachary Stevenson invokes the spirit of a rock 'n' roll pioneer when he performs "A Tribute to Buddy Holly" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at Schaumburg's Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court.

Despite tragically dying in a plane crash in 1959 at the age of 22, Buddy Holly earned a stature that places him in the pantheon of musical innovators. Holly racked up seven Top 40 hits ("That'll Be the Day," "Everyday," "Maybe Baby," "Peggy Sue," and "Oh Boy," among others); influenced seminal song artists including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger; and cemented the classic rock combo lineup featuring two guitars, bass and drums.

 

A prototype for geek chic fashion, Holly's lanky frame, horn-rimmed glasses, white socks and tweed jackets bucked the era's teen idol trend.

Zachary Stevenson, whose embodiment of Holly has earned him a Chicago Jeff Award for Performer in a Principal Role, touched on Holly's allure.

"I think the reason why people are still drawn to Buddy Holly all these years later is probably the same reason why I connect with Buddy's music most: he's authentic," says Stevenson.

"He was cool by being different. When a manager told him to go without glasses, he just bought himself a thicker pair. We might call him a hipster by modern standards."

Above all, the greatest reward in singing from Holly's canon is that "the music is just excellent. Great arrangements and dynamics," adds Stevenson. "It's just plain fun to play. I don't think I'll ever tire of singing these songs."

Backed by a live band, Stevenson performs favorites from the Buddy Holly catalog while weaving in engaging stories about Buddy and his personal experience in the role.

Tickets for "A Tribute to Buddy Holly" are $30; $28 for students and seniors, and can be ordered at www.prairiecenter.org or by calling (847) 895-3600.

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