Jimmy Buffett music and theater fans have only one night to see the musical comedy, "Escape to Margaritaville," at the Lutcher Theater in Orange, Texas. The performance is Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.
In addition to enjoying an "escape" this musical comedy is sure to deliver, the audience should keep an eye out for 23-year-old Orange native dancer, singer, actress and choreographer Sophie Braud. Escape to Margaritaville is her first Broadway tour.
"It's cool that I'll be on that stage again," Braud said. "The first time, I was three years old."
Braud's mother enrolled her in the Lorna Badon School of Fine Arts when Braud was two-and-a-half. The first dance concert was at the Lutcher. She continued at the dance school until she graduated from high school. Braud graduated early from the highest-rated dance program in the nation, Oklahoma City University.
"It's the first big performing arts school ever created to cater to musical theater," Braud said.
Because of her training and education, she was ready to hit New York City, running, she said. In fact, she already had a network. Within New York, theater professionals, have claimed Hamilton Heights, an area from 130th to 160th streets. She arrived December 2018.
"I was auditioning like crazy, and found out I had the role in April," she said. "You have to be scrappy but kind and I think my background prepared me for that."
It's highly competitive. Thousands compete for a single role.
In "Escape," Braud will sing. She'll dance. And she'll play a few tourist parts to include Mrs. Jesus and a dead insurance salesman.
"I'll change costumes 11 or 12 times during a two-and-a-half-hour show," she said. "I'll use three different wigs and those will be styled differently each time. One quick change is really impressive."
The setting is a cool coastal retreat where people come to get away from it all – and stay to find something they never expected.
The show just left Fort Lauderdale where Jimmy Buffett made a surprise appearance.
"He's the sweetest, funniest, most laid-back carefree guy you're ever going to meet," Braud said. "I remember family vacations in Gulf Shores, visiting LuLu's, his sister's restaurant. If you would have told my 12-year-old self that I would be dancing and singing on stage with him, I would have never believed it."
Some in the audience will sing along to popular tunes such as Cheeseburger in Paradise, Wasting Away in Margaritaville and Come Monday. Expect original music as well.
The cast is from all over the U.S. Braud named Brooklyn, New York and Los Angeles, as well as Baton Rouge and other cities. They'll only have one day to see and feel the love that Braud wants them to feel in her hometown. After the show, the cast will head to her parents' home.
"I'm so excited to host my cast mates in the home where I grew up and my hometown," she said. "I'm just over the moon to be back. This is the most loving and supportive community that I could hope for."
Braud and cast will get a short break after the Dec. 7 show and then head to Denver for holiday performances.
To purchase tickets or get additional info, call (409) 886-5535 or go to lutcher.org.