Coast Capital Playhouse to get a blast from the past

Johnny Vallis will take on the persona of Buddy Holly Aug. 31 at Coast Capital Playhouse, while Abra Cadabra (below) will pay tribute to the music of Abba on Sept. 14, also at the playhouse.  - Contributed photos
Johnny Vallis will take on the persona of Buddy Holly Aug. 31 at Coast Capital Playhouse, while Abra Cadabra (below) will pay tribute to the music of Abba on Sept. 14, also at the playhouse.
— image credit: Contributed photos

They’re tuneful, they’re nostalgic – and they routinely sell out the Coast Capital Playhouse.

Rock.It Boy Entertainment promoter Rob Warwick has found a winner of late with tribute shows that recreate the sound and look of some of the great entertainers of the past six decades.

Recent shows have celebrated such diverse artists as Elton John, Patsy Cline, Billy Joel and Johnny Cash – and the next two Rock.It Boy extravaganzas will evoke the appeal of two equally legendary acts.

On Friday, Aug. 31, at 7:30 p.m., Victoria-based musician and impressionist Johnny Vallis will present A Tribute to Buddy Holly – The Show He Never Gave.

Then, on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m., the music and magic of Swedish super group Abba will be saluted by Peninsula-based band Abra Cadabra.

Holly – a singer and songwriter from Lubbock, Texas who made a pair of heavy horn-rim glasses a trademark – is recognized as a pioneer of rock n’ roll and pop music who has become an enduring and iconic presence in the years since his death.

Although he was only 23  when he died in a plane crash in 1959 –  which also claimed tour mates Richie Valens and  J.P. ‘The Big Bopper’  Richardson – his influence on many famous performers, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, has been freely acknowledged.

Vallis’ performance seeks to recapture both the look and sound of Holly in a ‘what might have been’ concert featuring his greatest hits – including That’ll Be The Day, Words Of Love, Not Fade Away, Oh Boy, Peggy Sue, Maybe Baby, Rave On! and Heartbeat.

The Toronto-born Vallis originally started his show business career at an early age wanting to be an Elvis impersonator, but, after moving to B.C. switched to Holly on the advice of Randy Friske, who ultimately played Elvis to Vallis’ Holly in the long-running touring show Legends of Rock n’ Roll.

His repertoire of impressions also includes such diverse talents as Mick Jagger, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Garth Brooks, John Lennon, the Bee Gees and Gordon Lightfoot.

Not an impersonation per se, the work of Abra Cadabra aims to recreate and celebrate the music of Abba in a “fresh, respectful and classy way.”

But audiences can expect a high-energy show complete with powerful vocals, strong musicianship, costumes

and dancers, bringing a live presence to such favourite Abba hits as Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Fernando, Waterloo, Does Your Moth

er Know, S.O.S., Take A Chance On Me and Knowing Me Knowing You.

Tickets for A Tribute To Buddy Holly are $39.50, while advance tickets for Abra Cadabra are $42.50.

Tickets to both events are available from Coast Capital Playhouse (604-536-7535) or at www.whiterockplayers.ca


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