Escape to Margaritaville tour director Amy Corcoran chats with Kathrine Nero about taking Jimmy Buffett’s music to the Broadway stage
KN: Tell us the story of Margaritaville.
AC: Escape to Margaritaville takes two people at different stages in their lives and looks at how they meet. One of them, Tully, is incredibly talented, but he doesn’t have the drive. And one of them, Rachel, is incredibly talented and has all the drive, but no ability to relax. And they meet up in a tropical paradise. So you can only imagine what happens.
KN: It’s set on a tropical island, but also a lot of this show is set in Cincinnati.
AC: Yes, so Rachel lives in Cincinnati. Her best friend, Tammy, is getting married and they are going on their bachelorette weekend to a tropical island.
KN: Why Cincinnati?
AC: Because of the song we all know that’s featured quite prominently in the show – “Fins.” As the lyric goes, “She came down from Cincinnati…”
KN: What was the inspiration behind the story, and putting the whole show together?
AC: I think Jimmy’s life is a huge part of this story and his idea that everyone would be better off if we just relaxed a little bit. The secret about Jimmy is that he works hard, but he knows how to make people feel so comfortable and have fun. I think the creators of the show wanted to capture as much of that idea – the Jimmy Buffet idea of fun – which we could all learn from. They wanted to make it a true musical, in the sense that it has a beginning, middle, and end – a full story. I think they wanted to make it a story people could care about, with characters you can get behind, and include the great Jimmy Buffet music. That’s very complicated but they did a really great job.
KN: What is the reaction of people when they see this show?
AC: They love it. It’s total joy. Watching people leave so happy, so full of joy, that’s the best gift we can give our audiences.
KN: Obviously Jimmy Buffet is loved and revered wherever he goes, but for people in Cincinnati, his concert is a very important date on the calendar. How will the musical be different for Jimmy Buffet fan who might have seen him dozens of times in concert?
AC: This is different because it is a big Broadway musical, with all the things you can expect from a big Broadway musical, a big theatrical event. There are so many Easter eggs for Jimmy’s fans. It’s fun to watch the fans find them. Fans will notice things from songs or things that Jimmy has shared with his fans that are just very specific. But that being said, if you’re not familiar with Jimmy’s music, you’ll still love the show.
There’s a lot more energy in the room when you see this musical than a traditional Broadway musical because of the nature of Jimmy’s music, and also the energy of the fans. There’s this sort of euphoria that when they walk in, they’re like: “This is gonna be a great time!” It’s really fun to watch people who come in very serious all of a sudden get these big smiles on their face as they get into the show.
KN: It goes back to the title, it is escapism.
AC: Total escapism. Which is something we could all use!
About the Show
Welcome to Margaritaville, where people come to get away from it all—and stay to find something they never expected. Get ready for a hilarious and heartwarming musical with the most unforgettable songs from one of music’s greatest storytellers, Jimmy Buffett. Entertainment Weekly raves, “It will knock your flip-flops off!” So don’t let the party start without you.