Escape to Margaritaville – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Caribbean casual, coconuts, cheeseburgers, chilling out, charm, comedy, clever catchy tunes and cheer are all characterized in the newest national tour to populate the Bushnell Theater in Hartford. Grab your flip-flops, an island flowered shirt and a frothy frozen drink to get in the leisure mood, from Tuesday, October 12 to Sunday, October 17, as Jimmy Buffett’s “Escape to Margaritaville” lures you to forsake work and play, play, play.

Punctuating Buffett’s chatty tunes, the musical comedy is by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley and is semi-auto-biographical in nature. Buffett started out playing for drinks at a bar in Key West, Florida. Now the story is island-bound and revolves around Tully, successfully singing and playing the guitar part-time while he pursues women full-time, whether they want to be caught or not. His latest target is Rachel who is focused on her potato and volcano project and her career and is resistant to his charms.

A lack of romantic chemistry and Rachel’s uptight manner do nothing to dissuade Tully from his goal. Meanwhile Rachel’s best friend Tammy is about to be married back home in Ohio and is using her island time to have a last fling and escape her culinary restrictions. She discovers Brick, the bartender, may be the salty rim to her drinking glass.

Get your frozen drink, a beach ball, a comfy lounge chair and a Parrothead hat, if you dare, and you’ll be ready for some island time relaxation. Tunes like “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” “License to Chill,” “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” “Margaritaville,” “It’s My Job,” “Fins” and “Son of a Son of a Sailor”
are sure to have your juices flowing. Kelly Devine designed the fun choreography while Christopher Ashley directs the romantic action.

For tickets ($31 and up), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-6000 or online at Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Your ticket to fun in the sun in the tropics awaits you.

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