Escape to New York City for Buffett and SJP
By Betsy Ross, Contributing Writer
First, the shows.
“She came down from Cincinnati…”
You don’t have to be a Parrothead to know the first lines of the Jimmy Buffett classic “Fins,” telling the story of a Cincinnati girl who heads to Florida for a little sunshine and ends up staying. Well, that’s the general premise of the Buffett Broadway musical, “Escape to Margaritaville,” now playing at the Marriott Marquis Theatre in the heart of Times Square.
Rachel (Alison Luff) decides to take her soon-to-be married girlfriend Tammy (Lisa Howard, a graduate of CCM who does UC proud in this production) on a weekend away from her fiancé, who is obsessed with Tammy’s diet – as in lose weight before we get married. They head to the Margaritaville resort, where Rachel wants to get some soil samples for work and the resort’s resident singer, a Buffett-type performer named Tully (Paul Alexander Nolan), unexpectedly falls for Rachel.
Hilarity and a list of Buffett songs ensue, including “Come Monday,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and yes, “Why Don’t We Get Drunk.” Most of the play is set in the tropics, but the first scene in Cincinnati has Rachel and Tammy in a living room with the boys watching the Columbus Blue Jackets, donning CBJ hockey sweaters. (Not football?? Maybe it’s a rights thing).
Later, when the scene returns to a tavern in Cincinnati (where they can’t stop talking about how cold it is), the bar is decked out in Cincinnati Cyclones and Stingers’ sweaters and pennants, but inexplicably they have an “Old Style” lighted bar sign. Note to the set designers: Swap that out for a Hudy 14K sign if you want to be authentic—I can help you find one.
If you’re looking for thought-provoking theatre, you’ll need to look elsewhere on Broadway. This is just a fun, toe-tapping evening of Buffett music, following the current trend of taking pop music and making a show out of it (The Donna Summer Musical opens later this month, and Head Over Heels with the iconic songs of the Go-Gos starts previews in June). If Margaritaville goes on the road, the Aronoff should be one of its first stops—and they can pick up a Hudy sign while they’re here.
Then, the shopping…
Ah yes, the most famous three-letter initials since perhaps a few former U.S. presidents. That’s really all you have to say if you’re a shoe-a-holic. Cincinnati’s own Sarah Jessica Parker has channeled her Carrie Bradshaw Sex in the City character into her own fashion brand, and her own pop-up shoe shop. Over the holidays she opened an SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker pop-up in New York on 6 West 52nd Street. (this, of course, is in addition to her higher than high-heel collection sold at Saks, Bloomies and the like)
That version was, indeed a true pop-up here today, gone tomorrow store, but now it’s back!! It opened Monday, April 2, back on 52nd Street, and, according to the sales staff, is open now for an indefinite period. Like Carrie fawning over a pair of Manolos, shoe lovers will gush over the bedazzled, besparkled footwear with prices as high as the heels. For most of us, to be worn on special occasions.
But as Carrie herself said, “I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!”
Specifically, in SJP heels.
For a peak inside the SJP pop-up, check out her Instagram video at https://www.instagram.com/p/BhEZ4hBgcz5/?hl=en&taken-by=sarahjessicaparker.