Broadway performers from shows such as "Wicked," "Rent," "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," "The Producers" and "42nd Street" will hit the high seas with Celebrity Cruises.
The themed cruise, titled "Sailing With the Stars," will embark from Miami on Nov. 5, 2016 and is being put together by Broadway Theatre Cruises, a new company started by Boca Raton's Mark Keller and Palm Beach Gardens' Alan Jacobson.
For those who book passage on the seven-night Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Cruises' newest ship, the Celebrity Reflection, the entertainers will include:
•Lee Roy Reams ("The Producers," "La Cage aux Folles," "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," "42nd Street")
•Eden Espinosa ("Wicked," "Rent," "Flora the Red Menace")
•Robert Cuccioli ("Les Miserables," "Jekyll & Hyde," "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark").
"We're covering the age gamut for the cruise," says theater producer Jacobson, who also wrote the parody "Waistwatchers the Musical" and ran the Plaza Theatre in Manalapan for two seasons. "Lee Roy is for our seniors. Bob would be for the boomers because he is in his 50s. Eden Espinosa is in her 30s, so she's part of the newer wave of Broadway stars. Audiences may not be as familiar with some of these people now, but they will be."
Here's more about "Sailing With the Stars."
Why: "Because I was aware of the cruises that are going through Playbill, which are very similar," Jacobson explains. "And doing some research into them and seeing the pricing of these cruises, which essentially start around $6,000 and up. We have a price point that is affordable to many, many more people. It starts right around $2,500, less than half the other offerings out there. And mind you, on a quality cruise ship."
Where: The cruise will stop in Cozumel, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; and Labadee, Haiti.
How: "First, I brought in a partner, Mark Keller, who has been producing the Broadway Cabaret Series at the Crest Theatre [at Delray Beach Center for the Arts] for the last 19 years and has direct contact with many of these Broadway stars, as do I," Jacobson says. "But he has more than even I do. So we start with the performers. The idea is … to come up with programming that gives our guests the opportunity to get closer with these stars. They get to mix. They get to mingle and meet. We have an opening-night and closing-night cocktail party with the stars. The stars will be at multiple dinners, moving around at tables only with our guests. We are also doing our version of the 'Inside the Actors Studio' program called Celebrity Studio. And like James Lipton does, we will do a question and answer. Norb Joerder will be our moderator. Audiences here know him from his work with the Wick Theatre. We are also giving them some additional fun experiences … like Celebrity Idol. Everything is synonymous with the 'celebrity' in Celebrity Cruises. All of our guests will have the opportunity to appear in our Celebrity Idol. And there's a nightly piano bar. So they have a lot of activities that we are giving them, in addition to going to the main shows on the ship that everyone gets to see."
When: Nov. 5-12, 2016
Contact: For more information, go to BroadwayTheatreCruises.com. To book, call Boynton Beach-based travel agent Elliott Stoll of Cruise Planner at 561-736-1704 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RightCruise4You.com.
Extra: "We have a give-back program," Jacobson says. "We're working with nonprofit organizations and donating $200 per person to these nonprofits for every person that comes through them. So if we get 50 of their patrons to book the cruise … they get a $10,000 check from Broadway Cruises." Local theaters such as Fort Lauderdale's Slow Burn Theatre, Miami's GableStage and Jupiter's Maltz Jupiter Theatre have already signed on.