I am always dubious about jukebox musicals and a new one has washed ashore based on songs by Jimmy Buffet at the Marquis Theatre. Scripts for these affairs have to be twisted around the canon being celebrated to fit lyrics never intended to be linked into a storyline and in this case is twisted into an awkward limbo dancer desperate for our affection (note to Jimmy: no limbo dancers in an island paradise? Missing a plot point!). In this story we get jumbled accounts of party animals, volcanos set to blow, and lost shakers of salt and the only Cheeseburgers to be found are in Cincinnati, not your island paradise (don’t ask!) And while it asks some important questions (like is Lisa Kudrow making a career choice as a fat shamed bride-to-be?) it is ultimately a clunky vehicle that has huge plot holes and canned laugh cues.
But it does rate as a guilty pleasure to me because:
a) I love Jimmy Buffet music. I and much of the audience hummed and sang along.
b) The humor is forced and hackneyed – enough puns to keep me grinning.
c) We got to drink Margaritas out of theatre sippy cups right at our seats!
If you want a light hearted, unsophisticated, carefree night at the theatre you should catch it soon. I can’t imagine this lasting long after the Tony’s even among theme park tourist friendly stage shows in New York.
TOMORROW: Another tasty national day