Want to be among the first to see the forthcoming Jimmy Buffett musical? You’ll have to head to San Diego where it will open at the La Jolla Playhouse in May 2017.
The show’s producers had announced in December that Christopher Ashley, the La Jolla Playhouse’s artistic chief, would direct the project. But now the musical will officially launch at the theater that has sent more than two dozen productions to Broadway.
Production dates are set for May 16 to June 25, 2017. Don’t line up for tickets just yet, though: They’ll initially be available solely via 2017-18 season subscriptions, and right now the Playhouse is only selling subscriptions for its 2016-17 season.
Current subscribers, though, will have first right to renew for 2017-18. (Single tickets for the Buffett show wouldn’t be available until much closer to show dates; call 858-550-1070 or go to lajollaplayhouse.org for more info.)
Although there’s no word at this point on what specific songs the musical will include, it will offer a mix of Buffett classics and original songs. (In case you somehow missed his work over the past four-plus-decades, Buffett’s most popular tunes include “Come Monday,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “A Pirate Looks at Forty” and, of course, the 1977 hit “Margaritaville.”)
Producers also have revealed a bit more information about the storyline of the show, centered not just on the music but on the good-time vibe of the massively popular Buffett, whose devoted followers proudly dub themselves “Parrotheads.”
The musical, written by the television pros Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, “is the story of a part-time singer, part-time bartender and full-time good ol’ boy named Tully who suddenly finds himself in uncharted territory — falling in love with a beautiful, career-minded tourist.” (Which sounds more than a little like a backstory to the lyrics of “Margaritaville.”)
In a topping-off ceremony, a native tree is often chosen by builders of tall buildings to be placed at the top of a building in a show of respect for the land. In this case, nothing could have been more appropriate than a palm tree riding a steal beam to the 27th and final floor marking the completion of the frame of the new addition to the complex.
The expansion and new home of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville casino and restaurant is by far the nation’s biggest developmental undertaking in the area, and with the addition of 1.2 million square feet to the tune of $365 million and 483 hotel rooms, it tops every other facility in the area. One-thousand more full-time jobs will also be added. Margaritaville’s CEO John Cohlan said the local development was one of the better-executed Margaritaville projects seen by the company, and the opening might even drew Jimmy Buffet. Officials also announced that by Labor Day weekend everything except the hotel tower will be completed, according to Tulsa World.
A two-level Margaritaville restaurant, bar with two outdoor decks that overlook the Arkansas River, retail outlet with a stage for live music, a seaplane and an erupting volcano that spews lava into a giant blender, will be the centerpiece of the casino-level addition. A tropical-themed pool deck will adorn the riverfront complete with cabanas, fire pits, palm trees and multiple bars, one with swim-up seating. Other food venues include a Margaritaville Coffee Shop and still in discussions, a Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse. Fifty-thousand square feet of gaming space will also be included in the casino-level addition, which will be space for 27 table games, 850 gaming machines, and entertainment venue capable of accommodating more than 2,500 seated guests, and 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
In an email to the Miami Herald, Jimmy Buffett shared a remembrance of his good friend Glenn Frey, who died Monday at the age of 67.
In August of 1975, I was sitting in a dressing room in the Columbia Coliseum in South Carolina, about ready to go onstage. It wasn’t your ordinary gig by any stretch of the imagination, and still gives me “chicken skin” as I write about [it] this morning. We were opening for the Eagles, the best American band of my generation and many to follow. Any band worth their salt started out as an opener for somebody. Opening for the right band at the right time, could be your stairway to heaven.
Earlier in the afternoon Tommy Nixon, one of their road managers, had invited us to watch the Eagles sound check. I sat there with all the members of the Coral Reefer Band in awe, and when it was over, we strolled back through the empty arena towards our dressing room, and I said to my band, “that is the kind of band we want to become.”
Waiting to go on that night seemed like an eternity. Mixed emotions were flowing, fear, excitement, and a lot of “what if’s” were running through my head, when the door suddenly opened and in walked Glenn Frey. That was the first time we met. He greeted me and the band warmly, thanked us for being there (duh?) and said to me how much he loved A Pirate Looks at 40. He wished us luck and then went back out the door. That was the beginning of a long and lovely friendship.
Only a few people really know how significant Glenn, Don, Irving and the Eagles were to my rise through the ranks of bands trying to achieve just a sliver of the success that they had achieved. After that first night, Glenn and I went on to become close friends, songwriting collaborators and neighbors in Aspen. He and Don were instrumental in getting Irving Azoff to become my manager, and eventually open for the Eagles on the Hotel California tour of America, which was the rocket ship we rode to eventually becoming a headliner.
When the Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they asked me to give their induction speech. I was humbled. Glenn was a true friend, a true professional, an inspiration and sometimes could be a handful. I cherish great memories of our time spent together and will never forget his kindness that first night and our friendship for all these years. My heart goes out to Cindy, Deacon, Taylor and Otis. He rocked all our worlds.