Oscar, Grammy and Tony award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz has come on board with Princess Cruises to revamp their approach to theatre, helping them in a first-of-its-kind cruise industry partnership to develop a whimsical music revue titled Magic to Do, performed exclusively across the cruise line. The partnership comes as the cruise line attempt to modernise cruise entertainment and really bring it into the ‘now’ with original live shows aimed at keeping up to industry standards.
Debuting on board the Emerald Princess in November of this year, after first being performed on Crown Princess in October last year, Magic to Do, named after the song from Pippin, is as much a magic show as it is a musical, bringing in some of Schwartz’s most famous songs including a brand new number written exclusively for Princess, called “A Little Magic”. Much of the narrative is inspired by Harry Houdini and the obsessions he had with communicating after death, transposed for the cruise’s theatre with a few considerations such as the lack of flying objects that the situation allows for (although Schwartz did state that there are still some gravity-defying stunts) and the fact that the stage will always be slightly moving.
“You can be dazzling, but in the end it’s about story, characters, and emotions”, Schwartz stated at a recent preview of the show, indicating that this partnership is not going to be resting on any laurels, rather presenting passengers with a well thought out and innovative show.
Speaking about Princess Cruises, Schwartz says:
“Their onboard theatres are Broadway-calibre venues with state-of-the-art technical capability, and coupled with their access to first-rate performers, I see it as an extraordinary and almost irresistible opportunity. I have received overwhelming and enthusiastic interest from talented colleagues – writers, directors, and designers to whom I have spoken – 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”.
Magic to Do is the first of four shows which Schwartz will be creating exclusively for the cruise line over the next several years. It is free to attend for all passengers with no need to book in advance.
Emerald Princess will be based in Sydney from November 2016 to April 2017 with fares from $1599pp twin share for an 11-night New Zealand cruise round trip from Sydney, departing January 10, 2017. The 3082 passenger ship will be the largest of the Princess Cruises fleet to ever be based in Sydney.
Headline image supplied and credited to Damian Shaw.