Bringing sunshine, rest and relaxation to the bustling heart of Times Square, Jimmy Buffett's musical Escape to Margaritaville describes itself as not just a musical, but a way of life.
Directed and choreographed respectively by Christopher Ashley and Kelly Devine - the duo that brought you the smash hit musical Come From Away - Escape to Margaritaville features a parrothead's dream playlist of Jimmy Buffett classics such as "Fins," "Why Don't We Get Drunk," "Son of a Son of a Sailor," "Cheeseburger in Paradise," and, of course, "Margaritaville." It also features a scenic design by Walt Spangler that is as luxuriously tropical as it is functional. Indeed, the Marquis Theatre has been transformed into a paradise island getaway, complete with cabanas, margarita machines and bouncing beach balls, that feels like a summer vacation no matter what time of year you decide to visit.
Buffett's hits have been woven unashamedly into a book by Greg Garcia and Mike O'Malley that follows the pursuits of Tully and Rachel, two individuals mismatched by attitudes and ideologies, whose shared attraction is destined to overcome life's many obstacles. He is a singer/bartender at the Hotel Margaritaville, enjoying the easy life and staying clear of the fast lane (and relationship commitments). She is an environmental scientist, who can't survive without a wi-fi connection, and strives to save the world. Escape to Margaritaville explores how two characters from two different worlds can evolve and find comprimises on a search for true happiness - a search they both didn't necessarily realise they were undertaking.
Aside from our two protagonists, there is a wealth of comic relief spilling from the stage in the form of two subplot love stories, as Tammy, an underappreciated and body-shamed bride-to-be, meets Brick, an unassuming and simple guy, who loves her just the way she is, and as Marley, manager of the Hotel Margaritaville, finally gives in to the advances of the often drunken, seaplane pilot J.D. (albeit whilst she fantasizes he is actually Denzel Washington).
If you are in the mood for some piña colada-infused light-hearted entertainment, where sing-alongs are actively encouraged, then book an escape to Maragaritaville today...
Cheeseburger in Paradise, anyone???
(Photos by Matthew Murphy)