I get to be a bit theatrical in my speaking work–I do some reenactments and dramatizations. But that’s usually just me up there on stage, alone. It’s so different to get to work with an entire team to help to create something together. It is just so much fun!”
Willow Sweeney Flaherty speaks all over the country for her work with Top 20 Training. Regularly on the road, she doesn’t have much time for community theatre these days. It was sheer luck that Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville rehearsals fell into a perfect window for Willow.
It has been a few years since I have done any theatre, and after a long winter, I really needed some kind of creative spark. When I saw that the rehearsal calendar lined up with my work schedule, I decided to give the auditions a try. I knew if I was lucky enough to be in this show, it would be a perfect one for my Dad to come up from Wisconsin to see. He’s always been a Jimmy Buffett guy. He played it all the time when my brothers and I were young. Jimmy Buffett music is a family thing for us.”
Though she grew up with Jimmy Buffett’s classics and has been to his concerts, Willow has found several welcome surprises during the production process for Margaritaville.
Even if you know every song by heart, you’ll still find some fun new surprises. For me it’s been really cool to see the songs I’ve always known and loved, transformed into a musical. Turning Jimmy Buffett’s music into a jukebox musical means the songs are combined now to tell one story. Also, in the show, the songs are not always sung in just one voice with a few background singers. Much of Margaritaville‘s score is sung by an entire cast, harmonizing. It feels fresh and new, and it elevates the songs to a whole new level. I’m in awe of my castmates’ talent. They, along with the whole creative team, are all really good at what they do. It’s a joy to watch them all shine. I’m so lucky to get to be even a little part of it.”
Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville premiered on Broadway in 2018 and the royalties just recently became available for GREAT to perform it. This means it’s the first time for everyone, actors and creative team alike, to bring this story to life. From the revamped music to a hilarious plot line, there’s something new for everyone who loves what Buffett’s music represents.
My take on Jimmy Buffett’s music is that while some of it is about love, adventure, and reminiscing, much of the music is about chilling out, sun and fun, and the vacation beach life…everything that we in Minnesota waited so so long for this winter! I hope everyone comes out to the Ledge for this show in July, to enjoy a cold drink in the sun, to laugh, and to sing along. This show, at this outdoor venue, is the perfect combo for a great summer night experience!”
Come and experience the vacation of a show, Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville July 18th, 19th, or 20th at the Ledge Amphitheater. Get your tickets today!