Escape to Margaritaville at Segerstrom Center

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Sarah Hinrichsen as Rachel and Chris Clark as Tully in “Escape to Margaritaville,” coming to Segerstrom Center for the Arts Feb. 4–9.
— Photo by Matthew Murphy ©

The Orange County School of the Arts has produced an impressive list of graduates that have gone on to fame and fortune.

Susan Egan (Tony Award nomination for “Beauty and the Beast”), Krysta Rodriguez (“Smash,” “The Addams Family”), and Stephanie J. Block (“The Cher Show,” “Wicked”) are just some of the success stories to come out of OCSA.

Now you can add one more name to the list: Sarah Hinrichsen, who has the lead role in the Broadway touring production of “Escape to Margaritaville” that comes to Segerstrom Center for the Arts Feb 4–9.

It’s the first national tour for Hinrichsen, who graduated from OCSA in 2012.

“I used to live in Upland, and commuted every day to OCSA,” Hinrichsen said during a phone interview from Palm Desert. She had a rare day off and was visiting family before “Escape to Margaritaville” played in Palm Springs for four days prior to coming to Costa Mesa.

Orange County School of the Arts graduate Sarah Hinrichsen plays Rachel in “Escape to Margaritaville.”
— Photo courtesy of Sarah Hinrichsen ©

After graduating from OCSA, Hinrichsen attended Oklahoma City University for four years and then moved to New York and started auditioning.

“I went in for this role last February. It was an open call and there were a million people there,” Hinrichsen recalled. “My dad says if you don’t buy a lottery ticket you can’t win, so I figured I’d go and audition anyway. I ended up being called back 10 times. I’ll never forget getting the offer. I called my parents and screamed ‘I got it.’ This is a dream role. I saw the show on Broadway, and my friends told me I looked like the lead character. Soon after they announced the tour and I went for it.”

“Escape to Margaritaville” features a handful of songs by Jimmy Buffett that serve to help tell the story of two women who go on vacation to Margaritaville. One of the women, a scientist, meets a part time bartender and singer who falls for her.

“It’s a dream character — she’s smart and funny,” Hinrichsen said.

The tour of “Escape to Margaritaville” began last fall, and Hinrichsen said it’s a different experience than what she’s used to.

“We’ve been to 18 cities already,” Hinrichsen said of the tour, which consists of everything from one and two days stops in a town to two to three week stays. “You lose your sense of routine. Every day is a new adventure. I’m a tourist in a new town, but I have to save energy to do the show at night.”

Hinrichsen said she was familiar with Jimmy Buffett’s music before being cast in the show because it was played at every barbecue she’s ever attended.

“I was not an official parrothead,” she said, referring to the nickname of Buffet fans, “but now I love the music.”

Ultimately, said Hinrichsen, you don’t have to be a Jimmy Buffett aficionado to enjoy the show.

“My parents have seen it four or five times, and my mom says she leaves the theater in a better mood than when she came in,” Hinrichsen said. “The show is about romance, about finding balance, the balance of a love life and a career, with Jimmy Buffett songs. People often tell me they had no idea what to expect yet it exceeded their expectations. It’s a two-hour vacation, high energy, and a love story. There’s something in it for everyone.”

For more information and tickets, visit SCFTA.org.

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