New in 2018 A new musical, featuring the music of Jimmy Buffett, about the choices we make - and the people we become - once we've had a change in latitude.
From the producers: Imagine a place where the sun is hot, the water’s warm, and the drinks are as cold as they are plentiful. Welcome to Margaritaville, the island paradise where city folk get away from it all, and the locals get into the kind of trouble you can almost always sweet talk your way out of. Take a break from your troubles, make some new friends at the bar, and kick back to the soothing sounds of the kettledrum. It doesn’t get much better than this. All you need now is a ticket.
"Escape to Margaritaville" had it's world premiere in 2017 at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse, followed by runs in New Orleans, Houston and Chicago. The score features new songs as well as past hits that embody Jimmy Buffett’s beach-resort vibe, which include "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "Volcano" and "Come Monday."
"My Name is Earl" creator Greg Garcia and actor-writer Mike O'Malley ("Glee," "Shameless") co-author the book. which follows Tully, a part-time bartender and singer at the titular island paradise, where a beautiful career-minded tourist in town makes him question his overly relaxed lifestyle. Christopher Ashley, a Tony nominee for his staging of sleeper success "Come From Away," directs.
Even those unfamiliar with Buffett's songwriting oeuvre should find the proceedings relaxedly enjoyable. This jukebox musical is the theatrical equivalent of sipping on a frozen drink while lying on a beach chair in the blazing sun. It's not good for you, but it feels good. The show displays a distinct sitcom-style sensibility. Nonetheless, the overall silliness goes down fairly easily...the show exudes an affable likability that's hard to entirely resist.
Buffett's music and lyrics inform the plot, ultimately with humorous and uplifting - but not-so-groundbreaking - results...while Nolan's Tully and Luff's Rachel do look and sound gorgeous singing next to each other, their performances are constrained by underwritten, one-dimensional characters and millennial cliches. And the musical's book is filled with jokes that fall flat. Thankfully, stellar interpretations of Buffett classics knock off your flip-flops and save the otherwise slow-paced first act.