The Broadway musical “Kinky Boots” is coming to Norwegian Encore, the line’s President and CEO Andy Stuart announced at the official keel-laying ceremony in Papenburg, Germany.
“Leave your inhibitions at the door, as Lola says,” Stuart advised, quipping that after Jersey Boys, there was little left to do in onboard entertainment — until the idea of Kinky Boots took root.
The Tony award-winning, Broadway smash hit about drag queen, Lola, and her unlikely partnership with the owner of a shoe factory features songs by Cyndi Lauper around the theme of accepting who you are.
It adds just the right amount of edginess and energy and excitement to Encore, which will debut in fall 2019.
Indeed, the appearance by five drag queens at the ceremony was a first for the Meyer Werft shipyard, where the vessel will be under construction for about 11 months, though the exterior will be completed by April.
Stuart noted that six Norwegian ships were built here, Norwegian Star through Gem, and then six starting with Breakaway. The last, Bliss, “was, by far, the best received ship” in the fleet, he said, commending “the army” of people it takes to build a ship.
Encore will be homeported in Miami, sailing Eastern Caribbean itineraries beginning Nov. 17, 2019. Holding about 4,000 passengers on 20 decks, it is already on sale.
There is currently a Free at Sea promotion that offers reduced airfare as well as other options. “We’ve moved to allow guests to include what’s important to them,” Stuart told Travel Market Report. “We’re never going to focus on price; we like to always talk value, and get guests excited about the experience, and for travel agents, it’s a real positive.”
About the show, he said: “It’s a very high-energy show that tells the story of a traditional business that’s reinvented by a drag queen. And we like the line, ‘Let people be whom they want to be.’ At Norwegian, we like to let our guests be whom they want to be.”