Ever wondered what a Jimmy Buffett and “Oklahoma!” mashup would sound like? Well, wonder no more.
During this weekend’s performance of Jimmy Buffet’s new Broadway show “Escape to Margaritaville,” the iconic singer appeared in the show’s closing number for a rendition of “Surry with the Fringe on Top” in honor of the 75th anniversary of “Oklahoma!.” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical had its original opening night on March 31, 1943, and Buffett, outfitted in one of his famed Hawaiian shirts and Easter bunny ears, gave his own spin on the tune along with the show’s cast.
“I grew up on Rodgers and Hammerstein and I wish my mother were here to see this!,” Buffett said following the performance. “Oklahoma!” ran for more than 2000 performances between 1943 and 1948 and has had four Broadway revivals since its original production, in 1951, 1953, 1979 and 2002. As part of a yearlong 75th anniversary celebration, other shows including “The King and I,” “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” and “The Sound of Music” also celebrated “Oklahoma!” over the weekend.
Buffet’s “Escape to Margaritaville” opened on Broadway March 15, and follows the story of an island native who falls in love with a visiting tourist, all while accompanied by Buffet’s hit songs. The beach bum lead character, played by Paul Alexander Nolan, plays in the Margaritaville Hotel house band, inspired by Buffet’s own Coral Reefer band, with tunes including “License to Chill” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”