Buffett talks about Escape to Margaritaville at the National Theatre

From WTOP: “Q&A: Jimmy Buffett brings ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ to National Theatre

Attention, Parrotheads! Your captain just set sail toward the nation’s capital.

Jimmy Buffett brings the U.S. national tour of his stage musical “Escape to Margaritaville” to National Theatre for one week this Tuesday through Sunday.

“It started right here in Washington D.C.,” Buffett told WTOP. “A friend of mine, the great Jack Boyle, who ran the Cellar Door in Georgetown, believed in me long before anybody else years ago when I was a solo act. He brought me to the D.C. area. … He was a big fan of [‘The Caine Mutiny’ author] Herman Wouk and Jack Boyle said, ‘You ought to look at ‘Don’t Stop the Carnival’ as a musical.’”

So, Buffett left his sailboat in the Caribbean and set out to find Wouk, who had written the 1965 novel that inspired Buffet’s “Don’t Stop the Carnival” album.

Thus, “Escape to Margaritaville” was born, debuting in San Diego in 2017 before hitting New Orleans, Houston, Chicago and ultimately Broadway in 2018. This time, Buffett hired Emmy winner Greg Garcia (“My Name is Earl”) and Emmy nominee Mike O’Malley (“Shameless”) to weave a story around his greatest hits.

“When the writers came along, it was very important that they were part of that group of people who were basically Parrotheads,” Buffett said. “It was important that the music was a part of their lives and it wasn’t just a writing assignment. Authenticity was absolutely important. They knew the songs enough to stitch together a story. … It’s all just recognition and energy. You’ve got energy up, energy down. That’s the way you write any show, you got the highs and lows.”

“I did the same thing,” Buffett said. “There’s a scene where the girl that he’s interested in asks him questions that make him nervous about why did you come here? It’s a great little speech and at the end he goes, ‘The cold.’ That’s why I went to Key West — to get warm. … Then there’s two women on vacation who are best friends. One is very carefree, the other is a stick-in-the-mud … but eventually the margaritas and sun change her attitude — and her latitude!”

“Most of the songs that I write are autobiographical,” Buffett said. “Having that much material that’s affected people in a positive way with a little release from the tediousness of daily life, I was so lucky to just get that job and wound up in Key West, Florida, which accelerated the process writing about places I loved. Then I realized that was in everybody’s culture and everybody needs a couple days off, so I was lucky enough to kind of put my thumb on that pulse beat.”

“I love musical theater,” Buffett said. “My mother was a great local performer in Mobile, Alabama, so I would go to shows with her [like] ‘South Pacific.’ So it’s nice to come full circle. Plus, Jack was so good to me in the D.C. area, to give me a break and play the Cellar Door in those days. I still have a $300 check I never cashed for a week at Cellar Door. I still have it framed in my office!”

You might even see him at National Theatre, confirming he’ll attend Tuesday.

“I’m very excited,” Buffett said. “I’ve seen this cast. They’re very young and very invigorating. It’s like minor league ball. I love baseball. It’s just like seeing everybody at that level and it’s always part of the process. This is where you start if you want to go the distance. I was lucky enough to make it that way and my biggest thrill would be if kids who starred in this show had that same experience.”

buffett providence new album Oceans of Time

Buffett talks about “Escape to Margaritaville” and his new album “Oceans of Time”

Jimmy Buffett talks about how his laid-back island tunes inspired the musical, which launches its national tour at Providence Performing Arts Center on Sept. 29 and his new album titled “Oceans of Time” that’s due out in the spring.

From the Providence Journal: “Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ will have Parrotheads flocking to Providence

The sun is particularly bright over the Providence Performing Arts Center, which is hosting the launch of the North American tour of “Escape to Margaritaville” on Sept. 29. A buoyant love story based on the music of Jimmy Buffett, the play introduces original songs along with favorites like “Fins,” “Volcano” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise” that promotional posters promise will “knock your flip-flops off.”

Clad in a baby-blue striped polo shirt, tan cargo shorts and slip-on sneakers, with a baseball cap on his head, Buffett kicked back in a chair at PPAC and recalled how his mother instilled a love for the performing arts in him when he was growing up in Mobile, Alabama.

“She was part of a local theater group and played Bloody Mary in ‘South Pacific!’” he said. “She would take me to a lot of shows.”

Instead of theater, Buffett’s music career took off — the singer-songwriter has more than 50 albums on his résumé and legions of fans called Parrotheads thronging sold-out concerts worldwide every summer. He has also written several books, making him one of only nine authors to notch the top spot on both The New York Times best-seller lists in fiction and nonfiction. Playwriting, however, seemed more elusive.

″[Broadway theater owner and producer] Jimmy Nederlander Jr. wanted me to do a one-man show on Broadway 30 years ago,” he said. “I also connected with Herman Wouk in the ’90s to create a musical based on his book ‘Don’t Stop the Carnival.’”

The storyteller — who often quipped “long story short” in mid-stride — worked with Wouk on the seven- or eight-year process to stage “Don’t Stop the Carnival.” Along the way, Buffett said, he gleaned valuable skills from his mentor on the road to the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, where the show opened in 1997.

“We were good friends and fellow sailors,” he began, “and I was living in the Caribbean where the book was like the bible and everyone had Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley tapes playing. We knew it would make a great musical.”

He agreed to participate in the creation of “Escape to Margaritaville,” but he had a few conditions. He insisted that it be left to writers who “knew and lived the culture” of a place like Margaritaville. That took three years to find, but he said Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley understood how his songs fit a casual, tropical style.

“I then told them the story must have three elements — someone moving from a cold to a warm climate, a sense of escapism and a love story,” Buffett added, noting that the play focuses on a young man who moves from Maine to the tropics and falls in love. “They’d write, and then I’d do what they called ‘Buffettizing’ and I’d tweak things.”

The play hasn’t been his only project lately. Buffett said he’s preparing for his first album release in 14 years, titled “Oceans of Time.” It’s due out in the spring.

“It never gets old,” he said of creating music. “I’m just a child of the ocean.”

Casting Announced For Escape to Margaritaville National Tour

From Broadway.com: Trouble turns funny, songs get sung and one good song will last all night long! Newcomers Chris Clark and Sarah Hinrichsen will star in the upcoming national tour of Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville. They’ll play Tully and Rachel, respectively, in the road production of the Broadway musical, where they’ll be joined by Shelly Lynn Walsh as Tammy and Peter Michael Jordan as Brick. The Margaritaville tour will kick off at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, RI, on September 29, before heading to over 35 cities across the U.S. in the first year.

“This talented cast has been hand-selected to share and celebrate the story, music and lifestyle of this show on its first national tour,” said Jimmy Buffett, in a statement to the press. “I am thrilled that this group of performers will transform theaters into Margaritaville each evening. Margaritaville started out as an idea, but now you can actually spend an evening there, and get your mind on island time.”

Welcome to Margaritaville, where people come to get away from it all—and stay to find something they never expected. Get ready for a hilarious and heartwarming musical with the most unforgettable songs from one of music’s greatest storytellers.

Tickets are available at EscapeToMargaritavilleMusical.com

Buffett promotes Escape to Margaritaville national tour

From WPRI: “Jimmy Buffett fans can ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ next month at PPAC

If you want to escape to Margaritaville, just head to the Providence Performing Arts Center next month.

Jimmy Buffett’s musical comedy premieres at PPAC on Sept. 29.

Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, the singer-songwriter said having spent plenty of time on the East Coast before, he’s excited the show kicks off its North American tour in Providence.

“I know this market pretty well, and I’m honored that y’all are the first ones to have us,” he said.

Buffet said the show brings a diverse audience and it’s mostly for all ages.

“You can plug their ears a couple times but it’s nothing really bad, you know?” he said with a laugh.

Buffett hopes—like the name of the show says—it will give the audience an escape.

“Well, I think it’s obvious in the times we live that an oasis in anybody’s life is where you can go and have two hours of fun and get away from the hectic world that we seem to be living in these days is good for everybody,” he said.

Buffett also kicks off an international tour next month. When asked if fans can expect to see him make any special appearances between tour dates, he said, “there’s a good possibility” he shows up.

As for what’s next, Buffett said he has some ideas in the works.

“I’m going to rehearsals in New York because I’m going to pitch myself as a potential part-time role where I can slip on stage. I don’t want to just come sing Margaritaville, I want to act [laughs] about that much,” he joked.

“Escape to Margaritaville” runs at PPAC Sept. 29 through Oct. 5.

Tickets are on sale now at the PPAC box office, by phone at (401) 421-ARTS (2787) or by visiting ppacri.org.

Tickets for the “Escape to Margaritaville” North America tour are on sale at EscapetoMargaritavilleMusical.com

Herman Wouk

Legendary author Herman Wouk dies at 103

From the Hollywood Reporter: “Herman Wouk, Author of ‘The Caine Mutiny’ and ‘The Winds of War,’ Dies at 103

Herman Wouk, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Caine Mutiny that became a Broadway hit and then a Columbia Pictures classic that starred Humphrey Bogart in a career-defining performance, has died. He was 103.

Wouk died Friday in his sleep at his home in Palm Springs, his literary agent Amy Rennert told the Associated Press.

Wouk wrote the Caribbean-set 1965 comedy “Don’t Stop the Carnival”, which Jimmy Buffett used as the basis for a 1998 album and short-lived musical.

The musical “Don’t Stop the Carnival” had a six week run at the Coconut Grove playhouse in Miami in April 1997. The musical then had a run at the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas in 2001.

“Escape to Margaritaville” Open Casting Call

The first national tour of the Jimmy Buffett jukebox musical “Escape to Margaritaville” is holding an open casting call in New York City for all principal roles.

Join the first national tour of the Jimmy Buffett jukebox musical “Escape to Margaritaville.” Talent, aged 20 and older, is wanted for all principal roles in the production, including Tully, Rachel, and others. There will be an open casting call on March 26 and 27 in NYC. Rehearsals will begin on or about Aug. 26, followed by travel for tech around Sept. 23 in Providence, Rhode Island, and a press opening on Oct. 3. Contracts run through Aug. 23, 2020. Pay is $750 per week with a weekly per diem, travel, and housing provided during the tour. Apply here!

Rehearsal and Production Dates & Locations – Rehearsals begin on or around Aug. 26 in NYC; travel for tech on or around Sept. 23 in Providence, RI; press opening on or around Oct. 3 in Providence, RI. Contracts run through approx. Aug. 23, 2020.

escape to margaritaville

“Escape to Margaritaville” Musical coming to Las Vegas

The “Escape to Margaritaville” national tour will include a run in Las Vegas in January 2020. There are now three stops for the traveling musical that have been announced (other dates and cities TBA).

Oct 2019 – Providence Performing Arts Center – Providence RI
Nov 19 — Dec 1, 2019 – Broward Center for the Performing Arts – Fort Lauderdale FL
Jan 7 — Jan 12, 2020 – The Smith Center for the Performing Arts – Las Vegas NV

Jimmy Buffett’s sunny new musical, Escape to Margaritaville, is heading out across North America in 2019 for their first national tour! With an emphasis on ‘not sweating the small stuff’ Buffet’s musical oozes with the musicians greatest hits, with it’s chilled out party atmosphere it’s time to Escape to Margaritaville!

With a book by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley and music and lyrics by Buffet himself, this semi-autobiographical musical is named after Buffet’s 1977 smash hit ‘Margaritaville’ which also saw the star inducted into the 2016 Grammy Hall of Fame. Depicting images of ice-cold cocktails and bright beaches, Escape to Margaritaville celebrates life on a tropical island, and is sure you to leave you with that glowing summer feeling.

Escape to Margaritaville follows the fortunes of charming bartender and singer Tully, who spends his days between shifts seducing the rich female tourists on the tropical island of Margaritaville. Known as a local ladykiller, Tully can sweet-talk his way out of almost any scrape he finds himself in, whether it be an irate husband or frustrated boss. That is until the arrival of a lone, single female tourist who takes her career seriously; Tully falls head over heels but she is as frosty as the drinks he serves behind the bar. Can he win her heart before she flies home, and will the swaying palms and warm summer breeze convince them to both change their ways?