The long-gestating musical featuring the country-flavored songbook and laid-back “lifestyle” of “Margaritaville” singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, has settled on a title and announced the rest of its creative team. Escape to Margaritaville will have its world premiere May 16, 2017, at La Jolla Playhouse in California.
As previously announced, producers Frank Marshall, Mindy Rich, Anita Waxman and Beth Williams are developing the new musical with an original story by co-book writers Greg Garcia and Mike O'Malley.
Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley is scheduled to direct the production, which will have its official opening May 27, 2017, for a limited run through June 25 of that year. The creative team will also include Tony-nominated choreographer Kelly Devine, scenic designer Walt Spangler, Tony-winning costume designer Paul Tazewell, Tony-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley, and two-time Tony-winning sound designer Brian Ronan.
Casting is yet to be announced.
Buffett, who records with his long-time sidemen the Coral Reefer Band, has amassed a songbook that includes the hits "Come Monday" and "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," and the albums "License to Chill," "Take the Weather With You," "Havana Daydreamin'," "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" and others.
The song "Margaritaville" tells the story of a man reflecting on his love life as he imbibes the potent tequila-based cocktail.
Buffett issued a press statement, saying, "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 catalogue took some time. Now we have found our crew and I am happy to sail with them to Margaritaville. It's going to be a fun voyage." Buffett worked for several years on an original Broadway-aimed musical Carnival, based on Herman Wouk's novel "Don't Stop the Carnival," which had a tryout in Miami in 1997, but did not continue on.
He has three best-sellers to his credit, "Tales from Margaritaville," "Where Is Joe Merchant?" and "A Pirate Looks At Fifty."
"As lifelong Buffett fans Mike and I jumped at the opportunity to work together on this project," Garcia said. "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."
"Working on this project is like being invited to the best party ever," Ashley said. "Not only is his song catalogue a treasure trove, but we also have his unique spirit to draw upon for inspiration."
(Updated June 27, 2016)