Jimmy Buffett's Music Inspires Escape From Margaritaville
Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Tony Award-winning Director Christopher Ashley, as they dsicuss ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, the new Broadway musical featuring Jimmy Buffett's music.
"That was Escape to Margaritaville. This is Christopher Ashley, the Director of Escape to Margaritaville, a Tony Award-winning director. By the way, previews for Escape to Margaritaville start when? Tonight. Tonight? By the way, we're taping actually, full disclosure, February 16th. Tell everyone... I asked, "What's it like today?" So we had our dress rehearsal last night, we'll be putting in changes all day today, and we have our first audience tonight, which I think will be a mix of hardcore Jimmy Buffett fans, they call them "Parrotheads", and theatregoers who just want a good story. Are you a Parrothead? I started out, when I started working on the show about four years ago, as a real fan. But now I'm a full-fledged Parrothead. Because? I think I know every word of every song he's ever written by now, just putting the show together. And also I just started going to his concerts as prep for the show. And they are a wild, intense celebration. Those concerts. For those who don't know, or are not fans of Jimmy Buffett, describe him and it. So he is this great, joyous guy, who is... lives his life having fun every single day, and he's got this amazing body of work, of hundreds of songs, which are celebratory and amazing party songs. If you think you don't know him, you probably actually do. Such as? Escape to... well, Margaritaville. Margaritaville? One of his most famous... Volcano, Cheeseburger in Paradise, there's a lot of amazing, famous ones. We also mined a lot of the lesser known ones, and he's written a couple of new ones for this show. Whose idea was this? So Jimmy's been trying to put together a show wrapped around his music for a couple of years, but our two book writers, Greg Garcia and Mike O'Malley, came up with this brand new story and pitched it to Jimmy, and we've been developing it for about four years, and this is our first night in New York. He's into it? Jimmy... you told me that Jimmy Buffett is engaged and involved? Very much so. He's been on tour the entire time we've been developing it, but he flies himself in on his private plane from tour, and he's been our spirit guide. He's super smart about his own music of course, and he's a really adventurous creator, so whenever the question is, "Should we try this?", his answer is always, "Yeah, let's give it a try." So again I am... I appreciate his music, but don't know what that... I mean I like it, but I'm not a Parrothead. Yeah. I would... we don't lie on public television. [laughter] How do you wind up appealing to folks outside of those who are passionate..."