Escape to Margaritaville, the new musical featuring both original tracks and the singer’s classics, is eyeing a Broadway debut in spring 2018, producers announced Friday.
After the production has its previously announced world premiere at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse (May 9-June 25), the show will make three additional tryout stops in New Orleans, Houston and Chicago. (Though most new musicals have one or, at most, two pre-Broadway engagements, four is quite unusual. But the decision to do so — and in cities with a high concentration of Buffet fans — suggests that the show will be thoroughly honed before hitting the more challenging economic market of Broadway.)
“It’s always been a dream of mine to make it to Broadway!” said Buffett in a statement. “After our world premiere this May in La Jolla, we’ll set sail from California on a pre-Broadway national tour stopping first in the city that gave me my start-New Orleans, then to some of my other favorites — Houston and Chicago — before arriving at that port of all ports, Broadway and New York City.”
The show — which tells the original story of a tropical island resort and its charming bartender-singer who falls for a beautiful, career-minded tourist — is penned by co-book writers Greg Garcia (creator of My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope and Yes, Dear) and Mike O’Malley (Yes, Dear and Glee), with Tony nominee Christopher Ashley (Memphis, Xanadu) directing. The creative team also will include choreographer Kelly Devine, scenic designer Walt Spangler, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Howell Binkley and sound designer Brian Ronan. Frank Marshall, Mindy Rich, Anita Waxman and Beth Williams are producing.