Margaritaville Musical heads to Chicago Fall 2017

From the Chicago Sun: “Margaritaville musical salted with Buffett songs due in Chicago

It won’t be arriving in Chicago until fall 2017, so it’s doubtful you will be “nibblin’ on spongecake [and] watchin’ the sun bake [with] all of those tourists covered with oil” when it gets to town. But at least you can begin strumming on your six-string and boiling up a pot of shrimp.

That’s because Broadway In Chicago and producers Frank Marshall, Mindy Rich, Anita Waxman and Beth Williams have announced that “Escape to Margaritaville,” the new musical featuring the songs of legendary singer-songwriter-author Jimmy Buffett, will play a limited engagement beginning Nov. 9, 2017, at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph.

Billed as a pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago, the show will have its initial performances at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse in May and June 2017.

“Escape to Margaritaville” will feature an original story by co-book writers Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl”) and actor-writer Mike O’Malley (“Survivor’s Remorse,” “Shameless”) and will involve a creative team with a slew of Tony Awards and nominations to their credit, including director Christopher Ashley (artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse), choreographer Kelly Devine, scenic designer Walt Spangler, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Howell Binkley, sound designer Brian Ronan and music supervisor Christopher Jahnke. Casting will be announced at a later date.

The musical, which will use Buffett classics with the songwriter also penning several original songs, is set at a non-specific tropical island resort and tells the story of Tully, “a part-time bartender, part-time singer and full-time good ol’ boy charmer who thinks he’s got life all figured out” — until, that is, a beautiful, career-minded tourist steals his heart and makes him question everything.

“With Buffett songs, I think one theme is how people want to get away from the daily routine, and just relax and focus on who they love and what they want to be doing in their lives. Some of his songs give you the license to chill out, but others are looking back on the night before chaos. There is quite a difference between a song like ‘Come Monday’ and ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise,’ and the songs on the ‘Coconut Telegraph’ album.”

“Escape to Margaritaville” will be part of the next Broadway In Chicago season subscription series set to go on sale next month. Group tickets for 10 or more for the show are available now by calling (312) 977-1710. Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date. For additional information, visit

From the Chicago Tribune: “Jimmy Buffett musical ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ to set sail in Chicago

Attention Parrotheads! Next fall, Chicago will see the pre-Broadway tryout of “Escape to Margaritaville,” the new musical celebrating the mellow musical catalog of Jimmy Buffett, the phenomenally successful touring artist and entrepreneur who has parlayed his long-lived niche of laid-back, geezer-friendly, party-centric rock into a pan-American lifestyle brand.

No shaker of salt required — although Buffett’s website has them for sale.

“Chicago was the first city in which I gained recognition outside the South,” the 69-year-old Buffett said in an exclusive interview Monday night. “And it was Steve Goodman who turned me into a lifelong Cubs fan. I could not be more delighted the show is headed there.”

The Oriental Theatre in Chicago won’t actually be the show’s first stop — there will be a smaller, regional outing at the La Jolla Playhouse in California this spring, where the director of “Margaritaville,” Christopher Ashley, is the artistic director. “It is our hope,” Ashley said, “that this show will make you feel like you have been invited to a party. We want to attract the Parrotheads, sure, but also the people who might know only one or two of Jimmy’s songs.”

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