On February 3, 1959, a plane went down outside Mason City, Iowa, taking with it a cargo load of rock 'n' roll royalty. On the 53rd anniversary of the tragedy, Rob Chapman and the Parkway Theater will celebrate the life and legacy of pop-music pioneer Buddy Holly with two special screenings of Holly's biopic, the second night of which features performer and urban legend Gary Busey. Busey is of course known for his wild, outsized personality, an exaggerated version of himself he's played in interviews, Comedy Central roasts, and even his own mock-reality TV show, I'm With Busey. But before Busey was famous for being Busey, he was an actor of significant acclaim, landing prominent parts alongside Dustin Hoffman in Straight Time and Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born. In 1978 he starred in the title role in The Buddy Holly Story, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. A onetime professional musician who played in several bands and recorded with Dr. John, Busey did his own singing and guitar work in the film, lending real credibility to his turn as the rock 'n' roll godfather. He'll share his thoughts on Holly and stories about the making of the film, then after the screening he'll strap on a guitar and play classic Holly tunes with a backing band made up of former McNally Smith College of Music students.
Feb. 2-3, 6:15 p.m., 2012