Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz is working on a new Asian musical to debut on Princess Cruises.
Mr Schwartz, an Oscar, Grammy and Tony lyricist of Broadway musical hits Wicked, Pippin and Godspell revealed he is working on a new production based on an Asian folktale, The Silk Crane.
“It will be an amazing tale of adventure, romance and enchantment told entirely through puppetry, music, dance and visuals aimed at adults. There will be a lot of animal imagery including dragons,” Mr Schwartz told Cruise Passenger in an interview from Los Angeles.
“Most of the songs used on the musical will be pop songs which will be familiar to the audience. We will also use a lot of Asian instruments.”
The show will debut on Diamond Princess at the end of the year.
It follows his earlier productions, Magic to Do and Born to Dance on Princess fleet.
Magic to Do is his first musical for Princess which draws on his fascination with magic and magic tricks. Born to Dance which can be seen on Australian-based ship, Golden Princess, draws on the music, dance and choreography of earlier musicals from Oklahoma, West Side Story to Chicago.
Mr Schwartz signed an exclusive partnership with Princess in 2015 with the brief to raise the level of entertainment on board its fleet. Princess wanted original musicals which are exclusive to the line.
“In the past, cruise ship shows were not high quality. Today it is all changing,” he said.
His favourite musical is The King and I.
“The music is amazing, the way the story is told and how the characters develop and unfold is wonderful. The exotic locale makes it more than a love story,” he said.
And his favourite song?
“It’s Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now – I love playing it but it is a difficult song to sing.”
During his 40-year entertainment career, Schwartz has won four Grammys and three Academy awards including best song and best score for Pocahontas and best song for The Prince of Egypt.
His first musical Godspell debuted in New York when he was only 23. The show became a sensation and the song Day by Day climbed the charts.
He is not new to cruising. Last year he took his family to Alaska. This year he plans to cruise the Mediterranean on a Princess ship.