On October 3rd, 2019, I had the pleasure to watch Escape to Margaritaville at the Providence Performing Arts Center. It launched its national tour in Providence at the PPAC from September 29th, 2019 to October 5th, 2019 It was just such a fantastic and hilarious show that I was glad I got to see. The show was laidback and did not take itself too seriously, and that aspect helped to make it such an enjoyable experience.
Throughout the show, there we many comedic instances that I could not help but laugh. When the show first began, it made a few jokes about Rhode Island in regard to the accent and different things that we say. The tap dance number with Brick and the dead insurance salespeople in his head was absolutely hilarious. It was an aspect of the show that made it clear that it was not taking itself as the most serious production around and the actors were able to have fun with it. The show was able to carry the essence of Jimmy Buffet and his music in a lot of the jokes and things that went on on stage. Some of the jokes were probably things I would not want to have a small child hear, however, the lines about alcohol and sex were tasteful and hilarious. I could not help but laugh out loud when things happened like when Rachel made a joke about Tammy having a vibrator, when Tammy accidentally said she was so horny, or when Brick would keep flipping the drink of the day sign only for it to be a sexy drink.
The show also did a great job on being able to connect so many Jimmy Buffet songs to a single musical. So many of Buffet’s hits were turned into over-the-top, beautifully performed musical numbers. They took many songs that were written decades ago and were able to make a story out of it. Cheeseburger in Paradise had to do with the fact that Tammy really wanted to eat a cheeseburger even though her jerk of a fiancée insisted that she only ate sunflower seeds and drank carrot juice because she was too fat. Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit was what Brick was starting to say and then sing because those were things that brought him to his happy place and calmed him down while the volcano was erupting on the island. Why Don’t We Get Drunk was all about J.D. wanting to have sex with Marley despite the fact that she kept acting as if she wanted nothing to do with him.
Speaking of which, there were many instances in which the audience got to get involved with the show. When J.D. was singing Why Don’t We Get Drunk, he would stay silent during the part when he would say “Screw” so the audience would be able to shout it out. There were also instances when the characters would be talking about the tourists and would be pointing at us and also making comments like we look very drunk. There was also the end when tons of beach balls were thrown at us and we kept throwing them around during the big musical at the end. Alcohol and sex may have had a lot to do with the show, but it was such a laidback show which made everyone in the audience get to a couple hours off and get on island time. It was a fun show, but it I also took a few lessons away about finding yourself and that you may never really know someone until you dig up their treasure. It is a show that I totally recommend any and everyone to go see and do not waste your opportunity.