Chill, undress, and see Escape to Margaritaville

Tully and Rachel
Although retired since 2014, I still relish opportunities to teach, write, and share opinions.
The Walnut Street Theatre is now presenting Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville until May 7, 2023.
 
Escape to Margaritaville is the hit musical with Music and Lyrics by the celebrated artist Jimmy Buffett, with Book by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley. Featuring such hits as “Five O’Clock Somewhere”, “Margaritaville”, “Cheeseburger In Paradise”, and many more, this production boasts a cast of eight talented and accomplished actor/singers, a live orchestra led by Chris Burcheri, and an ensemble of dancers expert in quick costume changes, and choreography ranging from Fosse-inspired to tap. 
 
Matteo Scammell is Tully, the lovely male love interest, always in the process of shedding some item of clothing, losing shoes often, going barefoot, and seductively strumming his guitar. Amanda Robles is Rachel, the tightly-sprung scientist who definitely needs some Margaritaville time and finds it in the arms, bed, and eyes of Tully. Fabulously there is another happy pair of lovers, and they are American-sized and full of fun and love. Kelly J. Mazzella is Tammy, about to be wed to creepy, skin-crawly Chadd, played with oily, snide  abandon by Dante Brattelli. Luckily, Tammy encounters the husky, lusty Brick played with charm and chubby hotness by Zack Kononov. Together they sizzle! 
 
The scenic design by Brian Froonjian is super delicious, and the indefatigable and buoyant choreography by director and choreographer Lisa Stevens includes an absolutely amazing tap dancing fantasy, Brick’s flashback to dead people popping through shrubbery, and Fosse-inspired angular movements and glad hands are all remarkable highlights. 
 
Walking into the theatre, you will see a giant neon artwork with “Escape to Margaritaville” blazing brightly with a parrot in the corner. A credit in the program reads Artwork by Subplot Studio, which for all intents and purposes must have created this. This might be the only musical where intermission serves to continue the mood as the threatening volcano ending the first act is carried along by lighting effects and steam jets occasionally surprising theatregoers until the curtain rises on Act II.
 
Audience members appear to be well-versed in the music and musical, as they often participate in shouting “Salt, salt!” and “Screw” on cue, and more than a few people were seen to wear Hawaiian shirts, shorts, and, yes, flip-flops.
 
Surrender to the charms and excitement of Escape to Margaritaville. You’ll be better for it.
 
Escape to Margaritaville is at the historic Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia until May 7, 2023. 
For information and tickets, call 215-574-3550, or visit www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org .
 
The 2023-2034 Season will include Elvis, Beauty and the Beast, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Groucho, and Beautiful. Subscribers realize fantastic discounts, so visit their website to learn more. 

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