Forbes article on ‘Escape to Margaritaville’

Posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2018 at 7:35 pm
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From “Easter Is A Bonanza For Everyone On Broadway…Except Jimmy Buffett

Easter typically marks one of Broadway’s biggest weeks: tourists flock, and fans emerge after a long winter to see all the new shows vying for Tony Awards.
But there’s always an odd bunny out, and this year it’s Mr. Cheeseburger himself: Jimmy Buffett.

More specifically, it’s his musical Escape To Margaritaville, whose jukebox score is a grab-bag of Mr. Buffett’s hits. Despite the holiday boom, the box office dropped to almost $600,000 – barely a third of its listed potential.

Sales have been weak ever since critics savaged it upon opening. Several of the show’s investors privately lamented the state of affairs at industry watering holes, with one going so far as to tell his drink, “I just hope the end is quick and painless.”

This seems unlikely. Multiple Margaritaville co-producers confirmed the production has already taken out at least one priority loan to make up for poor sales, and is planning another one to keep it afloat through the Tony Awards. Which means investors won’t be seeing any money back for a long, long time.

The strange part is that advance sales are not terrible, reportedly hovering between $4 and $5 million. They could be better, sure, but that’s not a ‘must-close-tomorrow’ situation.

Assuming the plan goes forward, we can expect Margaritaville to continue limping through spring, whereupon it will see a surge of summer excitement, followed by a lucrative national tour – and likely an available venue for another enterprising show.


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