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Princess Cruises opens new rehearsal studios

Valencia facility mirrors stages aboard cruise ships

Posted: May 11, 2008 12:57 a.m.
Updated: July 12, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Performers for a Princess Cruises stage show rehearse a number during Friday's grand opening of the company's new 28,000-square-foot rehearsal studios in Valencia.

 
With a smash of the bottle, a pop of brightly colored confetti and a cut of a red ribbon, Princess Cruises celebrated the opening of its new rehearsal studios in Valencia on Friday.

The 28,000-square-foot property in the Valencia Industrial Center includes five studios for the performers of the on-ship shows to practice in, along with 2,000-square-feet of space for the international cruise liner's IT department, according to Martin Hall, vice president of entertainment and passenger program for Princess Cruises.

The new building allows Princess Cruises, which already has its corporate headquarters in Santa Clarita, to centralize all the practice sessions held for their dozens of entertainment shows performed on the stages of its nearly 20 ships.

Previously, rehearsals would be held in various cities, including Beverly Hills and Century City.

"There is no facility in America quite like this," Hall said before the afternoon ceremony.

Hall noted that the five studios mirror the stages on the cruise ships, making the transition from rehearsal to live performance much easier.

During the celebration, Hall told the crowd of nearly 100 Princess Cruises leaders and employees that the opening of the building marks the beginning of a new era for the locally-based company.

Afterwards, Gavin MacLeod, known for his role as Captain Merrill Stubing on the 1970s television series "The Love Boat," christened the building with a bottle of champagne as a burst of confetti dotted the sky and a group of singers performed the theme song to "The Love Boat."

As the confetti settled, the building, officially known as "Princess Rehearsal Studio," was given a red ribbon cutting ceremony by Princess Cruises leaders. The celebration also included a tour of the building where employees walked the halls with drinks in hand to peek inside the giant studios with high ceilings.

To illustrate what the studios will be used for, guests were able to watch a run through of the newest Princess Cruises show, "Adrian Zmed in Concert," starring Zmed, who appeared in "Grease 2" and "T.J. Hooker" in the early 1980s.

The show is expected to debut on board a Princess Cruises ship in early June.

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