Jimmy Buffett is not known to have ever sung "Mamma Mia," but he might be smiling on some far-flung seacoast at the comparisons that are being made between the noted musical based on the songs of Abba and the new show, Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville, a sweet love story featuring songs by -- that's right, you guessed it -- Jimmy Buffett.
Of course, unlike Mamma Mia, there's no movie version of Buffett's hit songs, at least not yet. In the meantime, his fans can content themselves with the touring musical, which brought the sounds of the shore to Little Rock's Robinson Center Performance Hall on Friday night.
And what a fine musical voyage it was -- the joyous sounds of those Buffett songs that many folks came to know and love since the mid-1970s. The show is like a greatest-hits revue, with a nifty story thrown in, courtesy of Greg Garcia and Mike O'Malley, who wrote the book, which brought together a large cast of those who go to an island where the Margaritaville Hotel offers them a fun-filled frolic.
The show stars are Chris Clark as Tully, a Jimmy Buffett sort of beach bum and musician, who meets a tourist, Sarah Hinrichsen as Rachel, a serious scientist who goes along with her best friend, Tammy (Shelly Lynn Walsh), who is on the verge of a boring marriage.
Complications ensue, of course, since true love never runs smooth. And the plot twists are somewhat surprising, as is the high quality of the choreography and the sets and lights.
Musical highlights include "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," as sung by Rachel to Tully; "Volcano," opening Act 2 and sung by the large cast; and the general merriment of "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "Five O'Clock Somewhere" and, of course, "Margaritaville."
There will be three more performances: 2 and 7:30 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $29 to $78. Information is at (501) 244-8800 or Ticketmaster.com.
Metro on 11/02/2019