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NCL ups the star wattage with trio of Broadway actresses

'After Midnight' will be getting new Broadway stars. From left: Melinda Doolittle, Sharon Wilkins and Melba Moore
Award-winning Broadway songstresses Melinda Doolittle, Sharon Wilkins and Melba Moore will be performing in the Tony Award-winning musical, 'After Midnight,' as well as their own Supper Club cabaret show, aboard Norwegian Escape beginning Aug. 19.

The announcement comes on the heels of Norwegian Cruise Line's successful launch of Tony Award-winning musical 'Jersey Boys' and its original production '¡Havana!' as well as the debut of Syd Norman’s Pour House, an immersive experience inspired by the greatest clubs in rock ‘n’ roll history.

Successors to Brenda Braxton

The increase in star power is in response to the incredible reception of Tony Award-nominated Brenda Braxton, who has starred in 'After Midnight' aboard Norwegian Escape since the ship's 2015 introduction.

'We are thrilled to engage these celebrated Broadway stars and very happy to welcome Melinda, Sharon and Melba to the Norwegian Cruise Line family,' said Richard Ambrose, VP entertainment. 'We have long invested in elevating entertainment on board our ships and working with these powerhouse singers is yet another example of our commitment to exceeding guest expectations with world-class entertainment.'

Beginning Aug. 19, 'American Idol' alumnus and soul songstress Melinda Doolittle will make her at-sea debut as the lead in the critically-acclaimed Broadway show 'After Midnight,' based on Duke Ellington’s time at Harlem’s Cotton Club during the Jazz Age. Doolittle will perform for six weeks aboard Norwegian Escape, with Broadway veteran and television actress Sharon Wilkins taking over the role on Sept. 30.

A 21-year Broadway veteran, Wilkins is an accomplished screen actress who's performed in films and television series including 'Maid in Manhattan,' 'National Treasure,' 'Law and Order: SVU' and 'Rescue Me.' Wilkins will perform until Dec. 9 then reprise her role in February.

From Dec. 9 to Feb. 1, three-time Grammy Award-nominated and Tony Award-winning R&B singer Melba Moore will take over for Wilkins as the lead in 'After Midnight.' Recognized as a notable figure within the R&B music genre throughout the 1970s, '80s and '90s, Moore has long been a prominent Broadway vocalist with performances in the Grammy and Tony Award-winning musicals 'Hair,' 'Les Misérables' and 'Purlie,' where she won the Tony Award for best performance by a featured actress in a musical in 1970.

Cabaret shows in the Supper Club

In addition to performing in 'After Midnight' in the Escape Theater, the three stars will host their own cabaret show in the Supper Club, offering a more intimate performance including solo singing acts with a three-piece band.

'I’ve performed in many different arenas throughout my career and am very impressed with the dedication and passion of the team at Norwegian,' Moore said. 'They really do push the limits to deliver an unforgettable experience for guests.'