WITH his hair worked into a shiny black quiff and wearing a leopard skin jacket and shoes, Luke Tonkin is the living embodiment of The Big Bopper who he will play in Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story at Crown Entertainment Complex from this Saturday.The role of Jiles Perry Richardson, aka The Big Bopper, marks a professional transition for Mr Tonkin who is well-known on the Ballarat musical theatre scene."This is my big theatrical professional debut and it's a dream come true," Mr Tonkin said. "I auditioned for the part of The Big Bopper last year in June and two months later they rang me to say I had it."Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story tells the story of Buddy Holly, his time as a country artist and his short career in rock n' roll.At 32, Mr Tonkin is five years older than the The Big Bopper when he died in a plane crash with Holly and Ritchie Valens.The self-named Big Bopper was originally a radio DJ who sang and wrote songs, including signature tune Chantilly Lace.Mr Tonkin performs Chantilly Lace in the show as well as a few numbers with other lead performers."The show is lots of fun to perform and the music really gets the audience up dancing in the aisles," he said.After opening in Sydney and playing there for three months, it will open in Melbourne on Saturday night and run for two months at The Palms at Crown.Describing himself as a Ballarat boy who will always be an ambassador for the town, Mr Tonkin said he was dedicating his performance to friends and family, including many in Ballarat, who have supported him over the years. "Friday night is preview night and I have about 80 family and friends coming up from Ballarat to see the show - it should be great," Mr Tonkin said.