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Q&A: Paul Alexander Nolan of ‘Escape to Margaritaville’

Category Actor Spotlight

|by Jeryl Brunner |


Channel your inner Parrothead and escape to Margaritaville with Paul Alexander Nolan

In Escape to Margaritaville, kick back and be transported to the Margaritaville Hotel in the middle of the Caribbean without ever leaving New York City. The new musical comedy celebrating the music of Jimmy Buffett is heating up the Marquis Theatre.  Escape to Margaritaville includes classic Buffett tunes like “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Volcano” along with lesser known songs. Paul Alexander Nolan, whose Broadway credits includes Chicago, Bright Star, Once and Jesus Christ Superstar, plays Tully. The guy is chilling out as an entertainer/bartender and resident resort charmer, that is, until a beautiful career-focused tourist comes along, then things really start to sizzle.

Alison Luff and Paul Alexander Nolan in 'Escape to Margaritaville' (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Alison Luff and Paul Alexander Nolan in 'Escape to Margaritaville' (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

What is the joy of doing Escape to Margaritaville
Paul Alexander Nolan:
If the audience is on board, that is my favorite part about it. We are here to give them a good time, to give them an escape from the busy Manhattan streets and their lives. If we can do that, it’s perfect and is right in the themes of Jimmy Buffett himself. And I get to really enjoy myself.  

Why do Jimmy Buffet’s songs resonate with you? 
Paul Alexander Nolan:
Jimmy’s music is surprisingly deep. On first listen it’s more whimsical and fun. But there are more philosophical things going on in the lyrics than you would ever expect.

What was the first Broadway show you saw? 
Paul Alexander Nolan:
The first show I saw on Broadway was Fosse. If I can recall correctly, I was in the standing room. This was before I lived in New York. I was here visiting friends that I had met when I was really young working for the Disney Cruise Line. I came to New York to see my friends that I got very tight with at 21 years old. 

Didn’t you make your Broadway debut playing Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar
Paul Alexander Nolan:
Yes, I debuted on Broadway in 2012 with Jesus Christ Superstar playing Jesus. That was a production that we brought to New York from the Stratford Festival in Canada. Like Escape to Margaritaville, we had done the show all over the United States and already had over 100 performances under our belt.  So coming in with that was really fun because there was so much confidence in our company and so much work already done.

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