NEW YORK (AP) -- An Oscar-winning composer of Broadway musicals, Stephen Schwartz, will create four musicals to debut onboard Princess cruise ships, the cruise line announced Thursday.
Princess Cruises called it a "first-of-its-kind cruise industry partnership" with such a big name from Broadway and Hollywood.
Schwartz, 67, is the composer of "Wicked," ''Pippin" and "Godspell." He's won Oscars for "Pocahontas" and "The Prince of Egypt" and Grammys for "Godspell," ''Pocahontas" and "Wicked."
The new productions will open over the next few years.
The first musical, "Magic to Do," will debut aboard the Crown Princess ship this fall, celebrating Schwartz's "lifelong fascination with magic" and combining some of his most famous songs with a new song written for the show, according to Princess.
It's not unusual for cruise lines to turn to established Broadway shows for onboard entertainment. Royal Caribbean cruises offer full-length productions of Broadway musicals "Cats," ''Chicago," ''Saturday Night Fever" and "Mamma Mia!" Guests on Norwegian Breakaway can see the shows "Rock of Ages" and "Burn the Floor." Disney Cruise Line, meanwhile, is theming cruises on its hit movie "Frozen" this summer with deck parties, character meet-and-greets, menus and performances on select sailings. Disney Magic itineraries include the Norwegian fjords that inspired the hit movie. What's different here, of course, is that an established composer is writing a new musical to debut on a ship.
Schwartz was scheduled to appear Thursday evening at an event to discuss the deal. In a statement, he said he was "excited about the possibility of using the enormous resources available with Princess to create new and innovative theatrical entertainment. Their onboard theaters are Broadway-caliber venues with state-of-the-art technical capability, and coupled with their access to first-rate performers, I see it as an extraordinary and almost irresistible opportunity."
Others from the world of entertainment identified by Princess as part of the team producing the shows include Don Frantz, associate producer of "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway; Jeremy Railton, four-time Emmy winner with design credits for the 2002 Winter Olympics ceremonies; Ken Billington, Tony Award-winning lighting designer; Mark Hartman, music director with Broadway credits including "Sondheim on Sondheim" and "Avenue Q"; and Jennifer Paulson-Lee, choreographer with credits including "101 Dalmatians" and "Seussical."
Princess Cruises operates 18 ships and is owned by Carnival Corp.