Cruise360: "Jersey Boys," New Cuba-Inspired Show to Debut on Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Cruise Line announced at a Cruise360 press conference on Friday that "Jersey Boys" would debut for the first time at sea on the new Norwegian Bliss. Flanked by members of the Jersey Boys cast are NCL's Andy Stuart and Camille Olivere as well as Van Anderson of Avoya Travel Network.

When the 167,800-grt Norwegian Bliss debuts in Alaska and the Caribbean in 2018, guests onboard the 4,000-passenger ship will be treated to the first-at-sea production of "Jersey Boys," the Tony Award-winning Broadway show.

Debuting in the Bliss Theater, this iconic musical story chronicles the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to pop fame.

The new show will include such hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”

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On Friday, Andy Stuart, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line, brought down the house -- during a press briefing at Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA’s) Cruise360 conference at Port Everglades, FL -- by introducing the Jersey Boys cast members for a medley of songs and then donning his own red jacket and hoofing it a bit with the boys.  

Photo by Susan J Young

Jersey Boys is written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe. The show follows the story of four working their way from the streets of Newark to the heights of stardom. 

One of the longest running shows in Broadway history, Jersey Boys has been seen by 24 million people worldwide and the original Broadway production won the 2006 Tony Award.

Photo by Susan J Young

New Cuba-Inspired Show

In addition, Stuart said Norwegian Cruise Line is also developing a new Cuba-inspired, Broadway-style musical theater show created by Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Warren Carlyle for Norwegian Bliss.

Carlyle has worked on countless Broadway productions. He most recently choreographed the Broadway musical, “Hello, Dolly,” starring Bette Midler.

He also directed and choreographed “After Midnight,” which won the 2014 Tony Award for “Best Choreography”; that show is also currently running on Norwegian Escape. 

Norwegian Bliss’ new show will also feature costumes by Cuban-American fashion icon Isabel Toledo, who has designed for former First Lady Michelle Obama. She's also earned a Tony Award nomination for best costume design in 2014 for “After Midnight.” 

Her husband, Ruben Toledo, will develop the new show’s art and scenic designs. Also a Cuban-American, his work has appeared in Vogue magazine, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

More details on that new show will be revealed this fall.

Given the Cuban show theming -- and considering that Norwegian Bliss will sail the Caribbean in winter -- will the ship have Cuba in its future itineraries?

For now, the answer is “no.” Stuart told us the ship is simply too big to call in Cuba (at least with existing port facilities).   

More Bliss Entertainment 

In more news, Stuart said Norwegian Bliss’ Alibi Comedy and Nightclub will feature comedy sets from stand-up comedians, and late at night will transform into a chic nightclub.

Alibi will feature two comedy performances six nights a week, offering both family-friendly and mature comedy shows. 

Guests will have intimate seating and cocktail tables during comedy performances. Those visiting Alibi after 10 p.m. can dance up a storm on a black-and-white, chevron-patterned dance floor, with LED disco lighting. A DJ will spin the latest hits.

In addition, Norwegian Bliss’ guests will feel they’re back in another era -- January 16, 1919, the eve of Prohibition – for a rowdy good time with the new show, “Happy Hour Prohibition-The Musical.”

The show will be performed on select evenings as a happy hour pre-dinner show and once each cruise as a late night, adults-only show in the Alibi Comedy and Nightclub.

Created by Broadway’s Holly-Anne Palmer, Liz Muller and Collin Simon, it will take guests into the world of Miss Lulu’s New Orleans speakeasy, Mahogany Hall, as cast members entertain with tales of bootleggers and dances choreographed by Broadway veteran Lauren Lim Jackson.

During a one-hour performance, guests can expect to hear such Prohibition-era tunes as “Let’s Misbehave,” “Happy Feet” and “Makin’ Whoopee.” The venue will also serve Prohibition-era specialty cocktails concocted with a modern twist. 

Finally, Norwegian expects to bring the “The Cavern Club” experience to Norwegian Bliss, just as it has to Norwegian Epic. It’s inspired by the Beatles-era rock and roll venue The Cavern Club in Liverpool.

The lounge show will host nightly live rock-and-roll performances by a Beatles cover band singing such hits like “Penny Lane” and “Yellow Submarine.” 

During the inaugural summer season, Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from Pier 66 in Seattle. The itinerary will include port calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C., as well as scenic glacier cruising. 

Starting in November 2018, Norwegian Bliss will sail then sail seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises; they'll depart each Saturday from PortMiami. Calls will include St. Thomas, US.V.I.,  Tortola, B.V.I. and Nassau, the Bahamas.

For more information on Norwegian Bliss, please visit www.bliss.ncl.com

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