Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oasis of the Seas, Part 3 -- Entertainment

Tuesday May 1, 9:55 a.m.

Despite what I wrote about food on a cruise ship, one can't merely enjoy a weeklong cruise on noshing alone....and I say this as a foodie. Nope, there was plenty of opportunity to partake in entertainment. My brother and I participated in a couple of loosey-goosey trivia contests in the Schooner Bar on Deck 6 while my niece doodled bunnies on a scoresheet.

There was also the more professional kind. On the second night, the aft Aqua Theater presented "Oasis of Dreams", a mix of diving, synchro swimming, flying, and interpretative dance. A bit on the rococo side for me but it did its job and got a deserving standing ovation from the assembled audience.

I can finally say that I got to see "Hairspray". On the third day, there was a matinee performance, one of two I believe during the cruise, at the 1,350-seat Opal Theater. The most famous actor there was Jim J. Bullock, acting as the big mama, Edna Turnblad. I remember him as the hapless thorn in Ted Knight's side on "Too Close for Comfort" decades ago.

I've had a casual like for American music of the 50s and 60s (re: Billy Joel's "An Innocent Man"), but I can't say that any of the songs I heard were toe-tappingly memorable. And the audience which were leaning toward the elderly demographic applauded politely throughout the performance although there was a generous standing ovation during curtain call. The only screamout moment was when Jim J. and the actor playing hubby Wilbur made some sort of blooper during their duet which prompted a couple of minutes of laughing fits from the two of them.

A couple of days later, there was ABBAcadabra, the tribute band for the legendary Swedish group, ABBA. This was a disappointment. But I wasn't disappointed in the foursome so much as I was disappointed FOR them. The group had pulled out all the stops in pleasing the audience, including throwing out glowsticks and doing some intersong schtick. But the audience wasn't biting. ABBAcadabra may be big on Broadway but when an onboard performance comes as part of the overall cruise cost, it doesn't necessarily translate into huge numbers of rabid ABBA fans flooding the theater. The audience was either just too old or too casual. I could see the four whispering to each other during the performance....probably desperately thinking about how to liven up the folks. A lot of glowsticks were thrown out during that less-than-1-hour gig....I kinda wondered if that was really the intended length or if the band decided to cut their losses. But that is show business.

To be honest, the most bang out of my buck that I got from shipboard entertainment was watching a video concert of Michael Buble one afternoon on the Aqua Theater screens.