BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
The Jimmy Buffett musical “Escape to Margaritaville” will soon tote its shaker of salt to Broadway.
The production, which is playing at the La Jolla Playhouse in California through July 9, will premiere this fall in New Orleans, Houston and Chicago before opening at the Marquis Theatre in New York. Previews begin Feb, 16, with an official Broadway opening March 15.
The music of Buffett will replace the music of Gloria Estefan, as “Escape” takes the location held by “On Your Feet!,” the musical based on the lives of Estefan and her husband, Emilio. It’s slated to close Aug. 20 after playing 34 previews and 746 regular performances. “On Your Feet!” will launch a 31-city first national tour this fall.
But back to “Margaritaville”… the musical comedy features a string of Buffett tunes, both familiar (“Come Monday,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise”) and new. The book comes from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl,” “Raising Hope”) and Emmy Award nominee Mike O’Malley (“Shameless”). Choreography will be handled by Tony nominee Kelly Devine (“Come from Away,” “Rock of Ages”) and the show will be directed by Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley, who is also the La Jolla Playhouse artistic director.
“Well, going to Broadway is a dream come true, but to be coming to the Marquis is like having a great margarita with a tequila floater. If we are going to turn the island of Manhattan into Margaritaville, Times Square seems the perfect place to drop anchor after our voyage from La Jolla, New Orleans, Houston and Chicago,” Buffett said in a statement. “I am grateful to all the wonderful people at all levels who participated in the hard work of turning a dream into reality. It’s going to be a tropical season in New York. Fins Up!!!!”
Tickets for “Escape to Margaritaville” are available now for groups of 12 or more (www.broadway.com/groups) and will go on sale to the general public on June 26 via www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-877-250-2929. American Express card holders can access tickets from 10 a.m. June 13 through 10 a.m. June 20. Tickets will go on sale to Audience Rewards members from 10 a.m. June 20 through 10 a.m. June 26.