New Jimmy Buffett Musical Titled ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE; Creative Team Set!

By: Jun. 27, 2016
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Paradise has a name!

Producers Frank Marshall, Mindy Rich, Anita Waxman, and Beth Williams announced today that the new musical featuring the songs of legendary singer-songwriter-author Jimmy Buffett will be called Escape to Margaritaville.

As previously announced, the show, which will have its world premiere steps from the ocean at the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California, will feature an original story by co-book writers Greg Garcia ("My Name is Earl") and Mike O'Malley ("Survivor's Remorse," "Shameless"), and will be directed by two-time Tony Award nominee and Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.

The creative team will also include Tony-nominated Choreographer Kelly Devine, Scenic Designer Walt Spangler, Tony Award-winning Costume Designer Paul Tazewell, Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Howell Binkley, and two-time Tony Award-winning Sound Designer Brian Ronan.

ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE will play a strictly limited engagement to kick off La Jolla Playhouse's 2017/2018 season, with performances beginning on May 16, 2017, an official opening night of May 28, and will play through June 25, 2017.

Featuring both original songs and your most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics, this new musical is the story of a tropical island resort and it's part-time bartender, part-time singer and full time charmer who thinks he's got life all figured out. Until a beautiful career minded tourist steals his heart and makes him question everything.

Additional information, including casting, will be announced shortly.

Get ready for the show with a video of Jimmy Buffett performing "Margaritaville" on THE ELLEN SHOW below!


Jimmy Buffett (Composer/Lyricist). Singer/songwriter/author Jimmy Buffett has become a legend of popular culture as the composer of such classic songs as "Margaritaville," "Come Monday," and "Cheeseburger In Paradise." He has recorded over fifty albums, most of which have gone gold, platinum or multi-platinum. His sold-out concert tours are an annual rite of summer for his legions of fans, affectionately known as Parrotheads, many of whom are professionals by day and who dress in spectacular and outrageous tropical outfits and headwear when Jimmy comes to town. Born in the Gulf Coast town of Pascagoula, Mississippi, he was raised in Mobile, Alabama. He is a fourth-generation sailor and fisherman, a pilot, a surfer, and a frequent traveler to remote and exotic places of the world, having become addicted to National Geographic magazine as a child. The lyrics to many of his songs are influenced by his travels all over the globe. As a best-selling author, he is one of only nine authors in the history of the New York Times Bestseller List to have reached #1 on both their fiction and non-fiction lists. Jimmy has received two Grammy nominations, numerous Country Music Association awards and was the recipient of one of the nation's highest songwriting honors when he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame. And now Jimmy is heading into the Theatre world. The idea of turning Margaritaville into a musical has been percolating for quite a while but it's gearing up to make its debut in the near future. It will feature the music and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, from an original story, and includes both new songs and the most-loved Buffett classics. Speaking of Buffett classics, the most famous of them all, "Margaritaville" has been inducted into the 2016 Grammy Hall of Fame for its cultural and historic significance. Only those recordings that have influenced and inspired both music creators and fans for generations are considered for this most special honor.

Greg Garcia (Bookwriter) created three back to back syndicated comedies: "Yes Dear," "My Name Is Earl," and "Raising Hope." He has written on a variety of other sitcoms including "Family Matters" and "Family Guy," and won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy series for the pilot of "My Name is Earl." In addition to his own creations, Garcia supervises writers and produces projects through his Production Company Amigos de Garcia. In addition to his work in TV Garcia is currently co-writing Escape to Margaritaville and still finds time to do things like work at Burger King during the last writer's strike because, why not?

Mike O'Malley (Bookwriter). Truly a multi-hyphenate, Mike O'Malley got his start in front of the camera hosting Nickelodeon's "Get the Picture" and the iconic game show "Guts". His success continued in television with standout roles in "Yes Dear," "My Name Is Earl," "My Own Worst Enemy," "Justified," and his Emmy®-nominated, groundbreaking performance as 'Burt Hummel' on the hit show "Glee." Mike's feature work includes roles in Eat Pray Love, Cedar Rapids, Leatherheads, Meet Dave, 28 Days, Concussionand the upcoming Clint Eastwood project, Sully. Also an accomplished writer, Mike wrote and produced the independent featureCertainty, which he adapted from his own play. In television, Mike has served as a consulting producer on "Shameless" and is in his third season as creator and executive producer of "Survivor's Remorse" for Starz.

Christopher Ashley (Director) is the current Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA. Broadway directing credits include: Leap of Faith (Drama Desk nomination, Best Director; Best Musical; Tony nomination Best Musical); Memphis (Tony, Outer Critics Circle nominations - Best Direction of a Musical); Xanadu (Drama Desk nomination); All Shook Up; Rocky Horror Show(Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations - Best Direction of a Musical); The Smell Of The Kill; and Voices In The Dark. Other New York credits include: Blown Sideways Through Life, Jeffrey (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla, Regrets Only, Wonder of the World, Communicating Doors, Bunny Bunny, The Night Hank Williams Died and Fires in the Mirror (Lucille Lortel Award), among others. Upcoming stage projects include Freaky Friday for Disney Theatricals. In addition to his work for the stage, Ashley directed the screen adaptation of "Lucky Stiff," the feature film of Jeffrey, and the American Playhouse production of "Blown Sideways Through Life" for PBS. Mr. Ashley is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, the Drama League Director Fellowship and an NEA/TCG Director Fellowship.

Kelly Devine (Choreographer). Broadway: Zhivago, Rocky (Tony nom., Drama Desk nom., Outer Critics nom.), Rock of Ages; International: Rocky (Germany), Rock of Ages (West End, UK tour, Toronto, Australia ~ Helpmann & Green Room Awards); Opera:Faust (The Met & ENO), Wozzeck (San Diego Opera), Off Broadway: Rock of Ages, Fat Camp, Frankenstein, Anne Wrecksick; Regional: Come From Away (La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Rep), Toxic Avenger, A Christmas Story and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Peter and the Starcatcher, Zhivago, Private Fittiings (La Jolle); Stratford Shakespeare Festival: Cabaret, Romeo & Juliet; Film and Television: Mozart in the Jungle, Dear Dumb Diary, Noami and Elf's No Kiss List, Happy Texas, Zombie Prom.

Walt Spangler (Scenic Designer). Broadway credits include Tuck Everlasting, directed by Casey Nicholaw; A Christmas Story The Musical, directed by John Rando; Desire Under The Elms, directed by Robert Falls; Scandalous, directed by David Armstrong; andHollywood Arms, directed by Harold Prince. Recent Off-Broadway credits include the world premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis' Pulitzer Prize winning drama Between Riverside and Crazy, directed by Austin Pendleton; and the world premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's Hold On to Me Darling, directed by Neil Pepe. This season Walt designed the highly acclaimed stage adaption of Roberto Bolano's epic novel 2666, directed by Robert Falls and Seth Bockley for The Goodman Theater; and Frank Galati's world premiere stage adaptation of East of Eden, directed by Terry Kinney for Steppenwolf.

Paul Tazewell (Costume Designer) has over fourteen years of experience designing. He has designed extensively in the United States and internationally for theatre, dance and opera. Selected credits include: Television: "The Wiz! Live." Broadway: Hamilton(Tony Award Winner), Side Show, Doctor Zhivago, Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk (Tony Nomination), Memphis (Tony Nomination), In the Heights (Tony Nomination), The Color Purple (Tony Nomination), A Streetcar Named Desire (Tony Nomination),On the Town, Def Poetry Jam, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, Fascinating Rhythm. Off-Broadway: Flesh and Blood, Harlem Song, Dina Was, City Center Encores! Li'l Abner, Once Around the City, Before It Hits Home, Playboy of the West Indies (Lincoln Center Theatre). The Public Theatre: Barbecue, Boston Marriage, One Flea Spare, Henry V, Venus, Blade to the Heat. Regional: Arena Stage, The Guthrie Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Center Stage, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Seattle Rep, Trinity Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, The ALLIANCE THEATRE, Milwaukee Rep, Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet. Paul is a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts and NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Howell Binkley (Lighting Designer). Tony Award®-winner for Hamilton and Jersey Boys. Other Broadway Works Include: Allegiance, Jesus Christ Superstar, After Midnight (2014 Tony nomination), How to Succeed...starring Daniel Radcliffe (2011 Tony nomination), West Side Story (2009 Tony nomination), Gypsy starring Patti LuPone, In The Heights (2008 Tony nomination), Avenue Q, The Full Monty, Parade, Kiss Of The Spider Woman (1993 Tony nomination). Extensive Regional and dance works include The Joffrey Ballet's Billboards, Co-Founder and Resident Lighting Designer for Parsons Dance. Proud recipient of the 1993 Sir Laurence Olivier Award and Canadian Dora Award for Kiss of The Spider Woman, the 2006 Henry Hewes Design Award and Outer Critics Circle for Jersey Boys, and the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Hamilton.

Brian Ronan (Sound Designer). More than 30 Broadway shows, including The Last Ship; Cabaret; If/Then; Beautiful; Annie; Bring It On; Nice Work...; The Book of Mormon; Anything Goes; American Idiot; Promises, Promises; Next to Normal; Grease; Curtains; Spring Awakening; Grey Gardens; and The Pajama Game. Brian is the recipient of Obie, Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, London's Olivier and two Tony Awards.

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist residencies and commissions, including BD Wong, Daniel Beaty and Kirsten Greenidge. Currently led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff. La Jolla Playhouse has had 25 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 35 Tony Awards, among them Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who's Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of The Playhouse's Page To Stage Program. Visit for more.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride


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