ABOARD THE CRYSTAL SERENITY – Last night the Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers premiered a new production, “My Life: The Music of Billy Joel,” to a full house. From the standing ovations given, I would say it was a smash hit.
Headliner James Fox, who played the piano and sang as Joel, nailed his role. He was great, the eight singers and dancers were great, the two back-up singers (who are usually the lead vocalists) added more pizzaz and the energy was palpable throughout the theater.
Joel’s songs resonated with everyone in this crowd, beginning with “Piano Man” and going on through a string of Joel’s greatest hits.
After the performance, Crystal’s VP of entertainment took the stage and introduced everyone in the production, the back stage crew, the dressers, the orchestra and then brought up additional key folks: The costume designer, the artistic associates, the lighting designer and the technical director. Producer Katy Arnold was honored with a spray of flowers.
In general, entertainment on this cruise has been spotty – a mix of short acts. But the production shows, especially Curtain Call and Across the Pond, have been excellent. (I must say that the iLuminate show called “The Tourist” performed with black light costumes in the dark was a miss.) Of course, the shows are repeated on longer itineraries.
The Crystal Ensemble now has five shows in its repertoire which is definitely a plus for passengers.
November 18, 2014