Home News Local News Winter Dance Party to stop at Ocotillo Performing Arts Center

Winter Dance Party to stop at Ocotillo Performing Arts Center

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Ray Anthony as ‘50s musical icon Ritchie Valence. Anthony is part of the Winter Dance Party coming to the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center. (Submitted Photo)

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John Mueller, the critically acclaimed former star of the U.S. touring version of the London, Great Britain and Broadway hit musical “Buddy — the Buddy Holly Story,” brings the show to the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center in Artesia, 310 W. Main St., Sept. 1, at 7 p.m.

The Winter Dance Party is the official live and authentic re-creation of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper’s final tour and the only show endorsed by the musicians’ estates.

Mueller performs as Buddy Holly with Linwood Sasser as the Big Bopper and Ray Anthony as Ritchie Valens.

Anthony’s style and voice is eerily similar to Valens. It is not surprising that he received personal accolades from Valens’ original producer and manager Bob Keane of Del-Fi Records. Keane was impressed with Anthony’s portrayal of the star and told Legends in Concert that he was pleased that Valens’ memory is being kept alive in such a professional manner.

“One of the best concerts I’ve ever seen,” Buddy Holly’s brother, Larry Holly, said.

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The Winter Dance Party show has performed in front of more than two million people since 1996 and on national TV for the Jerry Lewis Telethon, throughout the United States and Canada at theaters, performing arts centers, ballrooms and even at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with John Mellencamp and Marshall Crenshaw.

The very authentic and energetic four piece band — guitar, drums, stand-up bass and sax — includes Grammy Award-winning Mike Acosta on saxophone.

The concert includes more than two hours of unbridled, high-voltage entertainment featuring hit songs of the ‘50s: “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Oh, Boy,” “Rave On,” “La Bamba” and “Chantilly Lace.”

Lou Diamond Phillips starred as Ritchie Valens in the biopic “La Bamba,” released in 1987. An original soundtrack with some of the Winter Dance Party songs was released and the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Drama in 1988.

In 2017 “The Winter Dance Party Documentary” was released that features the background story of the popular show.

“Expect a high energy authentic 1950s concert re-creation. You will feel like you’re at an actual concert of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper,” tour organizer Frank Allen said about the upcoming show in Artesia.

The audience is encouraged to dress in petticoats, bobby-socks and rockabilly style.

According to the executive director of the Artesia Arts Council and the Ocotillo PAC Laurie Scholz, there are still a few tickets left.

For more information and tickets, visit artesiaartscouncil.com or call the box office at 575-746-4212.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.