The Broadway Palm Theater is hosting a beach party this month in conjunction with its production Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Escape. All the elements are in place. The staff are dressed in tropical shirts. Beach balls float above our heads. And while I didn’t see any tourists covered in oil, the margaritas flowed freely from the makeshift tiki bar in the corner of the lobby.

The show itself follows suit. Somehow, Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, who wrote the book for this fun musical experience, managed to incorporate key lyrics from Buffett’s songs into the dialogue and the scene. The configurations are ingenious, a bit like red herrings in a mystery.

The protagonists of the contrived plot are a guitar-playing bar singer played by Dale Obermark and the workaholic tourist who catches his eye played by Caitlin Lester-Sams. Both have vocal chops and an affable stage presence to spare.

They would do better. The second bananas work hard to steal the show. Audience favorite Victor Legarreta spews puns like there’s no tomorrow when he’s not dueting with Obermark. His love interest is played by Shannon Connolly. The duo have been paired on previous shows, and their exuberant chemistry is a joy to behold.

The public too is easily caught up in the high jinks. The song “Why Don’t We Get Drunk” (fill in the blank to complete the sentence) quickly became a single. And the required tap number wins a huge round of applause.

If you’re a Jimmy Buffett fan or just someone who needs a mini vacation, you’ll enjoy this show. It runs until April 2. For tickets, call 239.278.4422.

About Joel Simmons

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