BWW Review: ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE at Robinson Performance Hall
Escape To Margaritaville
On a cool and crisp fall night, the audience in Little Rock was transported to a tropical island getaway. What a wonderful way to start our Broadway season, with Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville. With a full house that was undoubtedly packed with Parrot Heads, we were ready to kick off our flip flops, bust out the sun screen and set our minds to island time. The show boasts a very funny book by Greg Garcia and Mike O'Malley and of course, the much anticipated music and lyrics by the legend himself, Jimmy Buffett.
Chris Clark plays Tully Mars, a singer in a bar at Margaritaville, which is a run down hotel on a Caribbean island. He gives off the perfect laid back persona of a guy who is happy just getting by. He likes the ladies, but only while they are there on vacation. He has no desire to pursue anything more permanent. He is joined by his friend, Brick, the bartender, who makes a perfect comic wingman played by Peter Michael Jordan. Both men whose realistic connection is only enhanced by the blending of their excellent vocal skills, lead a charming group of islanders. They include Jamal, the busboy, Marley, the owner, and J.D., a one eyed beach bum who spends his days at the bar.
Rachel and Tammy, are taking a trip to the island before Tammy marries her jerk of a fiance'. When they get to the island, Tammy becomes immediately tempted by Brick but Rachel is not as quick to warm to Tully. Shelly Lynn Walsh plays Tammy with a spirited energy and an outstanding voice that makes her a delight every time she is on stage. Rachel played by Sarah Hinrichsen, is the uptight scientist determined to work her life away. That is until, she starts to fall for Tully and his island ethos. Her beautiful voice and sparkling personality makes it easy to see why Tully falls for her so hard, fast and completely.
Patrick Cogan as J.D. is blessed with both an incredible voice and the comedic chops to make his character another highlight in this sparklingly production. Rachel Lynn Fobbs as Marley and Matthew James Sherrod as Jamal are delightful and extremely talented additions to this merry band of islanders. Big shoutout to the ensemble who definitely get a workout doing not only double but quadruple duty portraying multiple characters as well as speeding the show along with set changes and that is no easy feat!
The set is playful and bright, which is exactly what you would want from a show that makes us feel like we are sneaking away to our own island retreat. There are many more stops left on this tour and for anyone that wants to relax, take a breath and enjoy a magical show filled with gorgeous songs, get your tickets now. You will not regret Escaping to Margaritaville.