Norwegian Epic’s Legends act – in which impersonators of Elvis, Madonna, and a bunch from Motown perform their great (or good) hits – marries retro supper club café singers with the celebrity worship we’ve become accustomed to today. It could easily curdle. After all last night’s relatively impromptu performances took place not on a theater’s stage (there is another show later in the cruise that’s held in the main venue) but in one of the ship’s fee-free main dining rooms (though to classify the sleek art deco, or is it art nouveau Manhattan Café, as a typical cruise ship banquet hall is to miss its glamorous essence).
The idea of being sung to at supper is a relatively new one to this 40-something traveler. So the balance of high camp (Madonna and Tina Turner look-alikes in particular) and simply heart breaking singing (Elvis-as-a-young-man and the Motown group) is absolutely novel and also compelling. Dinner lasted a long, long time as singers performed, waiters flawlessly took orders, delivered delicious dinners (the lamb shank was superb) and filled wineglasses, all the while deftly managing not to disrupt the entertainment. Ironically, more disruptive were the numerous folks, er, me included, who sidled up to the stage at various times to take flash photos of the performers.
At dinner’s end, with the rest of the evening’s entertainment options laid out before us, our waitress asked us: “would you like coffee or tea?” My reflexive response to the offer of a late-night jolt of caffeine, as an overtired traveler and overworked careerist, among other things, was a “my god, no!” And she responded, “you don’t want to stay up longer?”
Point taken. I drank the coffee.