From the Hollywood Reporter: “Producer Frank Marshall Talks Helping to Bring Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Margaritaville’ to Broadway”
“I like to put him in a movie once in a while,” says Frank Marshall of Jimmy Buffett, who has uncredited cameos in both Jurassic World movies, including June’s Fallen Kingdom. “And he puts me onstage once in a while at his concerts. But we’ve never put our heads together and created something from scratch until now.” What the longtime pals, both 71, have created is Escape to Margaritaville, a musical centered on Buffett’s oeuvre — and the beach-bum lifestyle he trademarked (literally, with his empire of restaurants, products, even retirement communities) — that starts Broadway previews Feb. 16. Not only did their friendship survive the five-year journey to create the show, but “we had a blast doing it,” says Marshall.
The two met 38 years ago at Harrison Ford’s New Year’s Eve party in Aspen, Colorado, where Buffett was performing. They bonded over sailing, sports and guitars. “Frank is a student of the guitar,” says Buffett. “He can play ‘Margaritaville’ pretty well. So if I go down …”
“I’m kinda like the stand-in?” Marshall says.
“Well,” says Buffett, “for that song. The rest of ’em … no.”
“Who ever knew there was going to be a real Margaritaville?” Buffett says, eying a couple of wayward beach balls rolling around the Marquis mezzanine. “I didn’t write the song ever thinking it was gonna be a place you would live.”
Buffett is also blocking out the noise. “I’ve never won a Grammy. I’m not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” says the five-decade rock fixture, who Forbes estimates is worth $550 million. Still one of the industry’s top concert draws, it took him 30 years to land his first and only No. 1 album (2004’s License to Chill). He’d love to see his show recognized at the Tony Awards, “but it’s not what I’m out here to do,” he says with a grin. “We’re just a hard-workin’ band. It was always more important to us to have a loyal fan base. It all goes back to: We’re making a show that’s fun — and God knows we need a little fun in the world today.”