Interview: Dale Obermark And Caitlin Sams of ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Performances run September 22nd through November 11th.

By: Sep. 17, 2023
Interview: Dale Obermark And Caitlin Sams of ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Escape to Margaritaville by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Mallery first opened on Broadway in 2018. This show, which features songs by the tropical rock legend Jimmy Buffett, is pure and simple fun, and audiences can catch it at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre September 22nd through November 11th. Dale Obermark, who plays Tully, and Caitlin Sams, who portrays Rachel, share their experience with Escape to Margaritaville.

BWW: Share a little about yourselves and how you came to be in theatre.

Caitlin: I grew up in Michigan and, like a lot of performers, started very young taking dance classes, singing in church choir, and doing every school play. In high school, my big dream was to become a famous singer-songwriter, but you couldn’t study that in college, so I decided to audition for musical theater programs and ended up getting a BFA from Western Michigan University. After graduating, I moved to NYC and have been there ever since. 

Dale: I was born and raised in Washington, Missouri, which is about an hour west of St. Louis. My introduction to the world of theater was my sophomore year of high school. A friend of mine told me I should audition for the spring musical with him, so I did it on a whim. It gave me the bug, and here I am today! However, I didn’t go on to study theatre in college. I got a degree in vocal education, and I went on to teach professionally for three years. I would perform as much as possible on the side, but, in 2019, I decided to make the big move to NYC and pursue it as a full-time career. I can confidentially say that it was the right choice to make!

BWW: If you had to choose just one, what is one character you’ve been longing to play that you haven’t had a chance to do yet?

Caitlin: My bucket-list role is Jenna in Waitress.

Dale: As of right now, my dream role is Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.

BWW: What is your favorite thing about acting/singing?

Caitlin: My favorite part is the rehearsal process. I love a room full of actors building the show together and “cracking the code” of how you make the show work. It’s like a puzzle, and it feels so satisfying when you make discoveries that you can bounce off your fellow actors and really bring the show to life. 

Dale: Performing gives me a tremendous sense of fulfillment. It makes me feel like I am in the right place, and that I’m using the gifts that I’ve been given to do something meaningful. I also love the collaborative aspect of theatre. You get a room full of people (e.g. the cast, crew, and creative team) who are doing what they’re best at, all working together to make a real and significant impact on an audience. And the beauty of theatre is that it’s universal. It doesn’t matter if you’re in small-town-America or a big city, an audience is still going to leave having felt something, whether it’s happiness, anger, sadness, or dissonance. It is really a beautiful thing.

BWW: I understand you two met doing theatre. Would you be willing to share some of that story with us?

Both: Yes! We met playing these exact roles early last year. Fast forward, and now this is our third production of Escape to Margaritaville together.  Sometimes, life really does imitate art.

BWW: Many of our readers may be familiar with Jimmy Buffett’s music, but may not be so familiar with this show. Briefly tell us a little about your character.

Both: We play Tully and Rachel, two seemingly incompatible love interests. Tully is a carefree singer at a beach bar who loves to take advantage of his status as a bachelor. Rachel is a science nerd, environmentalist, and workaholic who isn’t interested in slowing down. What starts as a vacation fling ends up sending them down different paths in their lives and careers, but don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. 

BWW: Do you think you share any traits with your character?

Caitlin: Totally. I’m very driven, fascinated by scientific data, I care deeply about the environment, and I’m practical to a fault. Rachel is a tough nut to crack and so am I. 

Dale: In some ways, yes. Most obviously, we are both music-loving guitar players. However, there is a similarity on a deeper level, too. As the show goes on, we see Tully go from a care-free, easy-going energy into a state of passion-driven work. He has a new goal in his mind that he wants to achieve, and he puts everything into making that happen. I feel like I can relate to him in that sense. When I become passionate about something, I’ll put 110% into making it happen.

BWW: What is your favorite Jimmy Buffett song—it doesn’t have to be one that’s in the show—and why is it your favorite?

Both: We both love “Come Monday”. It has such a satisfying melody and is a great example of Jimmy’s ability to capture emotion in a song that also tells a story with beautiful simplicity.

BWW: Before doing this show would you have called yourself a parrothead?

Both: Honestly, no. Doing this show has given us a whole new appreciation for his music. 

BWW: What do you think audiences will enjoy the most about this production?

Both: You’ll hear a lot of the Jimmy Buffett hits that everyone knows and loves. As a bonus, you’ll get a lot of laughs from some quirky characters, enjoy high-energy dance numbers, and have an overall fun night at the theatre. For a couple of hours, you can relax and be on island time.

BWW: Of course, this production is very timely given the recent passing of Jimmy Buffett. How has the news of his death impacted you as you prepare to perform his music?

Both: Having performed this show so many times, we’ve been able to see firsthand how much his music means to his fans. We hope we can pay tribute to his music and his legacy.

BWW: The show is called Escape to Margaritaville. If you could escape to anywhere, where would you go?

Both: We’ve got a long list of places we want to travel, including Aruba, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.  We might need to borrow Jimmy’s sea plane…

For an evening of fun and relaxation, Escape to Margaritaville with the cast and crew at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre. Visit Click Here for information and tickets!

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