Review: ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE at LaComedia Dinner Theatre

Fun Fun Fun

By: May. 22, 2023
Review: ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE at LaComedia Dinner Theatre

If you are looking for an evening (or matinee) to forget about all of your troubles, then ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, playing now at La Comedia Dinner Theatre until June 18. 

ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, written by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, using the music and lyrics of songs by Jimmy Buffett, takes place in mainly some island in the Caribbean and a town close to our hearts, Cincinnati, where interestingly, the term “parrot head” or die hard Jimmy Buffett fans was used for the first time.  Cincinnati has always had a lot of Buffett fans so its fun to get that nod in the script.  MARGARITAVILLE follows the trend of jukebox musicals of which we have seen many over the last several years.  The fun thing about this one is the way the plot (yes there actually is one) interweaves with the music rather than the music just being loosely strung together.  I attended with my husband who is a parrot head and while I am a less enthusiastic Buffett fan, we both had a wonderful time.  If you aren’t a fan, or haven’t even heard of Jimmy Buffett, I still think a fun evening is in store, although you might feel a little left out in one spot but I won’t spoil that here. 

The set designed by Dave Gabert was well done aside from casters on set pieces that were too loud particularly when moving pieces behind dialogue or singing.  Costumes by Ermacita Erb and Mattison WIlliams colorfully evoked the islands as did lighting by Edward Huber. 

Aside from a few technical difficulties, my one concern about the show is that it really would have benefitted from some diversity in casting.  An all white cast, set in Caribbean, especially with the character of Marley, was a little unexpected.  This is not to say that Nicole Korbisch did not do a lovely job with the role but her appearance did not fit the role or the accent and the romantic pairing at the end with Mark Reuter (JD) was somewhat creepy as he appeared old enough to be her grandfather. Again, misplaced casting.  Nothing against either actor’s performance. 

As for the actors, Jesse Plourde was outstanding as Tully, the hapless lead.  He never overplayed and captured the essence of the lovable beach num, Claire McPartland (Rachel) was equally wonderful.  Her uptight character was a perfect counterbalance to Tully’s carefree spirit.  To spoil a little, I loved that her character did not give up her dreams for Tully’s and we could still get a happy ending.  Secondary characters of Brick (Kyle Mcintire) and Tammy (Sydney McQueen Fieseler) were tremendously funny and I was left wanting more of both of them.  The ensemble was enjoyable to watch, particularly the dancing.  I never complain when the tap shoes come out. 

ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE  runs until June 18.  Tickets include show and the dinner buffet (not to be confused with Buffett) and range from $70 to $79 and can be purchased at or by calling the box office at 1-800-677-9505.   More information including menu, etc can also be found on the website.  



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From This Author - Jenni Cypher

Jenni Cypher has been involved in the Dayton theatre community since 1994, when she costumed her first show, 42nd Street, at Dayton Playhouse. Prior to that, she studied Theatre Arts/Acting at St. Edw... Jenni Cypher">(read more about this author)


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