VACAYA has announced Kristin Chenoweth as godmother of their inaugural cruise in August 2019 and for the LGBT+ venture overall. Along with the announcement of their godmother, VACAYA announced a slate of headline DIVA entertainers who will perform onboard their August Ptown Cruise. Chenoweth as VACAYA Godmother: It's a longstanding nautical tradition for cruise ships to have a godmother, selected to bring good luck and protection to the vessel. VACAYA will take that one step further by elevating Ms. Chenoweth to godmother of the entire company and declaring her “Queen of the High Cs.” Chenoweth will perform during VACAYA’s Launch Party onboard Celebrity Summit, and will toast the official introduction of the company to the LGBT+ community.
2000 LGBT+ passengers and their straight ally friends will be aboard Celebrity Summit as the ship departs NYC, hits the high seas, and sails to Provincetown to kick off the 2019 Carnival celebration. Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth’s career spans film, television, voiceover, and stage. Chenoweth is beloved by the LGBT+ community and was chosen, VACAYA CEO Randle Roper said, for “her shared philanthropic spirit and for being such a staunch ally to LGBT+ people.” Through her foundation, the Kristin Chenoweth Arts & Education Fund, Kristin cultivates and celebrates young artistic expression by enriching children’s lives through the power of education, entertainment, and experience. VACAYA will partner with Chenoweth and KCAEF to set up an annual scholarship as part of the company’s ReachOUT initiatives. Chenoweth has also been honored by GLAAD for her efforts to increase the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
VACAYA Ptown Cruise Headline Acts: VACAYA will raise the bar with four additional DIVAS as part of the entertainment lineup for their August 2019 Ptown Cruise. These powerhouse DIVAS include Katharine McPhee, Leslie Jordan, Alex Newell, and Lesli Margherita. They join already announced talent Brandon Stansell, Brody Ray, Jessica Kirson, Matteo Lane, Emma Willmann, Shelly Watson, Tori Scott, Susie Mosher, Brandon James Gwinn, Paul J. Williams, Michael Stephens, The Golden Gays NYC, and Burlesque Nautique. Steve Cunningham, Corey Craig, Whitney Day, and Lady Bunny will be the featured DJs for VACAYA’s parties. Michael Orland will serve as Musical Director and Jaymes Vaughan as Cruise Director.
“With this entertaining collection of DIVAS, our guests will enjoy beautifully staged live vocal performances of some of the world's most celebrated music and the storytelling of one of the most brilliant comic minds,” said John Finen, VACAYA’s Chief Operating Officer in charge of onboard production. “From the emotional depth of Katharine and the amazing vocal range of Alex to the comedic genius of both Leslie Jordan and Lesli Margherita, our full lineup of shows is carefully designed to connect with an LGBT+ audience on many levels, enriching the cruise experience immensely.”
• Katharine McPhee first burst onto the scene during a storied run on Season 5 of American Idol. Renowned for her show-stopping performances, McPhee possesses a singing voice for the ages. She co-starred in the fan favorite NBC series Smash, recently wrapped her starring role in the CBS drama Scorpion, and starred on Broadway and London’s West End in the hit Sara Bareilles musical Waitress. In addition to her acting and singing career, McPhee is a passionate philanthropist, having served as an ambassador for organizations such as BuildOn, Malaria No More, and Feeding America.
• Leslie Jordan won an Emmy in 2006 for his starring role as Beverley Leslie in Will & Grace. His defining role as Brother Boy in the cult film Sordid Lives evolved into a well received prequel on the Logo Channel. As the celebrated author and star of his own HBO Special (Pink Carpet), Leslie has had memorable roles on TV Land’s The Exes, Fox’s Raising Hope, and ABC’s The Neighbors. He enjoyed a star turn in the third season of FX’s instant classic American Horror Story opposite Hollywood heavyweights Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, and Francis Conroy. In 2017 & 2018, Leslie once again sparred with his lovable nemesis Karen Walker in the triumphant return of Will & Grace.
• Alex Newell rose to stardom through his breakout role on GLEE, where he played a groundbreaking male-to-female transgender teenager. He recently made his Broadway debut in the revival of Once On This Island and broke barriers by playing the traditionally female role, ‘Asaka, Mother of the Earth.’
• Lesli Margherita won the Olivier Award for her West End debut as Inez in Zorro The Musical. She made her Broadway debut originating the role of Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda The Musical and later played diva Mona Kent in the Broadway premiere of Randy Skinner's Dames At Sea. On television, Lesli recently starred in the final season of Amazon’s cult hit Transparent, and opposite Yvette Nicole Brown in the ABC sitcom Most Likely To. She recurs on Homeland (Showtime), Instinct (CBS), Elementary (CBS), and Seven Seconds (Netflix).