Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story
"Christopher Sutton, in the title role, gives one of the most kinetic and infectious performances in memory. His Holly impersonation is dead-on, but even theater-goers who never saw or heard the original are likely to be won over by Sutton's galvanic confidence, charm and sweetness. Sutton is a gifted actor-musician who knows exactly what he is doing and has great fun with it. He looks and sounds like Holly and performs passionately in a completely engaging, exhaustive performance."
Dante J.J. Bevilacqua -The South Philadelphia Review
"Clearly, this musical hangs on the Holly character, and in this case, it hangs on substantial shoulders. As, Buddy, Christopher Sutton not only has the right look and a boyish vulnerability that somehow coexists with his musical arrogance, he has such a command of the music, you may forget he's not Holly after all. Sutton also plays a mean guitar, which contributes significantly to his total impact...the evening truly belongs to Sutton - and to Buddy Holly's music."
Sally Friedman -The Intelligencer Record
"Actor/musician Christopher Sutton does a masterful job of recreating the Buddy Holly image with a skilled, high energy performance."
Judy Baca -The Times Herald
"It’s a wonder that the 1,200 seat Walnut Street Theatre, the oldest theatre in America, is still standing after all the cheering and stomping for “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.” That this revival gets as much entertainment mileage as it does is a credit not only to director Casey Hushion’s polished production but also to actor Christopher Sutton’s exuberant performance in the title role. As the musical’s title character, Christopher Sutton establishes himself as a formidable young talent. Masterfully balancing his own refreshing take on Holly’s spirit while still capturing the gawkiness that made the Texan musician such a marvel, Sutton gives an unparalleled, triple-threat performance."
Dante J.J. Bevilacqua -Philadelphia Daily Local
"The star of the show, and the focal point almost entirely is Buddy, portrayed to perfection by Christopher Sutton. He excels as singer and guitarist."
The Harrowgate Guide
"Christopher Sutton is an ideal Buddy, cherubic of mien and dauntless of manner - an all-American boy for a still-all-American age. The character is usually one-dimensional, as are they all, but Sutton somehow manages to give the role a profile. He is also a skilled guitarist and holds the entire production together."
Clifford A. Ridley -Philadelphia Inquirer
"Christopher Sutton soars in the leading role, seamlessly transforming from a country singer who in the words of his manager "had as much sex appeal as a corn stalk," to a rock and roll pioneer who never let stardom get in the way of his mother's constant queries as to whether he'd been eating right."
David Kramer -The Legal Intelligencer
"The role of Buddy is a masterful piece of showmanship by young Christopher Sutton who melds Holly melancholy perfectly to the music of the times. He is, indeed, a seeming clone of the rock-and-roll star with his close-cropped hair, black-framed glasses, black and white shoes, and his panhandle Texas twang."
Joe Sheehan -York County Coast Star
"Buddy Holly fans are having a feast at Philly's 1,200 seat Walnut, where Christopher Sutton is turning in a show-stopping performance as the rock n' roller with the deep country roots whose meteoric rise to stardom was cut short in a fatal 1959 plane crash. Sutton has the vocal delivery and performance quirks of Holly down pat, and is giving a memorable treatment to all of Holly's music. Sutton is truly remarkable."
Ray Fulmer -The Reporter
"Buddy's story works because actor Christopher Sutton gives his character the same geek cool that made the real Holly such an original. Specifically, that quirky appeal makes watching the musician's ascent to stardom more satisfying because we sympathize with him and want him to succeed; it also makes the lead up to his death so much more poignant."
John P. Williams -Reading Eagle
"Energy: "1: dynamic quality 2: the capacity of acting or being active 3: the capacity for doing work 4: usable power (as heat or electricity; also: the resources for producing such power." The folks from Merriam Webster need to take a gander at the Walnut Street Theatre’s production of "Buddy" and redefine the word. The entire show hinges upon its lively performers, and the Walnut delivers. Led by the more than qualified Christopher Sutton as the title character, the company presents to us interpretations of classic Holly hits.The supporting cast is also wonderful, but everyone pales in the prescence of Christopher Sutton, who performs the immense role of Buddy to the point of hysteria. "You people are crazy," he tells the audience at the end, as he receives a massive standing ovation. No, I’m sorry, but I think it is him who is the crazy one, giving out so much in the course of the performance. "We’ll rock you one more time," he tells us, and then breaks into one of the show’s classics, which prompts people to literally dance in their seats and the aisles. Everyone left the theatre with a huge smile on their face, and were so glad they were able to see it."
Jeff Lockhorn -Musical Stages Online
"The role of Buddy Holly is masterfully played by Christopher Sutton."
Carol Standish -The Tourist News
"This show glows with the incredible energy of Christopher Sutton (Buddy) and the rest of the musical entourage, and shimmers with the audience participation that they encourage and get."
David Stern -Town Talk
"Holly is played and sung by Christopher Sutton with both the uncomplicated sincerity that marked the man and an aw-shucks bobble-head showmanship - Holly was a bumpkin from Lubbock, Texas, and he knew what he wanted from record producers and wasn't afraid to say it. The show is a remarkable display of acting, singing, dancing, and musicianship, rolled into one."
Howard Shapiro -Philadelphia Inquirer
"The man and the music are what count, and both come over with freshness and energy. The cast includes Christopher Sutton as Buddy Holly, a role he’s played and won a Barrymore award for in 2000, returns to recreate a dynamic, action-packed performance once again. 'Oh Boy!' Buddy Would Be Proud!"
Pati Buehler -BroadwayWorld
"There wasn't a day the music died in Philadelphia. Buddy Holly is alive and well, hiding out at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, sometimes using the name Christopher Sutton. You will not convince any member of the 1,200 person audience of Buddy- The Buddy Holly Story that he isn’t witnessing a Buddy Holly performance. While making no effort to keep my own feet still, I glanced around the theatre and saw that no one was sitting motionless in his seat. Walnut Street’s main stage brings you an absolutely foot-tapping, hand-clapping, and body-swaying total immersion into the experience of the rise of Buddy Holly. Christopher Sutton not only looks remarkably like the musical genius who met his untimely death at the age of 22, but on several of his songs he sounds exactly like him as well. The audience can’t get enough and when you go, you'd better bring your dancing shoes and be prepared to dance in the aisles."
Judy Cohen -Philadelphia
"Holly's music is integral to the spirit of the show. If it is to work, audience members must believe they are hearing and seeing Holly on stage. Thanks to Christopher Sutton we do. Sutton in reality, bears little resemblance to Holly. He's much better looking. Yet the transformation is uncanny. Sutton has clearly done his homework. He's got the right intonation and the right vocal sound. Actually, his voice is a bit richer, but on a theatrical level, that's quite nice. And he's got the moves down pat. What energy he has. For those two hours, Sutton IS Buddy Holly, musically and personally."
Mary Ann Robertson -Sea Coast Online Ogunquit
"Now they're doing it again with Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, which I saw at the Walnut just thirteen years ago. They've even brought back leading man Christopher Sutton to play a role which has become his specialty. Sutton is still great, and the show is still a lot of fun. He once again nails the role of Buddy Holly. He's got the high, hiccuppy vocals plus a good approximation of the jittery, lyrical guitar style that made Holly's music so distinctive. Sutton says his dialogue with a hopeful, rising cadence, and he barrels onto the stage shoulders first; he's so energetic that you know his Buddy won't stop until he makes all his dreams come true. Sutton also has sweet chemistry with Lyn Philistine (his real life wife) as Buddy's wife Maria Elena."
"Buddy is played by Christopher Sutton, who is not only an uncanny look-alike, but an accomplished musician as well."
Rapp & Margerum -The Daily Times
"Headlined by the wonderfully believable Christopher Sutton as Buddy, Sutton's performance transcends mere impersonation; he's an authentic musician and perfectly captures the geeky country boy who became an unlikely rock-and-roll megastar."
Cathy Nelson Price -Cape Elizabeth
"As Buddy Holly, Christopher Sutton swings his guitar this way and that, his instrument as much a part of himself as the glasses he wears and his rapid, non-stop singing voice."
Rose Safran -The York Independent -Ogunquit
"The crowd literally could not stay seated. By the final scene of “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” which took place at a chintzy yet soulful concert at the Walnut Street Theatre, several women in the audience had erupted from their chairs to jive along with the dancing actors onstage. One even proceeded to make her way down the stairs, sashaying her hips and flailing her arms to the beat of songs like “Peggy Sue,” “Maybe Baby” and “Chantilly Lace.” Musicals are certainly an enjoyable source of entertainment, and viewers typically provide enthusiastic feedback, but rarely does it take the form of seemingly out-of-body experiences like those at this show. Although these reactions were alarming and quite unusual, they were no less justified. Assuredly, the actors and actresses deserved such zealous regard. Leading man Christopher Sutton embodies the boyish, easy-going nature of Buddy Holly, belting out classic tunes such as “Oh Boy,” “That’ll Be the Day” and “Raining In My Heart.” What’s more, he stars alongside his wife, Lyn Philistine, who plays Holly’s wife-at-first-sight, Maria Elena (an “aw, that’s cute” realization, for sure). Accompanying them onstage are equally talented performers making for a cast as lively as the crowd. Aside from the hubbub of excitement, the musical is also able to achieve a more serious tone, especially when dealing with Holly’s unexpected death in a tragic plane crash in 1959. Indeed, Sutton successfully navigates the deep emotions of the situation, as Maria Elena gives a haunting premonition of the crash in a dream of hers before Holly leaves for what would be his final tour."
Alexandra Swider -The Triangle -Philadelphia