Closed 2h 15m
Escape to Margaritaville
Midtown W
74

Escape to Margaritaville NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(561 Reviews)
Positive
73%
Mixed
19%
Negative
8%
Members say
Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Delightful, Fluffy

About the Show

This new musical comedy getaway features both original songs and beloved Jimmy Buffett classics, including “Come Monday,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and many more.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (561)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
70
Cliched, Fluffy, Raunchy, Entertaining, Well sung

See it if Talented cast working very hard in the name of "easy living" Amiable leads (esp Petersen) & energetic ensemble distract from banal storyline

Don't see it if Classic jukebox format of cliched plot surrounding & propelling hit songs Tolerance level of this factor is proportional to enjoyment

95
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if see also

Don't see it if see also Read more

Critic Reviews (53)

March 15th, 2018

"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."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"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.”
Read more

March 15th, 2018

“‘Escape to Margaritaville’ is about as much fun as buying a dud hermit crab as a pet. It seems like it’ll be exotic, or at least cute, but it’s really kind of sad, and definitely a rip-off, and, at the end of the day, actually just an empty shell…‘Margaritaville’s’ best moments happen when director Christopher Ashley decides to take things just briefly into over-the-top weirdoland…The story sketched around Buffett’s big hits by Garcia and O’Malley has all the freshness of a rerun of ‘Friends.’”
Read more

March 15th, 2018

“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.”
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"While Nolan’s Tully and Luff’s Rachel do look and sound gorgeous singing next to each other, their performances are constrained by underwritten, one-dimensional characters and millennial clichés…The musical’s book is filled with jokes that fall flat...Thankfully, stellar interpretations of Buffett classics knock off your flip-flops and save the otherwise slow-paced first act…After the uplifting, beach-balls-bouncing-in-the-audience ending, I had a smile on my face.”
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"The hedonistic spirit of Buffett's feel-good 'gulf and western' music is on flamboyant display in this witless but colorful songbook musical custom-tailored for the fans...Garcia and O'Malley break no fresh ground with their corny story...But the placement of the Buffett songs isare smartly matched with the developments of the so-called plot...However well packaged, the show just isn't a good fit for New York...The production is ship-shape to travel...anywhere but here."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"One of the most mediocre musicals ever to come to my attention. The book is witless, the cast mostly bland, and while some of the songs are quite good, they’re all used in the most banal ways imaginable…Christopher Ashley has staged this sodden mess with the same lively energy with which he infused ‘Come From Away,’ and Kelly Devine’s dances and Walt Spangler’s sets are predictably excellent. If professionalism were all, ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ might be worth seeing.”
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"The lamely antiseptic musical...Insufferably dumb show, about a beach bum guitarist who falls for an environmental scientist...The musical is built around the Buffett song that practically everyone knows...The lyrics are used as such a literal guideline that one of the characters is actually 'nibblin' on spongecake' as the number begins...At the end...hundreds of beach balls are dumped on the audience...It was the only thing all afternoon in the Marquis Theatre that I didn't see coming."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"If you can swallow the premise, you'll find some lines that land, and some clunkers that make you sink deeper into your seat. You will find some comedic and counterintuitive arrangements and placements of the Buffett songs...You will note great similarities with 'Mamma Mia!'...But you also will find genuine heart and — most important of all — you will be at the rare Broadway show that is genuinely interested in what Middle America enjoys."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"Cheaper than a week at Club Med and just as mentally stimulating…A flimsy hammock of a story...Some of his new songs fall flat…Directed by Christopher Ashley, ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ meanders along, pleasantly enough. Its appeal may last only as long as there are Parrotheads around to see it, but it helps that the show’s so well cast and sung. Nolan is a lovely leading man…You could do worse than waste away a couple of hours in ‘Margaritaville.’”
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"May fit the bill if you’re in the mood for a breezy but dopey diversion…Shoehorning songs into a plot ‘Mamma Mia’-style doesn’t exactly accentuate Buffett tunes that already tell tales of their own. And the weak and weird book doesn’t help matters…A show one wishes was more fun. A saving grace is the cast, which makes the most of the material. Another is the batch of Buffett songs, easygoing ear candy — although hard-driving Broadway belts can work against the style.”
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"With better handling, the show may have become the 'Cheeseburger in Paradise' that it desires to be — a cheesy, kitschy, escapist, feel-good jukebox musical...The cast is populated by bright and likable young performers, though their performances tend to be broad and bland. Its romantic comedy storyline cannot manage even the most minimal amount of plot and character development necessary...The attempts at humor are labored and embarrassing."
Read more

March 16th, 2018

"The show is cleverly built around more than two dozen songs...It nicely captures Buffett's signature style - that laid back, tropical vibe...Exuberantly transports audiences on a satisfying high from start to finish...The story breezes along with snappy humor and even manages to get a little deep...The cast is ideal...As predictable as they come, but Ashley's lively staging makes it all go down quite smoothly. Much like the margaritas for sale in the theatre, it's equal parts sweet, tart and salty."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"No amount of brightly colored outfits can disguise these structural defects — but then Nolan sings ‘Son of a Son of a Sailor’ and a few sins are forgiven. He's appealing as our quasi Jimmy Buffett...but book scenes quickly become frustrating…Lisa Howard has far more to offer, as do so many of these Broadway islanders…Every once in a while you get a glimmer of what each of them can do, but ultimately you can't help but feel they're all wasting away in Margaritaville."
Read more

March 16th, 2018

"Fans of the Mississippi-born singer/songwriter known for carefree Caribbean-inspired melodies should have a swell time...Pleasantly diverting mindless fun, full of good humor, colorful surroundings and some terrifically engaging performances...Calling it an original story might be overly generous. Let's just say innovation is not the intention here...A sunny, funny excursion. Check your brain at the door, get a refill in your sippy cup and go have a blast."
Read more

March 16th, 2018

"Designed strictly as a package tour for Jimmy Buffett fans – aka Parrotheads...They can rest assured that the song list retains all their favorites...Even with some retooling and new additions, the score can't bear the twin burdens of storytelling and character illumination...This is basically a greatest hits collection in search of a musical...The book combines tired gags with a trio of pro forma romances...The jokes will have you wondering exactly what the writers were smoking."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"Talented and ebullient cast, headed up by a charismatic Nolan...Generally stick with the rom-com formula while finding ways to shape as much action around the lyrics to Buffett's songs....Little point to look for any depth...Some care has been taken in depicting the women as being confident and comfortable with themselves...Ashley and the entire company...want nothing more than to have us...enjoy the tunes, and accept that it's all just a 'License to Chill'."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"You're guaranteed to get everything you hoped for from the production, a slam-bang success sure to keep the adored singer-songwriter in Margaritas for some time to come...Ashley proves his prowess...Definitely a Tony nominee in this season...Laidback and kickbacked as 'Escape to Margaritaville' is, it's vigorously up-to-date on the Time's Up agenda. A late storyline twist works forcefully as a bow to women today who want to make it on their own before tying any knot."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"Perfectly pleasant but not especially good, a watered-down, mostly flavorless, machine-made frozen concoction that does enough to remind you of a better version of itself that you're left satisfied by default, for lack of another option...It is trying so hard to show you a good time, while also trying so hard to stay true to its tell-it-like-it-is roots...First act is so obvious...so labored, that it turns awfully tedious...Second act is better, 'Margaritaville' finally allows itself to have some fun."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

“This is a cleverly crafted production, honestly done within its own convention and fun to watch…While a sitcom sensibility could run the risk of translating into a formulaic musical, the opposite proves true here…Nolan is so effortless, authentic and winning in this part that he is well nigh irresistible...‘Margaritaville’ is made up of a seriously talented rainbow of performers...‘Margaritaville’s’ seeming freshness and lack of cynicism…is remarkable...One fine time.”
Read more

March 29th, 2018

"Which brings me to 'Escape to Margaritaville,' the new jukebox musical at the Marquis Theatre. It is also a silly, empty-headed, yet entertaining musical tethered to the well-known songs of Jimmy Buffett, a fact which means it will probably run quite a while just on the strength of the Buffett fans-otherwise known as Parrot Heads."
Read more

April 5th, 2018

"Even entertainment that is 'mindless' need not lack quality, or wit, or a passion for…well, for anything, in the way that 'Margaritaville' does...When such a show takes up one of the few available Broadway theatres, those of us who love Broadway musicals get a bit grumpy...Not that everything in this show is bad. Lisa Howard continues to make me wonder 1- how it is that actors can make such bad material come off so well, and 2- why she keeps getting cast in third-rate projects."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"Garcia and O’Malley’s storyline derives from (almost too literally at times) and blends nicely with the songs. However, their in-between banter is painfully corny…The formulaic storyline is merely incidental, a vehicle for delivering the show’s 27 songs. Mostly it works...What’s real here is the Broadway 'oomph' that director Christopher Ashley and choreographer Kelly Devine bring to it. The superb acting, singing, and grand show numbers are what really make the production."
Read more

March 26th, 2018

"A curious gumbo of music, dance, and storytelling that will undoubtedly bring smiles to some, and shrugs to others...If the story sounds corny, it is. But the cliche gains oomph, thanks to the terrific cast...What makes this piece hum are the songs spiced with island magic...Nolan and Luff are the aces here. Not only are they both triple-threats, but they exude that elusive thing called 'good chemistry' on stage...No question that the ideal audience for the show is Parrotheads."
Read more

March 22nd, 2018

"Though Buffett has made a career out of embracing a take-it-easy lifestyle, his musical is nothing if not a lesson in the importance of possessing a strong work ethic...Scenes are arranged sloppily and outcomes are predictable from the get go...For those unfamiliar with the Buffet songbook, be prepared for lyrics that range from wise to the terribly rhymed. Ashley speeds things along to a rushed ending while Devine’s choreography is lively if not especially inspired."
Read more

March 16th, 2018

"With a super talented cast of great singers and energetic talented dancers, 'Escape to Margaritaville' frolics onto Broadway with a sun-kissed smile and a happy easy going song...Doesn't intend to go too deep in any way, shape, or form. The show is light as a Corona...There are odd bits and pieces here and there...left for us to try to sort out and make sense of...Some clever bits of action and dialogue...You do walk out though, sun-drenched and feeling good."
Read more

March 21st, 2018

"Mortal Tackiness, wherein the experience of the show is such an imprisonment that you begin to develop symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome...Even if you temporarily find yourself swept up in the moment, at the end of the show when thousands of inflatable beach balls drop from the ceiling, you discover yourself wide awake but completely exhausted, having endured something completely and unforgivably bland...The buffet of Buffett music never succeeds in musical form."
Read more

T
April 13th, 2018

"May just be the ticket to remedy the effects of the constant cynical behavioral bombs that seem to be dropped on us every day by those lofty politicians...Laid back music...Brought to you by a cast of vocal powerhouses...A journey filled with senseless situations, silly dialogue, and storybook romance, all connected by the lyrics that serve this perpetual beach party...An old fashioned, frivolous, romantic musical comedy...An absolute pleasure to hear and watch."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

“Ashley and the creative team try their mightiest to make diamonds out of sand…A pay-no-attention plot…Choreographer Kelly Devine loses her footing here, lacking a unique vocabulary of movement beyond standard Broadway fare and missing the high-energy kitsch factor needed to shake up island time…In spite of its shortcomings, ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ has its frothy and fun moments, but not enough of the top shelf trappings to keep the theatrical hangover at bay.”
Read more

C
March 16th, 2018

"It does a surprisingly good job at elevating your mood for two-and-half-hours. Much of the credit belongs to director Christopher Ashley, who stages the proceedings with enough verve that they go down as smoothly as a certain frozen drink; a truly appealing cast; and a self-aware, modestly involving book...I do wish the show had jettisoned a few of Buffet’s songs in favor of letting choreographer Kelly Devine and her talented ensemble shine."
Read more

March 23rd, 2018

"Buffet fans will enjoy the buffet of the singer's enormously popular songbook…They'd have to be zonked out on multiple margaritas, though, not to groan at…Garcia and O'Malley's banal book, clichéd characters, and hoary humor…The good jokes have escaped from Margaritaville…There are very few surprises in this high-energy show…Buffet's familiar songs…barely provide enough stimulation to keep your brain functioning for the show's overlong two-hour and 20 minutes."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"It largely delivers; all it asks of you in return is that you put your brain on hold. ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ features a fine cast…Some of the numbers are more successful than others, but all soar above a plot that veers between predictable and preposterous, and jokey dialogue that ranges from corny to lame…The songs that work best are the quiet ones…With the exception of Buffett’s signature song, ‘Margaritaville,’ the big numbers don’t fare as well."
Read more

March 18th, 2018

"Unfortunately, this show did not appeal to me for several reasons. The script is so banal that it makes 'Sponge Bob Square Pants' look college level...The actors are talented and sing exceedingly well. Paul Alexander Nolan and Alison Luff exude chemistry and though the plot line doesn’t make sense, they do...Ashley keeps the action flowing, which isn’t exactly easy considering the whole show is literally built around Buffet’s lyrics."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"As charming and lazy as a beachside siesta…The performers, directed with good humor and reasonable efficiency by Christopher Ashley, are mostly winning…Still, there’s only so much they can do with the material. The book is by TV writers Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, and its distinguishing feature is a punishing literalism…Buffett’s music, with its sea salt twang and working-for-the-weekend heart, has wide appeal. Well, somewhat wide."
Read more

March 27th, 2018

"A collage of 29 Buffett songs strung together by a simplistic, thoroughly predictable book...The integration of the lyrics and the action ranges from clever to clunky...The songs became a blur long before reaching #29. The saving grace is that they are performed by an attractive, talented cast...Ashley has included a few nice touches that include flying effects and dancing clouds...A shorter version would be perfect as cruise ship entertainment."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

"A musical for theatergoers who want to feel good about getting drunk and overeating...Garcia and O'Malley achieve true Broadway history by having Tully go from a beach bum to a Grammy-winning artist in 10 minutes of stage time...Director Christopher Ashley and choreographer Kelly Devine bring that same peppy bounce to a musical about alcoholism that they brought to a musical about 9/11."
Read more

March 22nd, 2018

"The book wouldn’t win any prize for sophistication, but it is constructed to work as a showcase for Buffet’s music and lyrics, and that’s the point of it all. How you respond to the show may have a good deal to do with how you react to Buffet’s numbers, which in his pop-folk style tend to affably stress fun in life...Fortunately, an excellent cast is there to embody the Buffet spirit...A lot of plot to accommodate—but it works to highlight the barrage of Buffet songs."
Read more

March 16th, 2018

"Something of a snooze...Buffett's songs are mixed into this sugary tropical cocktail of a show, which is shaken - if not successfully stirred into decent Broadway shape by Ashley...Leisurely chill-and-swill rhythms...are not conducive to propelling a Broadway musical...Leading players make a congenial foursome...While their boy-girl doings are not especially diverting, the performers’ upbeat presence goes a long way to make the production a passable waste of time."
Read more

March 31st, 2018

"A hard-working 20-member ensemble. Most of the action, including a threatened volcano eruption, is dictated by titles and lyrics to Buffet's most popular songs...They're mainly the kind of catchy tunes that get people swaying in their seats and director Christopher Ashley does everything he can to keep the party mood going. But your enjoyment of the show is probably going to be determined by how big a fan you are of Buffet's music."
Read more

March 16th, 2018

"A doggedly faithful brand extension from beach bum turned lifestyle mogul Jimmy Buffett that hiccuped open on Broadway...A tequila-soaked pageant of board shorts and bikinis, celebrating the sun-baked leisure to which Buffett’s entire catalogue is an ode...That’s great for the Jimmy brand, less so for propelling a plot or drawing distinct characters. You’ve seen everyone here in any rom-com featuring some sort of vacation."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

“A predictably sunny two-and-a-half-hour getaway for Parrotheads…For anyone else who needs a short and silly respite from the demands of life and a troubled world, just let loose and enjoy the show…The actors are all top-notch, as they bring Buffett’s vibrant songs to life with their humorous characterizations and powerful vocals...Everything you’d expect it to be, so grab a margarita, or two, chill out, and enjoy the music and the mood…A lot of goofy fun.”
Read more

March 22nd, 2018

"While the music is catchy, 'Escape to Margaritaville' is actually more silly than fun with a ho-hum romance and a stage full of cardboard characters. As for plot, you see it coming even before the first sip...Straight-laced Luff and freewheeling Nolan are likeable romantic leads...'Escape to Margaritaville' is fluff and fun with no delving into themes and motives. If your mood, however, is a 'License to Chill,' the production works, especially with a margarita."
Read more

O
March 16th, 2018

"A joyous romp of no particular distinction...This place in paradise doesn’t allow even a volcanic explosion to interfere with the fun. Jimmy Buffett’s words and music clearly delight his vast array of fans. I, who honestly had never been much exposed to his material, found it amiable, accessible, and as nourishing as an ice cream soda; which is fine. But, except for the title song, memory of it does not linger long."
Read more

March 23rd, 2018

"This is a delightful two and a half hours, a paean to cargo shorts and day drinking that avoids nearly all the pitfalls of the genre."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

“The delightful, energetic frothy drink of a show is exactly what you’d expect given its inspiration — a predictable romantic comedy that celebrates the music written and/or performed by the renowned singer who’s turned his laid-back island sound into a serious corporate empire…Buffett fans, of course, are out in force…But everyone else will quickly get into the island vibe and have a great time, as long as they don’t expect too much."
Read more

March 15th, 2018

“An unfortunate mishmash of Buffett staples…To be fair, the first act of ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ flirts with being ecstatically terrible -- a garishly-colored explosion of randomness and kitsch that you (almost) start to root for. Alas, the second act is merely terrible, as the gears of the inane plot start to grind, and the creators throw anything at the wall to see what sticks. For what it's worth, the main actors are all game and do their best to put over the sitcomish story.”
Read more

April 16th, 2018

"Very loosely formed plot...Feels more like a concert...The book is certainly a corny mess...None of the actors are safe from this hackneyed style of writing...They all trying to make the best with what they have been given...It does not matter that the musical is not well-written, has problematic lyrics, is very white, and has some horribly crafted jokes...'Escape to Margaritaville' is critic-proof...Has a very clear fan base and they do not care if it is a quality piece of musical theater."
Read more

March 23rd, 2018

"As colorful, festive, and good-intentioned as this show is, it’s likely something only Parrotheads will appreciate...A pedestrian, by-the-numbers story that offers an excuse to weave Mr. Buffett’s songs into a narrative...Full of bad TV sitcom humor and jokes that are 'groaners'...Ashley certainly tries to direct this mess of musical...Most of the actors’ performances are sincere and serviceable...The musical’s time here on Broadway will likely be 'wasting away' rather quickly."
Read more

March 20th, 2018

"A great big confection, so cleverly manufactured...so tricked out with the ever present 100 proof Jimmy Buffett songs, that it's all but irresistible...A fabulous company...Garcia and O'Malley have enlivened the show with enough one liners to get from one Buffett song to the next painlessly...A volcano that blows up, a buried treasure...All expertly expertly done. Oh, and...A great tap dancing show stopper. Which makes no sense but by then you are under the Jimmy Buffett spell."
Read more

March 16th, 2018

“A wonderful cast of people are and all the Buffet songs...2 1/2 hours of Floridian and Caribbean fun…Unfortunately, sometimes those wonderful songs aren’t given a complete rendition…Interspersed in the story and songs are rather poor attempts at humor…I had a super time mouthing the words to just about every song he has ever performed…‘Go Escape to Margaritaville’ even if Jimmy’s not there…you will have a terrific time!”
Read more

March 17th, 2018

"If you don’t like his music, you will not like this show. But if you do like his music, and you are familiar with his songs, you will very likely love this show...A laughable cheesefest. It’s cute and totally benign, but Garcia and O’Malley’s script, along with Ashley’s direction, makes it work amazingly well. Not since 'Mamma Mia' has there been a jukebox musical that so successfully incorporates the songs into the plot and uses them to progress the narrative."
Read more

March 16th, 2018

"A bland ode to wastin' away...It blends the greatest hits of Jimmy Buffett, a set of cheery cardboard characters, and a simple-if occasionally demented-plot...It's too watered-down to be much fun...The talented Nolan has a caramel-smooth voice...Luff is appropriately high-strung, and their hodgepodge gang carries the show as best it can...Cringe-inducing jokes until the second act, when a series of increasingly bizarre events...provides some badly needed razzmatazz."
Read more

March 16th, 2018

"This isn't Shakespeare, nor is it trying to be...The type of show where mellow beachcombers spout pie-eyed platitudes...Character development is as scarce as SPF 50 sunscreen...For what it's worth, the committed cast brings zest to even some of the most groan-worthy numbers...To more discerning theatergoers, walking out of 'Margaritaville' might feel like a bad hangover. But for Parrotheads, this well-intentioned and unabashedly cheesy romp could be a little slice of paradise."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

Score it Buy
Unreviewed
Opens Jun 22
NYC: West Village

Seven world premiere short plays by seven well-known playwrights in NYC's Meatpacking District.

Buy
88
Excellent
47 Reviews
Opens Dec 20
NYC: Midtown W

A hit in London, Sondheim's classic musical (with a new twist), stars Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone.

Buy
Score it Buy
Unreviewed
Opens Oct 21
NYC: Midtown W

Winnie the Pooh and friends embark on fun adventures, in this new musical with life-size puppets.

Buy