Sunday 28 August 2022

Discover Princess Cruises' NEW Theatre Show Spotlight Bar

(press event - see disclaimer)

A few days ago I stepped onboard Princess Cruises' Enchanted Princess to experience their brand-new theatre production Spotlight Bar and oh what a treat it was. Southampton was drenched in sunshine, the skies were blue and it was the perfect day to step onboard for the day. I haven't been on a Princess Cruises ship since 2019 so it was such a joy to see everyone again and explore the glorious Enchanted Princess - one I haven't experienced before. 

Enchanted Princess officially joined the fleet in September 2020 after the pandemic had an impact on her delivery. Princess inaugurated the ship's operations on 10th November 2021 which is when she set sail on her maiden voyage and this summer season she's been sailing from Southampton which made it perfect for us to hop on for the day during a turnaround. 

Getting on the ship was a breeze and we headed to the International Cafe first to catch up over coffee before joining everyone at the theatre for our exclusive showing of Spotlight Bar. The show debuted in April and was exclusively performed in the Princess Theatre on Discovery Princess but will soon be performed on Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess over the coming months. 

The imaginative show will transport guests to a vibrant bar atmosphere where they will meet and connect with local storytellers who will share tales of their lives through songs. The set was incredible and reminded me of Cheers and Friends - very American with so much to look at and the attention to detail was impeccable, I especially enjoyed the dancing fish on the wall. 

The production features a variety of hits that will resonate with all ages - Spotlight Bar is set to bring people together in a place where everyone belongs. The show includes a modern musical playlist, with cast performances of various songs such as Brave by Sara Bareilles, Don’t You Worry About a Thing by Stevie Wonder, Havana by Camila Cabello and Old Town Road by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.

The Spotlight Band is made up of a collection of incredible musicians such as Zachary McCullough on drums (he's also the music manager) Irving Brown on piano. Peter Serraville on Guitar. Ignacio Long on Bass and Jonathan Crespo on the Trumpet. The singers brought every story to life with strong vocals from Damon McToy, Karmelle Pelham and Adrian Myles.

“Spotlight Bar shares the story of the friendly neighbourhood bar where locals want to hang out, catch up, laugh, grab a drink and maybe sing a song or two,” said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience.

As with any show, there is a whole plethora of people to take Spotlight Bar from an idea to a show and the impressive creative team who have worked with Princess Cruises has credentials to make you go WOW.

Director and Choreographer Karen Bruce has worked in theatre and television across the globe. Her work includes direction and choreography of The Last Tango, Dance ‘til Dawn, Midnight Tango, Love Me Tender and The Bodyguard while her notable television work is with Strictly Come Dancing and So You Think You Can Dance. Bruce won an Olivier Award for her choreography of Pacific Overtures at the Donmar Warehouse and Best Choreographer at Premios del Teatro Musical for her work on Saturday Night Fever. Bruce is no stranger to Princess as she previously created several production shows from 1995 to 2006.

Scenic Designer Morgan Large is a prominent UK scenic designer for Rock of Ages, Fame, Tell Me On A Sunday, Wonderland (Theater Award Best Design), Room on the Broom (nominated Olivier Award) and Top Hat. He collaborated with Bruce on The Last Tango, Footloose The Musical, and Midnight Tango. The Spotlight Bar set is really quite incredible right down to the glass ring stains on the tables.

Musical Director Chris Egan is a British composer, orchestrator, conductor and musical director who has worked extensively on film, television and theatre music, as well as live concerts. His credits include The Bodyguard, The Wedding Singer, Upstairs Downstairs, Downton Abbey and Shaun the Sheep 2.

Lighting Designer James Whiteside has more than 15 years experience lighting plays, musicals, dance and opera in the UK and internationally. Whiteside has worked for commercial producers, repertory houses and independent theatre companies. He's designed lighting for small-scale tours to West End musicals. Whiteside also collaborated with Bruce in 2006 on the Princess production Destination Anywhere.

It's a must-see when cruising with Princess Cruises over the next few months - getting the chance to watch incredible theatre at sea is just one of the many reasons to cruise with Princess Cruises.

I know I'd be queing first to watch Spotlight Bar again, I found it so enjoyable to watch.

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