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   Saturday, September 22, 2018
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Escape to Margaritaville - elements haphazardly thrown together in a blender resulting in one big alcoholic Slurpee mess





Oscar E Moore “from the rear mezzanine” for Talk Entertainment.com

Sometimes it takes a volcanic eruption to open your eyes to love and sometimes it takes a shower of beach balls to make memorable a rather silly musical. The musical in question is ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE where “escape” is the key word. Escape “to” or escape “from” - that is the important question. It depends on your love of Jimmy Buffett’s calypso/country rock/easy listening, similar sounding “song stories” and highly suggested lifestyle that beckons one to relax, let go and fly high!

There are many avid fans of this man who has created an empire based on this lifestyle. His many fans unfortunately were not in attendance on the night I endured this inane musical. Even though drinks can be purchased ($16.00-$20.00) to ease the pain there was a sea of empty seats, with a few attendees dressed in brightly colored parrot shirts who roared at some of the lamest jokes/puns ever uttered on the musical stage.

In this golden age of puppetry I was most disappointed not to see at least one parrot puppet on stage. A golden opportunity missed. There is a chorus of dead insurance salesmen who tap, a couple of dancing clouds and an underwater scuba scene but no parrots.

It seems that the creative team of Greg Garcia & Mike O’Malley (book) with music and lyrics by the aforementioned Jimmy Buffett that are alphabetically listed in the program (there are about 27 numbers which include “Cheeseburger in Paradise” “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” “My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink and I Don’t Love Jesus” “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and SCREW” and the title song “Margaritaville” ) have haphazardly thrown these elements together in a blender resulting in one big alcoholic Slurpee mess.

I give full credit to the excellent cast for believing in their one dimensional characters and implausible sit-com situations as they go about singing and dancing with gusto. They do their best to entertain and at times they pull off the nearly impossible feat of having a good time.

It is a sorry combination of Fantasy Island, Gidget, Love Boat and Beach Blanket Bingo played for real. Perhaps taking a satirical take on the story would have made it work better but then you have to fit in all of Buffett’s songs which are real and not satirical.

The plot if one can call it that revolves around guitar strumming Tully, the buff Paul Alexander Nolan with strong vocals and an even stronger desire to bed and romance his woman of the week as partygoers arrive for a week-long vacation at this run down Caribbean outpost. Bartender Brick (Eric Petersen) and J.D. a one eyed aging Hippie (Don Sparks) and Marley (Rema Webb) owner of the dance bar are in attendance.

Back in Cincinnati Tammy (Lisa Howard) is about to wed a loser – in six days - that her best friend Rachel (Alison Luff) does not think suitable and whisks her away to a Bachelorette Party in the Caribbean. Rachel is an uptight serious scientist developing a potato powered something or other that the ash from the Island’s volcano might help. Guess who falls in love in a single week? Three couples are involved. Oh and after the eruption Tully goes to Ohio and is discovered by a talent scout in the bar and has the fastest rise to stardom ever.

If all this sounds like your cup of Margaritas you probably would like this show that is running at the Marquis Theatre. But this belly up to the bar production unfortunately goes belly up.

Directed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Kelly Devine.

www.escapetomargaritavillemusical.com

Photo: Matthew Murphy

Visit www.oscaremoore.com


  
04-04-18