So, what do you think of the entertainment on cruise ships? Love it? Take it or leave it? Avoid at all costs? Whatever thoughts one might have about what defines “good” entertainment on a cruise ship, it’s time to re-think that definition…at least as far as the Come Back New cruise line is concerned.
Coming to the Princess fleet in the very near future, not a branded version of someone else’s entertainment delight. Not a headliner show that may or may not resonate with cruise travelers. No. Not even the cast of the Love Boat can match Princess’ first-of-its-kind cruise industry partnership with three-time Oscar winner and composer of Wicked, Pippin and Godspell Stephen Schwartz, although that talented bunch may certainly respect it.
The new Princess relationship with a major creative talent from Broadway and Hollywood includes a multi-year agreement to oversee the creative development of four new musicals to debut across the fleet over the next several years.
Princess will capitalize on Schwartz’s lifelong fascination with magic in the first of four new Princess shows, this one titled Magic to Do, combining magic with some of Schwartz’s popular tunes and a brand new song written exclusively for Princess.
What Will Make This Work?
Schwartz brings to the table a lifetime of show business connections.
“I have already received overwhelming and enthusiastic interest from talented colleagues – writers, directors, and designers to whom I have spoken,” said Schwartz, adding “and I hope together we will create new kinds of cruise ship shows to entertain and inspire Princess guests unlike any other productions at sea.”
Resources being tapped for Magic To Do include:
- Don Frantz, Disney vet and associate producer of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, among many other Broadway and international accomplishments;
- Gabriel Barre, himself nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (1989’s Starmites) is also an internationally acclaimed director whose credits include the national tour of Pippin and the current Broadway-bound musical, Amazing Grace;
- Jeremy Railton, four-time Emmy winner whose extensive background in theatre, film, television and multi-media design includes the 2002 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies and the Academy Awards; His credits in live concert staging, television concert specials or music videos include projects for Phil Collins, Luther Vandross, Cher, Michael Jackson..and we’ll stop right there. Enough said.
- Ken Billington, Tony award-winning lighting designer with nearly 100 Broadway show credits to his name, including Sweeney Todd and the current production of Chicago; Billington was the principal lighting designer for Radio City Music Hall from 1979 – 2004, where he created the lighting for the world-famous Christmas and Easter Spectaculars
- Mark Hartman, award-winning music director with numerous Broadway credits including Sondheim on Sondheim, Avenue Q and the national tour of Pippin
- Jennifer Paulson-Lee, choreographer with credits including Enter Laughing, the Musical, A Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream, 101 Dalmatians and Seussical.
- Theater Producer Jayson Raitt will be working closely with Schwartz and consulting on the creative development of the three additional shows.
- Jim Steinmeyer, the mastermind behind many of the great magic illusions over the last 25 years, will create the magic experience in Magic to Do. Steinmeyer has worked with some of the greatest magicians of all time including Doug Henning, Siegfried & Roy and David Copperfield.
Schwartz will oversee the creative development for all four shows, with Magic To Do debuting on Crown Princess this fall.
During his 40-year career, Schwartz has won four Grammys, three Academy Awards for “Best Song” and “Best Score” for Pocahontasand “Best Song” for The Prince of Egypt and has been nominated for six Tony Awards. He is the only songwriter in Broadway history to ever have three shows run more than 1,900 performances.