Princess Cruises and Oscar, Grammy and Tony award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell) today announced the creative team for the third show in its exclusive partnership, The Silk Crane. Created and directed by John Tartaglia (Avenue Q, ImaginOcean), The Silk Crane is a remarkable tale of adventure, romance, and enchantment that features familiar music and brings together some of Broadway’s best creatives to transport audiences on board. Told entirely through music, dance, puppetry, and visuals, acclaimed puppeteer, actor, comedian, and director John Tartaglia brings a contemporary spin to a classic ancient folktale exclusively for Princess Cruises. The Silk Crane will debut in late 2017 onboard Diamond Princess and follows Magic to Do and Born to Dance, the first two shows in the collaboration.
Auditions for The Silk Crane will be in Honolulu on April 4 and 5, Los Angeles on April 26 and 27, and in New York May 1 through 4.
The Silk Crane will feature original puppet creations by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, with choreography by Shannon Lewis (Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, A Dog Story), scenic design by Tony Award-nominee Anna Louizos (Broadway’s School of Rock, In the Heights), costume design by Tony Award-winner Clint Ramos (Eclipsed, Here Lies Love), lighting design by Kelly Easterling (Uprising of Love with Sting, Forever Cunard), and media design by Aaron Rhyne (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Broadway’s Anastasia). With lyrics by Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days, Old Jews Telling Jokes), compositions by Jihwan Kim (Cupid, Cinderella After the Ball), music direction and vocal arrangements by Brad Ellis (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, “Glee”), and music production and orchestrations by Andrew Christie (Rush, “Survivor”), Jayson Raitt(“Dancing with the Stars,” Rock of Ages) serves as consulting producer.
“John’s creativity and Stephen’s guidance and vision are a winning team, and we are very much looking forward to bringing this timeless, ancient fable to our passengers,” said Denise Saviss, vice president, entertainment, Princess Cruises.
In 2015, Princess Cruises and the three-time Oscar-winning composer Stephen Schwartz created a first-of-its-kind cruise industry partnership. Schwartz oversees the creative development for four shows exclusive to the Princess fleet, bringing together a cadre of Broadway talent to support the productions through direction and design.
Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway hits Wicked, Pippin, Godspell and The Magic Show. For film, he wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt, and collaborated with composer Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Enchanted, as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein’s Mass, and his first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, was produced at Opera Santa Barbara and New York City Opera. Schwartz has won three Oscars, four Grammys and a Tony. He has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
John Tartaglia (Creator and Director). Directing credits include The Wizard of Oz, Shrek the Musical and Tarzan (The MUNY), Claudio Quest (New York Musical Theatre Festival, winner Outstanding Direction, Best of the NYMF), Lord Tom (York Theater), Jim Henson’s Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train Live! (national tour), Elmo the Musical, Live!(Sesame Place), Avenue Q (off-Broadway, Resident Director). Theatre performance credits include a Tony Award nominated Broadway debut in Avenue Q creating the roles of Princeton and Rod, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, and Pinocchio in Shrek The Musical. Best known to parents and kids as “Johnny” from Disney’s Johnny and the Sprites (Daytime Emmy award nomination) on Disney Junior Worldwide, additional performing credits include 13 seasons on “Sesame Street,” Disney’s “Bear in the Big Blue House,” “Ugly Betty,” “Animal Jam,” “Dog City,” “The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss,” “Play with Me Sesame,” “Sesame English,” “Blue’s Room,” and “JoJo’s Circus.” His acclaimed off-Broadway, national and international touring show ImaginOcean will premiere in November as a new Jim Henson Company series on PBS entitled Splash and Bubbles with John serving as an executive producer and performer of “Splash.” John is also the host of SiriusXM On Broadway’s Sunday Funday.
Adam Gwon (Lyricist) is a composer and lyricist whose musicals have enjoyed more than 150 productions worldwide. Off-Broadway credits include Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre) and Old Jews Telling Jokes (Westside Theatre). Regional credits include Cake Off (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination), Cloudlands (South Coast Rep), The Boy Detective Fails (Signature Theatre), Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma) and the West End’s Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios). His songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, among others, by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James. Honors include the Kleban Award, Ebb Award, Richard Rodgers Award, Loewe Award, Second Stage Theatre’s Donna Perret Rosen Award, Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, and the MAC John Wallowitch Award. Recordings include Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records), Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home (Nonesuch), The Essential Liz Callaway (Working Girl Records) and Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Album. Gwon has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and the Dramatists Guild.
Jihwan Kim (Composer) is a New York-based composer and pianist. He is currently the pianist for the upcoming Broadway show Sousatzka by Maltby and Shire and has been pianist for An American In Paris on Broadway and the first national tour of A Chorus Line. Kim has also played in the Broadway orchestra pits of Mary Poppins and Evita. With lyricist/bookwriter Sean Hartley, he wrote Cupid and Psyche, which was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Lyrics and has been produced Off-Broadway at the John Houseman Theatre and in regional theatres across the country. With lyricist/bookwriter Eddie Sugarman, he wrote The Nutcracker Sings and Cinderella After the Ball which recently ran at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, NE. He orchestrated The Moon and The Son, which won an Oscar in 2006 for Best Short Film, Animated. Other works include One World Symphony, Ureuk Symphony Orchestra, and a film score played live-to-picture at the Tribeca Film Festival. Kim holds a B.A. from Harvard University, M.A. in Film Scoring from NYU, and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School.
Brad Ellis (Music Director and Vocal Arranger) is a composer, musical director, orchestrator, and jazz pianist. Credits include the quiet teacher/pianist on “Glee,” where he also served as a music director, arranger, pianist and composer. He was the music director for Fox’s recent The Rocky Horror Picture Show and contributed music and orchestrations for Netflix’s “The Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” Other television credits include “Gilmore Girls,” “Bunheads,” “2009 Academy Awards” (co-creating Hugh Jackman’s opening number), “The Glee Project,” and “The Middle.” Film credits include Chicago, De-Lovely, and Beauty and the Beast. Ellis has conducted and performed in over 6,000 performances of more than 400 different concerts and musicals, and orchestrates for the LA Phil, Boston Pops, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, National Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra. He’s led 35 albums for RCA, DRG, and Varese Sarabande, and has worked closely with Billy Joel, Christoph Eschenbach, Kristin Chenoweth, Ariana Grande, and Tim Curry, and is Matthew Morrison’s music director. Ellis received an Emmy certificate for his work on the Oscars, and in 2011 Donate Life Hollywood honored him as their Person of the Year for his work promoting organ transplant awareness.
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 18 modern cruise ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided with the experience of exceptional customer service. As world’s largest international premium cruise brand, Princess carries two million guests each year to more than 360 destinations around the globe on more than 150 itineraries ranging in length from three to 114 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.