‘Love Boat’ Musical: Full Steam Ahead on Vegas Stage Version

Tuner, exciting and new, will be based on risque book that inspired the TV franchise

Come aboard: They’re expecting you.

“The Love Boats,” a stage musical version of the book that inspired the long-running TV skein, is charting a course for Las Vegas, where a team of producers is targeting a 2014 opening.

Songs for the show will be drawn from the hit tunes of the years during which the TV series ran, 1977-86. Creative team hasn’t been announced yet, but reps for the show expect the project to begin pre-production soon.

Musical promises to restore some of the risque details of the 1970s book “The Love Boats” by Jeraldine Saunders, the cruise director whose writing was the basis for the relatively squeaky-clean TV franchise that launched in 1976 with three TV movies prior to the ABC series.

Saunders, the inspiration for the TV character Julie McCoy, is on board the legit project as a producer along with Jacobsen Intl., the company led by Aussie Kevin Jacobsen. David Jacobsen is billed as the show’s exec producer.

Vegas has been an outpost for Broadway-style musicals for years, although it’s the established titles with the most familiar names — “Chicago,” “Mamma Mia!” — that tend to have the highest success rate in attracting the city’s ongoing stream of domestic and international visitors. In that regard, “Love Boats,” with its link to a well-known tube property that ran in some 122 countries, boasts a significant marketing advantage.

“The Love Boats” looks to dock in Sin City sometime next year.

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