(REVIEW) Get Ready to “Escape to Margaritaville”!
WAITE PARK - There’s nothing better than summertime and jukebox musicals. It’s a perfect excuse to bring a few friends and enjoy the night.
I had never heard of Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville until I read that Great Theater was planning to stage it at The Ledge. Written in 2017 by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, the show is anchored by Jimmy Buffett’s musical library.
Jimmy Buffett’s music has a certain “groove”. Islands, tropics, and wastin’ away in… well, you know the rest.
“Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville” is set in a run-down hotel and resort somewhere in the tropics. Two young women have planned a bachelorette party at the resort and quickly attract attention from a couple of employees (workers may be too strong of a term) at the hotel. Romantic comedy ensues. One of the ladies is having second thoughts about her upcoming wedding, while the other is too focused on her career to worry about love. Meanwhile, the boys start to consider a future after years of gliding through life on a beach somewhere.
All of this happens while other vacationers enjoy their trip, and occasionally participate in fully choreographed dance numbers or stumble on stage like a group of zombie insurance salesmen. Just go with it - it makes sense at the time!
And then the volcano erupts....
The show is corny, full of puns and double-entendres, and at least one PG-13 rated sing-along. The storyline is predictable, but fun enough that you continue to watch and wonder how they’ll squeeze in the next Buffett hit.
So, should you go to the show?
I have to give credit to any local theater group that wants to perform at The Ledge. The space is huge. The size, and the venue, mean there are a number of technical challenges that add another layer of difficulty to the show. But, as the sun sets on the rehearsal I attended, it really was perfect.
Buffett’s music is all about attitude, and if you bring that attitude, you’ll have a good time. You can laugh at the corny jokes, follow the blossoming romances, and plan an entire week of after-work cocktails. Just go with it - it makes sense at the time!
Sure, there are hiccups and flubbed lines, but that’s not the point. These volunteer actors have worked for months to learn the songs and dances, and now it’s time to show it all off.
More importantly, it’s our job, as the audience, to support people in our community when they express themselves and do what they love.
So, here’s my suggestion. Get your tickets, set your watch to island time, and keep it between the navigational buoys.