Jimmy Buffett’s Escape To Margaritaville Musical

Calling all Parrotheads, laid- back Lothario’s, and men & women who simply want to have fun! Lets “Escape to Margaritaville – Set Your Mind To Island Time” is the Jimmy Buffett musical not to miss.  Even “type-A” personalities will kick off their wingtips for flip flops, drink your favorite margarita and listen to Jimmy Buffett’s unique mix of the Caribbean, pop, country, rock, and folk, otherwise called ‘ trop rock.’ Let’s be real; this is a Jukebox musical in its enjoyable form, kick-back unwind and enjoy the show.

Wasted Away in Margaritaville” is not such a wrong way to spend a few hours being inspired, just ask Patrick Cogan, who plays J.D., in autobiographical musical of Jimmy Buffett.  Cogan claims, “It’s cheaper to purchase a ticket to the show than to fly into the Bahamas and lovers, Parrotheads or not, will find the ‘Consent to Chill’ fun. The Island vibe is so pleasant and pervasive that this series is unlike any other.”

Locations For The Jimmy Buffett Theater Musical

LOCATION

CITIES

DATES

Gallo Center for the Arts Modesto, CA Feb 12 — Feb 13, 2020
Pioneer Center for the Performing Art Reno, NV Feb 14 — Feb 16, 2020
Dolby Theatre Los Angeles, CA Feb 18 — Mar 8, 2020
Memorial Hall Pueblo, CO Mar 11, 2020
Popejoy Hall Albuquerque, NM Mar 12 — Mar 15, 2020
The Classic Center Athens, GA Mar 18, 2020
RiverCenter for the Performing Arts Columbus, GA Mar 19, 2020
Von Braun Center Huntsville, AL Mar 20 — Mar 22, 2020
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Appleton, WI Mar 24 — Mar 29, 2020
Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall Fort Myers, FL Apr 1 — Apr 5, 2020
Peace Center Greenville, SC Apr 7 — Apr 12, 2020
Procter & Gamble Hall Cincinnati, OH Apr 14 — Apr 19, 2020
Charleston Gaillard Center Charleston, SC Apr 21, 2020
Proctors Schenectady, NY Apr 24 — Apr 26, 2020
Durham Performing Arts Center  Durham, NC Apr 28 — May 3, 2020
Andrew Jackson Hall  Nashville, TN May 5 — May 10, 2020
Benedum Center  Pittsburgh, PA May 12 — May 17, 2020
Devos Performance Hall Grand Rapids, MI May 26 — May 31, 2020
Shea’s Performing Arts Center Buffalo, NY Jun 2 — Jun 7, 2020
The Bushnell Performing Arts Center Hartford, CT Jun 9 — Jun 14, 2020
Academy of Music Philadelphia, PA Jun 16 — Jun 28, 2020
Orpheum Theater Omaha, NE July 7 — Jul 12, 2020
Saenger Theatre New Orleans, LA July 17 — Jul 19, 2020
Starlight Theater  Kansas City, MO July 21 — Jul 26, 2020
Music Hall at Fair Park Dallas, TX July 28 — Aug 9, 2020
Bass Performance Hall Fort Worth, TX Aug 11 — Aug 16, 2020
Tulsa Performing Arts Center Tulsa, OK Aug 18 — Aug 23, 2020

 

The lead actor, Patrick Cogan has the chops, not just as an actor but from a personal standpoint to hype “Escape to Margaritaville.” Although he returned to the game after a 15-year hiatus serving at Mason-Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, he has been a professional performer for more than 40 years. He says, “I always had this nebulous plan I would return to the touring life when the children were older.

“The audition notification for ‘Escape to Margaritaville, ‘was another way where there was an adjustment of divine bodies catching me up at the ideal time and the ideal location,” Cogan says. He continues, “I am an original ‘Parrothead.’ I went to college in Cincinnati and captured Buffett’s concerts every summer when he played there.”

Image: escapetomargaritavillemusical.com

Cogan, who is a self-described’ singer, performer and mover,’ now adds great ukulele player to the list. He says, “I needed to learn how to play ‘Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw’ on the ukulele for my audition. Afterward, one of the producers said when I walked in with the ukulele, I had the gig.”

It’s best to set your mind on Island time when going to”Margaritaville.” Cogan says, “it is the music which helps me get to the island vibe. We’ve got an awesome group, and audiences will probably hear it at a stage setting designed to indicate chilling out in paradise. A lot of Buffett tunes aren’t sung. Folks will hear Easter eggs of song lyrics as visual or dialogue images. This is a hidden gem of something that accurate Parrotheads will recognize as a tip of the hat to them.”

There’s no doubting that “Escape to Margaritaville” is a “jukebox’ musical but what makes the four mixed traditional boy meets girls’ stories within the series work so fine is because Cogan tells “Songs by jimmy easily present themselves to the musical as the lyrics are so thick and deep they could become spoken dialogue & make sense. Buffett said that it was intriguing to see the tales he’d told in the song come alive on stage.”

“Escape to Margaritaville” was dubbed as a take on Jimmy Buffett’s life. Buffett began his profession with Key West’s Pier House Hotel by playing for drinks, and the Tully character, Lothario, a guitar-strumming languid, may hit on closer to the younger self of Buffet. But, Cogan asserts, “All four principal male characters are an amalgamation of Jimmy. Jimmy is a multi-faceted human being, and the show’s characters reveal the many aspects of his personality.”

“As for J.D.,” Cogan declares with a laugh, “my character’s title stands for ‘Just Drinking.’ Well, not actually, but that is his brand. J.D. is a one-eyed old renegade with designs on Marley, the feisty owner of the Hotel Margaritaville. He is one of those aromatic barflies who have captivating tales to tell. To people who don’t just walk by, he is an undiscovered treasure.”

There are 25 Buffett songs in “Escape to Margaritaville.” One of the various ditties of laid-back limericks, Buffett’s preference is “He Went to Paris.” Cogan agrees, stating, “I am a little prejudiced, because my man, J.D., went to Paris and singing that tune explains his biography. It hints of his becoming this lovely, rogue, and a rude customer with a spirit of gold. The song takes a sigh of life into J.D.’s narrative, and of all the character, his evolution goes the deepest.”

Cogan considers himself a laid-back, easy-breezy kind of fella, so he has that in common with his musical alter-ego. The series opened on 61st Birthday of Cogan, and he says, “I am happy to have welcomed. All of my peccadillos and triumph are in my earlier years. They’ve enriched my life now, so when my friends learned I had landed this role and said to me ‘Pat, you won’t need to act,’ I just laughed.”

“We don’t know where we are going to go when the Volcano blow’ is a brilliant opening to Act II.” explains Cogan, “everybody is reasonably familiar with the famed Buffett song. It is a big, rolling good time that propels us to the more in-depth stories. The first act of the show is light and sort of expository. The second act is where we dive into the chronicles of the character. Starting off with “Volcano” is an excellent means to do that.”

It may really be the best time to “Escape to Margaritaville.” The Jimmy Buffett-style Broadway musical show is making a wave by Spokane next week as part of its first nationwide tour.

The show takes the Buffett’s breezy and weaves it into a story regarding a group of people hanging around a past-its-prime resort on a Caribbean island. When two visitors check-in, the hotel transforms into a center of adventure, fun, love, and friendship.

Indeed, when it is 40 degrees outdoor, the notion of moving to a tropical locale even when the sand imported and palm trees are fake — has its appeal. And as celebrity Rachel Lyn Fobbs put it, “Wear your best tropical outfit under your parka!”

Fobbs plays Marley, the owner of this Margaritaville Hotel. She employs a part-time bartender, Brick, along with his friend, Tully, a singer. Looks for J.D., the resident barfly, and assists “her boys,” as she put it, get their fantasies.

“She is so much pleasure,” Fobbs said by telephone this week. “Little bit like me, she likes to care for everybody.” That entails running from a volcano, woven into the series presumably since Buffett released a song and album titled “Volcano” in 1979.

An earlier hit, improbably, has a location in the series also. A great and amazing place, Fobbs said. “There’s an awesome number with cheeseburgers,” Fobbs said with a smile. “How we unite (“Cheeseburger in Paradise”) is so enjoyable.”

Fun is surely the vibe in regards to Buffett, a singer-songwriter who has been setting his “island escapism” brand of music starting from the early 1970s.

Fobbs said the series packs in a lot for the Parrotheads — aka Buffett’s faithful fanbase. Along with big hits such as”Margaritaville,””Come Monday,” and “It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere,” the series is sprayed with Easter eggs — little jokes and song quotes that are certain to make the Parrotheads laugh.

For those in the public who aren’t Buffet lovers or familiar with his music beyond what they’ve on the radio, “It is a classic musical,” Fobbs said. “So theatre lovers will get their dance numbers, they will find the lights and the costumes. Everything they love about theatre, they will get.

“They’ll also get singalongs and call-and-response things. There’s a lot of involvement with people on the stage. Like Marley, I consider the audience also to be my guests at the resort, so I attempt to include everyone through the series and make everybody feels the island vibe.”

Fobbs confesses she didn’t know enough about Buffett before she started the audition process, although she knows his music. She also had a chance to meet him.

“He was actually in my call-back audition, which was great,” Fobbs said. “There, no shoes, feet on the table, having a wonderful time. He used guitars of one actor and announced, ‘Hey, I’m composing a new melody for the show. Can I use this?’ … So that was my first meeting, and he’s exactly like they tell you he’s going to be.”

Image: stllimelight.com

 

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