I did something that I have never done before… I flew somewhere for Thanksgiving. I have never traveled farther than the two hour drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix for Thanksgiving. And thins year I went all the way to Chicago for some sibling shenanigans with my big bro. It was crazy fun and one of the things we did was see Jimmy Buffet’s new musical Escape to Margaritaville.
I have never been a big fan of Jimmy Buffet but his new musical was oodles of fun. I’m pretty sure that my brother and I were among the younger members of the audience which consisted mostly of older die hard Buffet fans that knew every word to every song. I spent most of the performance laughing and enjoying myself. There were a few very well done sequences to big hits like “Why Don’t We Get Drunk And Screw?” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise”, however it was nothing groundbreaking.
With shows like Hamilton and The Book of Mormon running strong on Broadway I am concerned that Escape to Maragritaville will go unnoticed by the general population, though the Parrot heads will flock to fill the theatre. Buffet’s musical is destined to make it Broadway debut in February and I am curious to see how it will fair at the Tony’s. Its a good show, but not great.
As much as I enjoyed myself I found the plot predictable, and the ending disappointing. It is basically a love story about a high strung scientist who meets a cute beach bum at a resort. The beach bum falls madly in love with our scientist who is leaving in one week. A lot of time is spent on two very generic main characters, while the more interesting minor characters are glossed over. The plot would have been more well rounded if more characters were explored more deeply. The ending should have been a surprise, not the next and tidy romantic comedy ending that the world is used to.
That being said, I would like to reiterate that I enjoyed the show immensely. The actors were phenomenal and the sets and costumes were bright and colorful and generally made me happy to look at. It was clear that everyone in the theatre was having a great time, which is essentially the purpose of a show like this. I left the theatre happy with the general experience and it was only when my brother and I began discussing the show in more depth that I found the flaws. I would very much recommend this show if you are looking for a good time, and a good sing along. I think that if I went into the show as a Jimmy Buffet fan I would be writing a different review right now.