The Jimmy Buffett musical Escape to Margaritaville opens on Broadway this week, and I’m raising a bottle of tequila to the new musical’s terrific cast album. I went into the show only knowing the song “Margaritaville” and incorrectly attributing “The Pina Colada Song” to Buffett, but now I listen to Paul Alexander Nolan & Co. on the daily. The album is the perfect jam as you wait out the clock on spring and summer weather and outdoor drinks at the ready.
Below, BroadwayBox reacts in animated GIF to each track of Escape to Margaritaville.
1. License to Chill (Paul Alexander Nolan & Company)
Right off the bat, Paul Alexander Nolan is a MF star. This voice don’t quit and he sounds so gritty here. (Also, he basically accompanies himself on guitar the whole show too!)
2. Fins (Alison Luff, Lisa Howard, & Company)
Ok, when Lisa Howard comes in, it’s giving me major Lorna Luft in Grease 2 vibes in the all the best ways possible. Island moments + Lisa Howard counter belting = happiness.
3. It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (Company)
Again, fabulous. Fun. MOOD AF…but also when Lisa Howard comes in at 1:25, I audibly shouted “YAS”. I can’t imagine not dancing in your seat listening to this.
4. Ragtop Day (Eric Petersen, Paul Alexander Nolan & Lisa Howard)
Just a light, quick kiki. The guys and Lisa Howard just giving you that moment at :55 when they come together and SANG. If you’re not in the Margarita mood by this track, this might not be for you.
5. It's My Job (Alison Luff)
Ok, cool down moment now. First ballad on the album, just sit back and enjoy. Alison Luff has a seriously beautiful voice, I especially love her from 1:35-1:50. Just bask in it.
6. Why Don’t We Get Drunk (Don Sparks & Company)
Just try and stand still. Also, if you end up listening to this album as often as I do, you will end up shouting “screw” back to your Alexa.
7. Three Chords (Paul Alexander Nolan & Alison Luff)
From the jump, Paul Nolan is serving vocals and it’s making me clutch my pearls. This score sure sits in his sweet spot. Then when Alison comes in, it’s like, “yas, yas, yas!"
8. We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us About (Eric Petersen & Lisa Howard)
Eric Petersen & Lisa Howard are just perfection as the featured players of this joyride. And that nice soft ending from Ms. Howard.
9. Son of a Son of a Sailor (Paul Alexander Nolan & Alison Luff)
Time for Paul Alexander Nolan’s ballad, and it’s so smooth and chill. When Alison joins around 1:20, I melt like Olaf in the sun. PS: All these songs are so fast too. This album just flies by.
10. My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink and I Don’t Love Jesus (Rema Webb, Andre Ward, Don Sparks, & Company)
OK, so it’s more than fair to compare “Margaritaville” to “Mamma Mia!” in which case this would be the “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A Man After Midnight” because it kicks off the most fun part of the album. A catchy, dancey wave you just ride until intermission. Also, Rema Webb is giving me my entire life. About time she got some mic time. #Praise
11. Coconut Telegraph Medley (Rema Webb, Don Sparks, Andre Ward, Alison Luff, Lisa Howard, Paul Alexander Nolan, & Company)
I don’t know if I can talk about this song ‘cause I love it too much. It’s the longest song on the album so far so there is so much individual magic we can call out from Ms. Howard, PaN, Ms. Webb, Andre Ward, & co. Just let loose and enjoy.
12. Margaritaville (Paul Alexander Nolan, Rema Webb, Eric Petersen & Company)
The arrangements of this song, I seriously can’t. It’s beyond. Starting from when Rema Webb does “there’s booze in the blender” to Paul Alexander Nolan coming in for the "hang on", up the option. Dead. Deceased…in Margaritaville…and it’s all Rema & Paul’s fault.
13. Volcano (Andre Ward & Company)
You better slay, Andre Ward. This is a full-out dance along number. I have no rhythm but this song sure as hell makes me think I do.
14. Grapefruit - Juicy Fruit (Eric Petersen & Company)
Eric Petersen. What a treat. This song starts out one way, turns into a full tap extravaganza, and then back to that Buffett island aesthetic.
15. He Went to Paris (Paul Alexander Nolan, Eric Petersen, & Don Sparks)
Gosh, what a beautiful story song. The arrangement is so beautiful and the lyrics are moving.
16. Cheeseburger In Paradise (Lisa Howard, Eric Petersen & Company)
It’s time for the big Lisa Howard song, and I can’t stop dancing. Her and Eric Peterson are serving VOCALS. You don’t even need to see her flying around the stage to have a grin from ear to ear.
17. Tin Cup Chalice (Paul Alexander Nolan)
Just so chill.
18. Love and Luck Medley (Paul Alexander Nolan & Alison Luff)
And now back to our regularly scheduled dance break. There’s lots of book here keeping it from going into full beach party mode, but then 2:27 happens and it’s ON! Paul Alexander Nolan is just beyond. What a perfect match of role to talent.
19. Come Monday Medley (Paul Alexander Nolan & Alison Luff)
So this song got cut from the Broadway production, and while it’s beautiful, it’s not missed. Get me right to the big wedding moment.
20. A Pirate Looks at Forty (Company)
The 2-minute mark to the end is just paradise. Is it summer yet?!
21. One Particular Harbor (Paul Alexander Nolan, Alison Luff & Company)
Just this on repeat. This is road trips, the beach, the pre-game, the grabbing your summer love and dancing. It’s legit everything.
22. I Will Play For Gumbo (Company)
Fun last play out track for the encore! This is the beach album of 2018. Done. And while it's wonderful, fun, and relaxing to jam out to, it's even more fun to see IRL, so get a large marg and kick back at the Marquis Theatre.