Jimmy Buffet’s “Parrothead” fans have long been known for their hard partying ways. It would appear that a trip to Broadway isn’t about to change that. Fans at a recent preview showing of the upcoming Escape to Margaritaville musical enjoyed the signature beverage of his lyrics so lustily at the Marquis Theatre, the bar ran out of Triple Sec (the key ingredient to the margarita, for those not trained in the mixological arts).
According to the New York Daily News, a February 16 preview of the musical, which has an official opening night of March 15, saw the house run out of the orange aperitif, which ground their margarita-making operation to a halt. According to the Nederlander Organization – which owns the Marquis – it was the “largest one night bar sale in their history.”
For those who have followed Buffet and his fans, this should actually come as no real surprise. For years, the bar tabs at his performances have reached legendary status. In the book Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How The Public Got Scalped,” the authors recount how Buffet’s management has often been able to secure a percentage of the ticket grosses that actually puts venues in a loss – but are happy to do so because the ancillary revenue from alcohol sales more than makes up for it.
Beyond the Nederlander’s bartenders’ offerings, the musical features 27 of Buffet’s most well-known songs including hits like “License to Chill”, “Why Don’t We Get Drunk”, “Cheeseburger in Paradise”, “Margaritaville”, and two original songs written just for the show. Mr. Buffet, 71, created the musical as an escapist fantasy for his audiences illustrating laidback tropical lifestyle that he has portrayed (and marketed very successfully as both a musician and a purveyor of food and drink via his Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant empire over the last forty years, according to the New York Times.
Escape to Margaritaville tells the story of part-time bartender and part-time singer Tully (Paul Alexander Nolan) who falls in love with a beautiful, career-driven woman named Rachel (Alison Luff). Nolan is known most notably for his roles in Bright Star and Doctor Zhivago and Luff for her roles in Les Misérables and Mitilda the Musical.
After a successful run at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California last summer, reviewed by Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times as “pure escapism”, the show earned its shot on Broadway. McNulty also commented on the fact that the known heavy drinking of “Parrotheads” would add to the entertainment value of the show.