Party and Escape to Margaritaville at Alhambra

Looking for a getaway evening where you party and sing with the cast when the mood suits you?  Then this is the show for you.  ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE was not the jukebox musical I was expecting.  With the number of these musicals recently in town, I was expecting this show to similarly follow somewhat the Jimmy Buffett story.  While aspects of his life are woven into the lead character, Tully (Matthew Fecko), it more follows his musical persona of “island escapism” than his actual life story.  Buffett passed last year.

The setting for MARGARITAVILLE is an hotel (Buffett actually did own hotels) on an island with a long-dormant volcano.  Tully is the entertainment at the hotel run by Marley (Victoria Mapayi), bartended by Brick (Paul Gary), with the resident drunk J.D. (Ron Perry).  Along come  Rachel (Logan Cheatham) and Tammy (Arrione Magee), who are on the island for Rachel to get soil samples while Tammy has her last days before getting married.

I won’t spend much time on the storyline, because like a party, a lot of it is built as an excuse to have fun and sing songs.  And the audience was singing almost as much as the cast.  However, this show is really not for youngsters.  There is quite a bit of adult content, such as the song, “Why Won’t We Get Drunk and Screw”.  There are lot of hokey jokes to make you groan, as well.

This is very much an ensemble show, and everyone is absolutely adorable – principals to ensemble.  You can tell they are have fun onstage.  Fecko and Logan as the main love story have lovely voices that truly blend in the harmonies.  At one point, I even got a Travolta/Newton-John feel from the pair.  Magee fills the stage with joy, and Gary has you rooting for him as the underdog to steal her from the jerk of a fiancee, Chadd (Will Wiley).  I know I’m not mentioning everyone, but the voices, harmonies, and choreography were spot-on throughout.

I lost count of the costume changes in the show, because they were fast and furious.  Don’t bother dressing up; come in your finest tourist attire, and you’ll fit right in.

ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE is at the Alhambra Theatre, 12000 Beach Blvd., April 4-May 12, 2024.  Ticket prices vary based on show and seating.  For reservations and a look at the treats yet to come for the season, go to alhambrajax.com or call (904) 641-1212.

By Cessy Newmon

About Cessy Newmon