BWW Review: MARGARITAVILLE is Best Enjoyed with Extra Tequila
If there's one thing we all could use right now, it's an escape from the winter weather to an island resort sipping on mixed drinks. If that's a little tough for you to pull off during the holidays, you might wanna try to Escape to Margaritaville, the Jimmy Buffett jukebox musical playing downtown through Sunday.
Think the vibe of Mamma Mia!...but for heavier drinkers. (Really though, if there's a time to be sober at the theatre, it ain't here. Order a double.)
The plot follows a couple of ladies, Rachel (Sarah Hinrichsen) and Tammy (Shelly Lynn Walsh), off to celebrate Tammy's remaining bachelorettehood at an island resort called Margaritaville, where they meet a couple of guys who work there. There's guitar-strumming crooner Tully (Chris Clark) and his bartender friend, Brick (Peter Michael Jordan). Tammy's future husband is terrible, so you can see where this is going pretty early.
Of course, the island's home to an active volcano, which draws in Rachel, who's also there to collect volcanic soil to help power an electric potato. It's a weird side plot, but it works. Honestly, that's how most of the plot feels, but it's nonetheless enjoyable, like when a sitcom has a special episode where they send the cast to Hawaii.
While I do wear flip-flops at any chance I can get, I wouldn't call myself much of a Parrothead (Buffett superfans). I recognized only a few of the twenty-some Buffet songs peppered (or should I say salted) throughout.
Aside from the title song, which is a welcome conclusion to the first act, "Cheeseburger in Paradise" is the clear standout number of the show. It's one of the moments where the production is so self-aware of its campiness, it can only be expressed through a big dance number in a bar about eating cheeseburgers.
One thing I can say, without having much knowledge of the music, was how cleverly the lyrics were referenced throughout the script. They were generally easy and fun to spot I'm sure I missed a ton of nods to the fandom, but I can always appreciate well-crafted wordplay.
The choreography is also pretty fun, and they've got a great ensemble to pull it off. Special high five to the gay moment in the background of "Why Don't We Get Drunk." It made me really happy.
You won't necessarily be wastin' your night away at Margaritaville...but if you do, it's your own damn fault.
Escape to Margaritaville plays the DCPA's Buell Theatre through Jan 5. Tickets at DenverCenter.org.
Photos courtesy Matthew Murphy