ABOARD THE NORWEGIAN DAWN -- If you've ever wondered what became of the belief in musical theater's power to transform lives, take note: for most of this week it could be found a few hundred nautical miles out of New York, chugging north on the way to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The 2,300 passengers of this R Family Vacations charter were on board for an annual week of swimming, frolicking, eating and building their own social utopia -- one in which musical theater plays an essential role. Really.
R Family Vacations is led by Rosie O'Donnell, the entertainer and talk-show host; Kelli O'Donnell, the pixieish entertainment executive who recently became her wife; and their business partner, Gregg Kaminsky, and caters to gay and lesbian families. But anyone who might have signed up looking for something sexy or even illicit -- for a Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name Boat -- well, that ship had left the harbor. Whatever their sexual orientation, this was an extremely straight bunch.