Laugh yourself silly and enjoy the witty new musical, Disaster! A 1970’s Disaster Movie Musical, now at St. Luke’s Theater. Written by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick, the show is cleverly based on 1970’s disaster movies with a score of 1970’s pop, rock and disco hit songs.
It’s 1979, and Manhattan’s first floating casino and discotheque is having the grand opening. Unknown to the guests and staff, the pier that houses the huge boat was drilled into the center of an unstable fault-line which will inevitably prompt a tragic earthquake. There is no limit to the catastrophes that face the people whose lives intersect at the casino; the earthquake, killer bees, rats, sharks, a tidal wave, infernos, and piranhas are all part of this comedic debacle.
As the plot unfolds, the quirky individuals in Disaster! are revealed through well placed dialogue as they spontaneously burst into the “best of the 70’s” selections that are just right to highlight the action. Even predictable circumstances are enhanced by the exaggerated characters and clever staging. Wondering who will make it out alive is a secondary consideration; even the dire circumstances are wholly amusing.
The show’s writer, Seth Rudetsky, plays Ted, the comically sober “double physics Phd.” and disaster expert who attempts to warn others of the impending calamity. There are so many colorful characters perfectly portrayed; Scott, a young man “on-the-make” played by Robb Sapp; Tony, the bombastic, deceitful casino owner played by John Treacy Egan; Levora, the famous singer down on her luck, played by Charity Dawson; Sister Mary, the conflicted nun with a gambling addiction, played by Jennifer Simard; Jackie, lounge singer and dedicated mother played by Michele Ragusa and the dual role of Jackie’s young twins, Ben and Lisa, deftly managed by Jonah Verdon.
Disaster! has its share of romance with Chad, played by Matt Farcher encountering his former fiancé, the probing reporter Marianne, played by Haven Burton. Rounding out the cast are the loving middle-aged couple Shirley and Maury, played by Mary Testa and Tom Riis Farrell. Other members of the cast include Maggie McDowell, Saum Eskandani, and Sherz Aletaha.
Disaster! is directed by Jack Plotnick, music is supervised by Steve Mazrullo with musical direction by Larry Pressgrove and choreography by Denis Jones. The colorful costuming is by Brian Hermesath, and creative Scenic and Lighting Design by Josh Iacovelli. With an ever-talented cast performing the musical selections and smart choreography, the production is a unique and hilarious theatrical gem. If you’ve been missing the swirl of a disco ball and songs like “Hot Stuff,” “Saturday Night,” “I am Woman,” and “Muskrat Love,” reserve your tickets for Disaster! A 1970’s Disaster Movie Musical and have an uproarious time.
Photos by Jeremy Daniel
St. Luke’s Theatre
308 est. 46th Street
Schedule: Mondays at 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., and Fridays at 8 p.m.
For tickets and more information, visit the website for Disaster!