Jimmy Buffett provides soundtrack for new musical, "Escape to Margaritaville"

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jimmy Buffett is bringing his music to a Chicago stage in a whole new way this fall by providing the soundtrack to the new musical, "Escape to Margaritaville."

Buffett has sang about Margaritaville, but Chicago has been a favorite escape of his many times. He got stuck on the east coast and couldn't make the preview of the musical, but the show went on without him.

Once again, the pre-Broadway launch happened in Chicago. The show, "Escape to Margaritaville," features Buffett classics and new songs. It's the story about a bartender who falls in love with a tourist.

"Our challenge was to make the songs feel as if they were written for the story, rather than conveniently popping up because people want to hear the songs," said writer Mike O'Malley.

Christopher Ashley, who just won a best director Tony Award for the musical, "Come from Away," said Buffett is excited to become part of the theatre community.

"Nobody enjoys the pleasures of the jokes and the music more than him, he's barefoot most of the time, in a Hawaiian shirt, this great, open spirited collaborator," said Ashley.

"There's just so much fun in these songs, you go see him in concert and the people are having a great time, they're dressed up, there's a sense of lightness," said Greg Garcia, one of the writers.

"Escape to Margaritaville" will be at the Oriental Theatre for just three weeks starting November 9. Then the parrot heads are off to Broadway.

"We've tried to create a show that is really satisfying for the hardcore Jimmy Buffett fans and also works for a brand new, barely knows Margaritaville, theater audience.
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