Escape to Margaritaville Musical to premiere May 2017

From the Hollywood Reporter: “Jimmy Buffett Musical Sets San Diego Premiere

‘Escape to Margaritaville’ will feature both original songs and the singer’s classic tracks.

It turns out Margaritaville is pretty close to Los Angeles.

The new Jimmy Buffett musical will have its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in the San Diego area, producers Frank Marshall, Mindy Rich, Anita Waxman and Beth Williams announced Monday.

The limited engagement will begin previews on May 16, 2017, ahead of its opening night on May 28, and will play through June 25.

Officially titled Escape to Margaritaville, the musical will feature both original songs and Jimmy Buffett classics. It tells the story of a tropical island resort and its charming bartender-singer who falls for a beautiful, career-minded tourist.

The show will include an original story by co-book writers Greg Garcia (creator of My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope and Yes, Dear) and Mike O’Malley (Yes, Dear and Glee), with Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley (Memphis, Xanadu) on board to direct. The creative team also will include choreographer Kelly Devine, scenic designer Walt Spangler, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Howell Binkley and sound designer Brian Ronan.

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Mississippi legislators working on bill for ‘Buffett Beach’

From GulfLive.com: “House passes bill to name Pascagoula beach `Buffett Beach’

Mississippi legislators are working to name a Gulf Coast beach for the native son who wrote and sang “Margaritaville.”

Representatives voted 119-1 on Monday to pass House Bill 886, which would designate a sandy stretch in Pascagoula as Buffett Beach.

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett was born in Pascagoula and grew up in Mobile, Alabama.

The 69-year-old Buffett also wrote “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.”

The beach-naming bill moves to the state Senate for more debate.

Last September, the Pacagoula City Council voted to name a bridge along the beach in honor of Buffett, who attended a dedication ceremony and performed for the crowd.

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Jimmy Buffett Musical to Premiere in San Diego

From the San Diego Union Tribune: “La Jolla Playhouse to premiere Jimmy Buffett musical”

From the Parrotheads (and musical-theater fans), get ready: Margaritaville is moving to San Diego.

La Jolla Playhouse is announcing this morning that a new, as-yet-untitled musical featuring the music of Jimmy Buffett will have its world premiere at the theater in May 2017.

The show’s producers had announced in December that Christopher Ashley, the Playhouse’s artistic chief, would direct the project. But now the musical will officially launch at the theater that has sent more than two dozen productions to Broadway.

Production dates are set for May 16 to June 25, 2017. Don’t line up for tickets just yet, though: They’ll initially be available solely via 2017-18 season subscriptions, and right now the Playhouse is only selling subscriptions for its 2016-17 season.

Although there’s no word at this point on what specific songs the musical will include, it will offer a mix of Buffett classics and original songs. (In case you somehow missed his work over the past four-plus-decades, Buffett’s most popular tunes include “Come Monday,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “A Pirate Looks at Forty” and, of course, the 1977 hit “Margaritaville.”)

Producers also have revealed a bit more information about the storyline of the show, centered not just on the music but on the good-time vibe of the massively popular Buffett, whose devoted followers proudly dub themselves “Parrotheads”.

The musical, written by the television pros Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, “is the story of a part-time singer, part-time bartender and full-time good ol’ boy named Tully who suddenly finds himself in uncharted territory — falling in love with a beautiful, career-minded tourist.” (Which sounds more than a little like a backstory to the lyrics of “Margaritaville.”)

The show is produced by special arrangement with Frank Marshall, Mindy Rich, Anita Waxman and Beth Williams, Broadway veterans who among them have numerous connections to past Playhouse shows.

There’s no official word at this point on potential Broadway prospects for the show, although based on those commercial producers’ involvement, you can bet that Buffett has trained his pirate eye on New York.

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Top Buffett News Story of 2015

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Jimmy Buffett Musical to Debut in 2017

From the Hollywood Reporter: “Jimmy Buffett Musical in the Works

Directed by Christopher Ashley, the untitled production is eyeing a 2017 debut.

From a Jurassic World collaboration to … a new musical?

Indeed. A production featuring the music and lifestyle of “Margaritaville” musician Jimmy Buffett is in the works, producers Frank Marshall, Mindy Rich, Anita Waxman and Beth Williams announced Thursday.

Marshall featured his good friend Buffett in Jurassic World with a cameo as a Margaritaville restaurant bartender and included a new song by the musician on the film’s soundtrack. Buffett also performed at the blockbuster’s buzzy premiere party with the film’s star, Chris Pratt.

The as-yet-untitled Buffett show will include an original story by co-book writers Greg Garcia (creator of My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope and Yes, Dear) and Mike O’Malley (Yes, Dear and Glee), with Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley (Memphis, Xanadu) on board to direct.

The idea of turning ‘Margaritaville’ into a musical has been percolating for quite a while, but finding the right people to tell the right kind of story to go with the right songs from my catalog took some time,” Buffett said in a statement. “Now we have found our crew and I am happy to sail with them to ‘Margaritaville.’ It’s going to be a fun voyage.”

Garcia added: “Buffett’s music means so much to so many people. It’s a lifestyle. A way of looking at the world. We hope to tap into what Jimmy has created and help bring that fun to the stage.” Added Ashley: “Not only is his song catalog a treasure trove, but we also have his unique spirit to draw upon for inspiration.”

While no indication has been given whether the show is aiming for Broadway or a regional tryout, details are expected to be announced for a 2017 world premiere. Ashley serves as artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse, making that seem a likely first destination for the project.

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Buffett tours cannabis dispensary in Denver

Buffett wants to trademark the term ‘Coral Reefer’

From CelebStoner.com: “Jimmy Buffett Wants to Trademark the Term ‘Coral Reefer’

Chief Parrothead Jimmy Buffett likes weed so much that, more than 40 years ago, he named his group the Coral Reefer Band. Now Buffett wants to trademark the name and sell marijuana-related products.

In 2014, Buffett’s company, Margaritaville Enterprises LLC, filed for the trademark. Among the potential products listed in the application are electronic cigarettes, herbs for smoking, cigarette papers, cigarette rolling machines, smoking pipes, tobacco grinders and hookahs.

Not much has transpired since then, though Margaritaville Enterprises clearly has its eye on the same prize Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson and the Bob Marley Estate are currently pursuing – products based around their celebrity with cannabis costumers in mind.

In January, Buffett visited MiNDFUL’s grow facility in Denver. According to an article and photos posted at Buffettnews.com, “There is speculation that Buffett may invest in the cannabis company.”

Buffett may seem new to the pot party, but that’s hardly be the case. He was the first musician ever interviewed ever in High Times, in 1976. His classic stoner song, “A Pirate at 40,” is all about the marijuana smuggler’s life.

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Margaritaville’s Competive Edge

From Travel Pulse: “Margaritaville CEO on Hotel Brand’s Competitive Edge

In an age when lifestyle hotels are all the rage, the CEO of Margaritaville Holdings, the company that manages the Margaritaville hotel brand, believes the company has a considerable edge over the competition.

“Margaritaville is about a lifestyle, and we’re providing that lifestyle through the hotel experience,” said John Cohlan. “I like to say that the soundtrack of family vacations for the last 30 years has tended to be our music. When you come to Margaritaville you’re walking into a way of life that you are familiar with – which is why you’re going there.”

From Cohlan’s point of view, the $170 million Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, which is set to make its debut in October, serves as a case in point. “To me, it’s the most iconic project we’ve done in 20 years,” he said, adding that the Broward County, Fla. 17-story property will four pools, a FlowRider Double and a considerable number of branded food and beverage outlets, including the License to Chill Bar and the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill.

While Margaritaville, the brainchild of singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, can trace its roots back to 1987 with the opening of a restaurant in Key West, the company is a relative newcomer to the hotel business.

The first Margaritaville debuted 2010 with the opening of the Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Pensacola, Fla. The Margaritaville Resort Casino debuted in Bossier, La., in 2013, and the Margaritaville Island Hotel opened in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., in 2014.

Margaritaville is also dipping its toes into the vacation ownership business through a partnership with Wyndham, with plans for Margaritaville Vacation Club timeshare properties in St. Thomas and Puerto Rico. “It’s the only time Wyndham has used another brand to create a vacation club that’s part of the Wyndham system,” said Cohlan.

The type of traveler attracted to Margaritaville hotels is equally broad. “Our guests are people who love the idea of tropical escapism – anybody who enjoys the beach or warm weather,” he said. “Our three existing hotels are doing very, very well and we have hopes for Margaritaville Hollywood.”

Cohlan added that further expansion plans are underway. “We’ll be announcing another major project in the U.S. soon,” Cohlan said.

Reservations for Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort are now available

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