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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Princess Cruises Unveils Fun ‘Come Back New’ Entertainment

Sailing on the Ruby Princess last week, members of the media were presented Princess Cruises’ latest “Come Back New” marketing campaign. Several of its major components including new entertainment offerings like Stephen Schwartz’ “Magic to Do” and “The Voice of the Ocean” were previewed.“Magic to Do”Stephen Schwartz is the Oscar, Grammy and Tony Award-winning composer behind such hit musicals as “Wicked,” “Godspell” and “Pippin,” and his latest endeavor has partnered him with Princess to create “Magic to Do.” The production show – currently onboard the Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess – elevates the line’s entertainment to a level it hasn’t achieved in some time, appropriate given one of the featured numbers is “Defying Gravity,” set to wonderful vocals and a double levitation illusion.At its core, the performance is a revue of Schwartz’ most popular songs, but tying it all together is a loose narrative about the so-called Magic Maker and his ensemble cast of fantastical assistants singing and dancing their way through timeless illusions, some staged better than others. For anyone who has seen a magic show or two, most of the tricks will be familiar but enjoyable standards.READ MORE: 8 Things that Define Princess CruisesVocals started out a little rusty as the sound mix first struggled to adjust to the right levels, but soared by the time the production was over, and elements of live music were a particularly nice inclusion. The set design and theatrical techniques employed are fairly extensive for a shipboard presentation, and some of the highlights were unique air and cloth effects as well as both whimsical and dramatic puppetry.“Colors of the Wind” is a kinetic delight of fabric and color, and “No Time at All,” sung by a chorus line of granny hippies, is an absolute hoot as the bodies of the performers are hidden behind half-height puppets that appear to prop up their effectively oversized heads. Similarly, although much darker in tone, the shadow puppets of “Prestidigitation” are expertly proje

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