New Legends Coming to Norwegian Epic

| 08.02.12

Michael Jackson, Donna Summer and Jimmy Buffet tributes arrive this November for the Caribbean cruise season

Norwegian Epic is the only cruise ship to feature the "Legends at Sea" tribute show produced by the "Legends in Concert" company based in Las Vegas. That is a shame in my opinion, as these are among the highest caliber production shows at sea.

A tribute show is one where a singer/dancer artist plays the part of someone famous, essentially doing the artist's show as close to the original as possible. Think of "Elvis Impersonators."

But the Legends at Sea show is magnitudes better than watching any typical "Elvis impersonator" show. The company not only finds some of the most talented and qualified people possible to play the leads, but they also bring the entire show experience to the stage; with live music, the original choreography and backup singers along with multimedia presentations of the original artists playing off to the sides. These "Legends" tribute shows come as close to the experience of seeing the original artists as one can get.

Long story short, the first time I saw one of these shows I was skeptical, but when I left I could not have been more impressed.

Norwegian just announced a new set of tribute artists (the artists always come in sets of three) will arrive aboard Norwegian Epic this coming November 3rd. The new line-up will include:

Michael Jackson - by J Lucas

Michael Jackson (for the second time on Epic). This is an excellent choice. I think it is fitting they would bring Michael back on Epic since in real life he just passed away - sadly far too early in his life. Michael Jackson was not only a great singer, but his meticulous stage show, especially his choreography, made him one of the most exciting live performers in history. I fully expect this to be one of the best Legends shows Norwegian has ever produced.

Portraying the legendary "King of Pop," will be J Lucas - a member of the "Legends in Concert" family who "wowed fans in Las Vegas on Harrah's main stage" for many years. Hailing from South Carolina, Lucas was heavily influenced by Michael Jackson and fine-tuned his tribute artist while following Jackson's career closely. Following the death of Jackson in 2009, Lucas performed at a tribute concert and from there began performing Michael Jackson tribute shows throughout the country before joining the Legends in Concert family.

I had to look up J Lucas on YouTube and I found this rendition of "Thriller" from Branson. It looks to me like audience members come up on stage to do the well-known choreography. This video is so much fun, I wish I was there right now.

How does the Legends show sound and look to you? Talk about it in the First-Time Cruisers forum.

Donna Summer - by Marva Scott

Donna Summer will also be featured in the new lineup. Now, I don't know about you, but Donna Summer was a very special performer to me who also sadly passed way recently - far too early in life. Donna had some of the biggest "disco" hits ever, but her talent and the composition of her songs went far beyond the average "do a little dance" status quo of the disco era. Songs like "On the Radio" and "Last Dance" start as heart-wrenching ballads that explode into driving dance songs with memorable hooks that keep you humming all day.

Marva Scott will portray Donna Summer. A member of Legends in Concert for many years, she hails from Seattle where see started singing in her local Baptist choir. Marva took her talent to Los Angeles where she discovered her gift for celebrity impersonation. Following her time in Los Angeles, she briefly lived in Paris before she began performing in the main showroom of Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City and several productions along the Las Vegas strip.

How does the Legends show sound and look to you? Talk about it in the First-Time Cruisers forum.

Jimmy Buffet - by Barrie Cunningham

Third in the new lineup is a tribute to Florida-based singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffet. Jimmy is still alive and well, wih a very devoted following of self-identified "parrotheads" who know all his songs and fill his shows. His music is perfect for Caribbean cruises, which is where Epic will be sailing in November. Buffet's hit songs include "Margaritaville," "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "Son of a Sailor Man" and "Coconut Telegraph."

Barrie Cunningham will portray the legendary Buffet. A Southern California native, Cunningham started performing folk music in coffeehouses at the young age of 15 and was later named Entertainer of the Year in San Diego. Since 1990, Cunningham has performed an impressive 300 dates per year to more than three million viewers.

Legends at Sea

Ironically, while the concept of "Legends at Sea" is not much different from many standard cruise ship shows that are a "Salute to..." anything, the "Legends" shows I have seen exceed any typical cruise ship show by miles. What makes them unique is the quality of the productions; lead performers who were born to play these roles in terms of looks and talent; the execution of the choreography being equal to what you would see in a real concert by these artists, and the musicianship of the band, which is exclusive to these Legends shows, is first rate.

Original video footage of the artist being portrayed is shown on the large video screens bookending the stage. It shows the confidence of these tribute performers that they can be compared to the originals side by side. The main "Legends at Sea" show will show in the Epic Theater on every cruise - two shows a night on the nights Blue Man Group is not in residence. That means seats are limited so make reservations. A more cabaret style show called "Legends Unplugged" will be shown in the Manhattan dining room. That show will only be shown three times total - no reservations, first come first serve, and each artist does a shorter set. Then the backup singers and dancers do their own set - a tribute to Motown classics which shows off the very real talent of the "chorus."

This is a "not to be missed" show on Norwegian Epic, just like much of the onboard entertainment including Blue Man Group.

How does the Legends show sound and look to you? Talk about it in the First-Time Cruisers forum.

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