Winter dance party turns up the heat


Katie McIlheran

John Muller as Buddy Holly performs in his Winter Dance Party recreation of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper’s final tour. At Young Auditorium Feb. 11th 2022.

Parker Rezner, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

Chills were running up and down bodies of audience members last Friday night on Feb. 11, but it had nothing to do with the bitter February air. John Mueller’s “Winter Dance Party” rocked Young Auditorium for two full hours playing classics and paying tribute to musical legends from 50s era music.

Performances of “Peggy Sue,” “La Bamba,” “Summertime Blues,” and “That’ll Be The Day” were just highlights of a night that seemed to only pick up steam as it went on. Grammy award winner, Mike Acosta, had jaw dropping saxophone solos and even threw in some dance moves to raise his performance to the next level. John Mueller himself played the part of Buddy Holly, with Linwood Sasser and Ray Anthony holding their own as the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.

The performances had exceptional energy and the audience was bopping the entire night. The singers rotated every three or four songs, and comedic banter made the transitions between songs refreshing and almost seamless.

When they performed a song the room became electric.

 “Each act that has come out is better than the one before…nothing really stands out because it all stands out,” said Kathy Feely, a UW-W alumna and performing arts fan.

There was clearly some nostalgic energy at play with each song transcending generations while everyone young and old in the auditorium enjoyed themselves listening to old favorites.

“It takes you back to drive-in movies and cruisin’ in your car or your hot rod,” said Brian Feely, also a UW-W alum.

Coming from the younger generation, I and the audience attended can honestly say that every part of this show was a blast and my personal Spotify playlist will benefit from some of the gems that this show and ones like it help keep alive.