There are certain things associated with the sunny season for many — a nap in a hammock, the sound of children in the water, the glow of fireflies in a backyard and the slurp of frozen drinks.
Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Columbia, Maryland, is hoping to add to those summer memories as “Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville” appears onstage at the venue from June 16 to August 20.
“We’re calling it the perfect summer party,” said Mark Minnick, associate producer at Toby’s.
While the name Jimmy Buffett is synonymous with Parrothead culture and the fellowship of booze, tropical attire and gatherings at shows that often comes with it, “Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville” isn’t a concert. It’s a full-on, one-stop shop for an evening out with easy and free parking, no stress and some good island vibes — food, a full bar, fellowship and theater.
The musical is a boy meets girl love story involving an island, drinks, fun, laughs and the lounge “Margaritaville.” Buffett tunes provide the musical landscape to the show, including recognizable hits such as “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Fins,” “Volcano,” and “Margaritaville.”
Howard County native and Salisbury University graduate Patrick Gover — coming off a run at Toby’s playing Danny Zuko in the theater’s production of “Grease” — is once again in a leading role at the dinner theater, set to play Tully Mars this summer. Mars is the singer at “Margaritaville” and the musical’s portrayal of Jimmy Buffett.
The Toby’s experience offers another unique twist. During the pre-show meal, the actors from the production double up as waiters. Minnick said this allows for a mutual admiration society, in a sense, as guests can interact with the folks they will soon applaud onstage.
Minnick said the menu for the show’s meal hasn’t been finalized yet, but he added that some things shouldn’t come as a surprise to Buffett admirers.
“You can bet it’s going to be themed toward some of his music," Minnick said.
The food won’t be the only thing that ties in a Buffett theme. Minnick noted that Toby’s will look and feel like a tropical resort during the production’s run.
“Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville” is expected to bring a lot of folks to Toby’s, including the flocks of fans who regularly see the iconic performer at the nearby Merriweather Post Pavilion.
“We want to make sure if you want to see this show, which has never been produced in this area, then you should get your tickets early because it will sell out,” Minnick said. “It’s got the name, it’s got the fun, the music, the story.”
Tickets can be purchased by calling Toby’s box office at 410-730-8311. More information, including ticket prices and box office hours, is available at www.tobysdinnertheatre.com/box-office/tickets. Tickets are also available on Ticketmaster, but that option adds service fees.
Minnick said the show is appropriate for ages 13 and up and contains some adult humor and language.
Whether you’re seeking to down a Hurricane before you go insane or just looking to nibble on sponge cake, Toby’s has you covered this summer.
“It’s a guaranteed good time,” Minnick said.
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