Princess Cruises announced yesterday that the next original show they're debuting, in partnership with Oscar-, Tony-, and Grammy-winning composer Stephen Schwartz, will be "Born to Dance." This homage to Broadway dancers, coming to Golden Princess, Star Princess, and Grand Princess in fall 2016, will include dance numbers of famous songs from "Chicago," "West Side Story," and "Mamma Mia!"
These will be interspersed with video interviews of Tony-winning luminaries such as Andy Blankenbuehler (from Broadway's current hot ticket, “Hamilton”), Rob Ashford (“Evita”), and Karen Ziemba (“Chicago”) talking about their careers and the choreographers that inspired them as well as their big breaks and toughest moments, including injuries that set them back. As a result, the show feels very much like a passion project — personal to those involved — particularly because everyone from the creators to the performers have all dedicated their life to dance and they see dancers as very much the unsung heroes of Broadway.
Rachelle Rak, who spent most of her career as a Broadway dancer and is currently the host and judge of Lifetime's "Dance Moms," was interviewed for the show. She was so moved by the music and the experience that she suggested the production should live on beyond just being performed on Princess ships. "Bring it to Broadway!" she suggested, laughing. "It [a show] has never gone that way before ... from a cruise ship to Broadway!"
This is the second original show that Princess has created in partnership with Schwartz. The first, "Magic to Do," debuted in fall 2015 to rave reviews. Both productions come at a time when stage shows on cruise ships have been dramatically improving from the days of medleys and high-school-musical caliber productions, and recent hits include Norwegian Cruise Line's "After Midnight" on Norwegian Escape and Royal Caribbean's "Grease" on Harmony of the Seas.