22 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 57.
The New York Times
"Awfully lowbrow…Dopey fun is one thing, but ‘Escape to Margaritaville,’ a paean to the pleasures of zipless debauchery, is pitched so low it will temporarily extinguish your IQ...A coherent aesthetic experience, in that laziness is not just its method but its message...The score is beautifully sung...It’s the songs themselves that are problematic. They may work well enough on the radio or in concert but, conscripted for theatrical service, grow quickly monotonous."
Time Out New York
"Hokey and sometimes pokey. But I’ll level with you: I had fun…The show doesn’t shoehorn Buffett’s songs into a story so much as cobble a story around them, extrapolating characters and situations from details in the lyrics, which is more successful in small ways than in large ones…Performed by a vocally overqualified cast…the score is pleasantly catchy…'Escape to Margaritaville' revels in its own goofiness. It’s not trying to be paradise; it’s fine with being a cheeseburger.”
The Hollywood Reporter
“Even those unfamiliar with Buffett's songwriting oeuvre should find the proceedings relaxedly enjoyable…It's only when the writers attempt to provide literalism to the lyrics...that the show feels hopelessly strained…Nonetheless, the overall silliness goes down fairly easily, and even easier if you partake of the frozen margaritas...The show exudes an affable likability that's hard to entirely resist…It also helps immeasurably that such a talented cast of Broadway veterans has been assembled.”
“Escape to Margaritaville” was also reviewed by Deb Miller of DC Metro Theater Arts, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Howard Miller of Talkin' Broadway, Barbara Hoffman of New York Post, Nick Maslow of Entertainment Weekly, Elizabeth Bradley of Broadway News, Barbara Schuler of Newsday, Matthew Wexler of Broadway Blog, JK Clarke of Theater Pizzazz, Hayley Levitt of Theatermania, Sara Holdren of New York Magazine / Vulture, Christopher Kelly of NJ.com, Peter Marks of The Washington Post, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune, Matt Windman of AM New York, Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Mandell of DC Theatre Scene, and Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (UK).
The show was also reviewed by 150 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 74.
Top five adjectives describing the show:
Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Fluffy, Delightful
See it if…"You're a Parrothead. This is EXACTLY what you're expecting. And the cast is superb -- Broadway A-listers in the service of silly material."
Don't see it if…"You don't like Jimmy Buffet (duh) or don't know who he is, or want a show with substance or sophistication. If you dislike broad comedy."
See it if…"You want a fun night of theater. You like Jimmy Buffett music and a laid-back beachy vibe. You appreciate good vocals."
Don't see it if…"You require a strong storyline to enjoy a show — the plot is built around Buffett songs and is fun but weak."
See it if…"You love Jimmy Buffett, jukebox musicals, camp, and puns. You've had a few margaritas, want to escape, and don't take Broadway so seriously."
Don't see it if…"You don't like Jimmy Buffett. You like serious plays. You're sober."
See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.
Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.