Escape to Margaritaville – New Orleans and Houston dates

From Margaritaville.com: The producers of Escape to Margaritaville announced today that the new musical featuring the songs of legendary singer-songwriter-author Jimmy Buffett, will premiere in New Orleans, LA and will play Houston, TX in 2017 as part of the production’s pre-Broadway tour before sailing into Broadway in the Spring of 2018.

As previously announced, the show will have its World Premiere steps from the ocean at the Tony Award®-winning La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California in May 2017, and will make its last stop before Broadway at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre in November 2017. Please visit www.EscapeToMargaritavilleMusical.com for more information.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to make it to Broadway!” said Jimmy Buffett. “After our world premiere this May in La Jolla, we’ll set sail from California on a pre-Broadway national tour stopping first in the city that gave me my start-New Orleans, then to some of my other favorites – Houston and Chicago – before arriving at that port of all ports, Broadway and New York City.”

The current engagements are as follows:

May 9 – June 25, 2017 – World Premiere
La Jolla Playhouse
Mandell Weiss Theatre
2910 La Jolla Village Drive|
La Jolla, California 92037
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October 20 – 28, 2017 – Pre-Broadway Tour Premiere
East Jefferson General Hospital Broadway in New Orleans
Saenger Theatre
1111 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116

October 31 – November 5, 2017
BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby Center
800 Bagby Street
Houston, Texas 77002

November 9 – December 3, 2017
Broadway In Chicago
Oriental Theatre
24 West Randolph
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Group tickets on sale now!

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More details on the Gatlinburg Margaritaville

From the Knoxville News Sentinel: “Work starts on Gatlinburg Margaritaville

Rising in the Best Western’s place, on a 5-acre site including The Island in the Pigeon River, will be the seven-story Margaritaville Resort in the Smokies.

The $35 million project, with 174 rooms that can hold 500 guests altogether, will match The Island’s Caribbean-casual theme.

“We’re all part of the Jimmy Buffett hospitality family,” McManus said. It will be “the hammock” for people to relax in after “the fun” of downtown Gatlinburg’s adjacent attractions, he said, quoting more taglines from the singer.

The Island 8 miles away has been a big success in Pigeon Forge, and McManus and his partners expect as much or more in Gatlinburg, he said.

Fronting on the Parkway will be a LandShark Grill restaurant that is expected to open this spring, on the former Hard Rock Café site; and the resort as a whole should open in July 2018.

Demolition of the old hotel started Dec. 13 – only four days after Gatlinburg reopened to visitors – and construction of the new resort will start in the next few months, according to the news release.

The Margaritaville Resort is intended to become one of the few four-diamond resorts in Sevier County, Davis said.

The hotel will have another restaurant of its own, a coffee shop, retail store, 4,000-square-foot outdoor pool, water slide and splash pad, hot tub, heated indoor pool, and a “St. Somewhere” spa – named for Buffett’s most recent album.

In the entryway plans call for a fountain, featuring a colorful parrot reclining in a margarita glass. That’s McManus’ favorite touch, he said

Though it won’t completely open for 18 months (Spring 2018), the Margaritaville Resort and associated restaurants should provide 150 new jobs, McManus said.

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Sail on “Uncle Tom” Moffatt

Legendary Hawaii concert promoter and radio DJ Tom “Uncle Tom” Moffatt passed away in the comfort of his home on Monday. He was 85 years young.

Jimmy Buffett posted on Facebook while visiting Cuba this week: Tom Moffatt was the voice of Hawaii to locals and visitors alike. As a promoter, he brought every kind of music imaginable to the islands. I happened to be one of those lucky coconuts that dropped from his tree.

The first time I ever played for him was in October 1979, opening for the Eagles at Aloha stadium. When I met Tom the first time at that gig, I remember thinking, “This guy has the best job in the world. He lives in paradise, plays music on the radio and promotes shows under the stars.” It wasn’t long before we were doing more than business together. We became friends. (continue reading)

From Venues Today: Moffatt was a true gentleman and everyone liked him, to the extent that big name acts like Elton John and Jimmy Buffett wouldn’t play Hawaii with anyone but Moffatt. Bradley recalled when Moffatt took Buffett to Tahiti many, many years ago and when they landed, they asked the venue manager how many tickets had been sold. He said, “None, but we’ve had some phone calls.”

Moffatt and Buffett immediately hit the street handing out flyers and saved the day. That was before Tahiti became a good routing option, especially for reggae.

Photo: Buffett and Tom Moffatt on the set of Hawaii Five-0 back in 2013 (read more).

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Buffett makes Forbes list of Wealthiest Celebrities

Jimmy Buffett comes in at #13 on the Forbes magazine list of America’s 20 wealthiest celebrities of 2016.

1. George Lucas $4.6 billion
2. Steven Spielberg $3.7 billion
3. Oprah Winfrey $2.8 billion
4. Michael Jordan $1.2 billion
5. David Copperfield $850 million
6. Sean Combs $750 million
7. Tiger Woods $740 million
8. Dr. Dre $710 million
9. James Patterson $700 million
10. Jerry Seinfeld $670 million
11 Jay Z $610 million
12. Madonna $560 million
13. Jimmy Buffett $550 million
14. Bruce Springsteen $460 million
15. Howard Stern $450 million
16. Jon Bon Jovi $410 million
17. Rush Limbaugh $400 million
18. Phil Mickelson $375 million
19. Barbra Streisand $370 million
20. Kathy Ireland $360 million

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Escape to Margaritaville

The San Diego Union Tribune has an update on “Escape to Margaritaville” the musical built around the songs of Jimmy Buffett which is set to open at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in May 2017.

“Escape to Margaritaville,” May 16 to June 25, 2017: The planet’s legions of “Parrotheads” (as Jimmy Buffett fans dub themselves) can rejoice. Playhouse artistic chief Christopher Ashley, who is directing this very likely Broadway-bound musical, says Buffett himself has been deeply engaged in the ongoing development of the show.

“He’s been very involved at every step,” says Ashley (who’s in the middle of directing the last pre-Broadway staging of another Playhouse-launched musical, “Come From Away,” in Toronto.) “He’s been part of every reading we’ve done, every staging workshop.

“He’s writing either one or two new songs for the score. And also just offering reflections on songs — talking about what the story impulse is in a song, and how do we bring it to theatrical life. He’s right there at the center of those conversations.”

The show, as mentioned previously, “is really not the story of Jimmy Buffett’s life — although some of his songs are biographical,” Ashley notes. “So various moments in his life have been given to various characters. I think if you know Jimmy Buffett’s biography very well, you will recognize lots of things.”

“Escape to Margaritaville” is written by Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl”) and Mike O’Malley (“Survivor’s Remorse,” “Shameless”); the Playhouse has previously described it as “the story of a tropical island resort and its part-time bartender, part-time singer and full-time charmer who thinks he’s got life all figured out — until a beautiful, career-minded tourist steals his heart and makes him question everything.”

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