stage spotlight

by tony reverditto “



immy Buffett’sEscape to Margaritaville debuted at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in 2017 before heading to New Orleans, Houston, Chicago and ultimately Broadway in 2018. Buffett hired Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl) and Emmy nominee Mike

O’Malley (Shameless) to weave a story around his greatest hits. The plot has a relaxing, beachy feel with Buffett’s music as the backdrop as

it tells the story of a lively, though admittedly sketchy island resort. Acoustic- guitar-wielding ladies’ man Tully makes his living playing for the patrons at the resort and resides happily in a perpetual cycle of constant vacation mode with new guests, new girls and few obligations in the fleeting reality of island time. However, when workaholic Rachel visits the isle for a friend’s bachelorette party, worlds clash in a wacky and witty celebration of both escapism and committing to the things that matter. The songbook features all of Buffett’s most famous hits, including “Fins,” “It’s

Five O’clock Somewhere,” “Why Don’t We Get Drunk,” “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Come Monday” and the title number “Margaritaville.” Buffett followed Bob Marley’s reggae with his own style known as “trop rock.” Peter Michael Jordan plays Brick and this is his first national tour. He is fresh

out of college at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he developed his chops in musical theatre. Jordan said he is so excited to be joining the cast and be able to kick off his professional career with the music he grew up with, thanks to his Parrot head family. THE RAGE MONTHLY CAUGHT UP WITH JORDAN AMID THE NATIONAL

TOUR TO SEE HOW IT’S BEEN GOING. How would you best describe your first time on a national tour? It’s very exciting and a dream come true to start touring right after I graduated

44 RAGE monthly | February 2020

Buffet, I would say definitely go for the tunes but if you are a fan of theatre and big flashy Broadway musicals it has all the bells and whistles.”

If you are a fan of Jimmy

college. That way I don’t have to worry about rent in the city or anything. (Laughs) To do what I love and to see the country and places I have never been before is a dream come true. Plus, I’m a foodie and love trying cuisine that I have never heard of. In what way does your character Brick fit into the storyline? Brick is the bartender on the island at the Escape to Margaritaville resort.

Tammy and Rachel go to there for a little bachelorette getaway. He is best friends with Tully, the central character, and I kind of describe Brick as the loyal golden- retriever-type of character. He so wants to please Tully and make him happy, but he will do whatever it takes care of whatever needs to be done. Once he meets Tammy, there is a budding relationship there and once they meet, he is all about pleasing her and staying loyal to her. Which song is the showtopper and why? Well, I may be biased on this topic but I think “Cheeseburger in Paradise” is absolutely an anthem. It’s very fun to do in the show and has been modified to be in a musical. This song is very grand and the vocals are crazy, and Shelly Lynn Walsh who plays Tammy gets to belt her face off and it’s amazing. Then I get to come in and sing a duet with her, and it is a dream. Why should our readers go see this show? I think it is a show for everyone and a really good time. If you are a fan of Jimmy

Buffet, I would say definitely go for the tunes, but if you are a fan of theatre and big flashy Broadway musicals it has all the bells and whistles. There’s a tap number and its classic Jimmy Buffet songs that have been turned into huge dance numbers in a huge show. Again, I think it plays to any audience and is very special.

Escape to Margaritaville runsTuesday, February 4 through Sunday, February 9 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa and Tuesday, February 18 through Sunday, March 8 at Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

photos by © matthew murphy

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