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Disaster! A Musical
Midtown W
76

Disaster! A Musical NYC Reviews and Tickets

76%
(662 Reviews)
Positive
76%
Mixed
16%
Negative
8%
Members say
Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Hilarious, Quirky

About the Show

Set in the wild 1970s, 'Disaster!' is a comedic new musical that delivers earthquakes, tidal waves, dancing, gambling and infernos.

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Member Reviews (662)

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50
Fluffy, Energetic, Dated, Banal, Well-sung

See it if you love good voices, regardless of the material. Silliness reigns, but there's lots of talent. Seems wasteful, but the crowd liked it.

Don't see it if you want more than a star-showcase. This comedy is broad, fluffy, inane. You'll laugh a bit, and leave with the songs in your head.

25
Excruciating, Indulgent, Insipid, Banal, Disappointing

See it if You like totally mindless fluff with a dream cast that unfortunately never gets to show any of their talent. One fun character, the nun.

Don't see it if You have ANYTHING else to do. Stupid book. Forced songs that are crammed in for non existent punch lines. Worst waste of talent and time!

Critic Reviews (55)

March 8th, 2016

"'Disaster!' will provide a rush of giddy nostalgia that’s just as pleasurable, at times, as the more substantial rewards of the musical theater’s higher-reaching shows...'Disaster!' has such a sensational cast that musical lovers incognizant of the guilty pleasures of the movies being lampooned may still have plenty to savor...The first act tends toward waywardness, and while it runs just an hour, it feels longer...But the performances provide sufficient distraction."
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March 8th, 2016

“Put 'The Poseidon Adventure,' 'Earthquake' and 'Airplane!' in a blender; add 30 pop hits from the 1970s; stir in a seasoned cast of Broadway pros...This is the recipe for 'Disaster!', a lovably scrappy and often deliciously silly jukebox-musical spoof…Simard is divinely funny; she’s giving one of the funniest musical-comedy performances I’ve seen in years. Not every joke in 'Disaster!' lands, but there’s a lot to enjoy on this nostalgia trip.”
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March 8th, 2016

“It’s possible to imagine that its charms seemed large in those Off Broadway spaces. They do not in the 1,230-seat Nederlander, where a big and ugly set frames a tiny entertainment that should probably have been left in a basement rec room...The humor is entirely based on this shoehorning technique, which was already long out of fashion in 1979...Only when the nun sings 'Torn Between Two Lovers' does it really pay off, and that’s because of Jennifer Simard’s brilliant underplaying."
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March 8th, 2016

"This is one of those musical comedies in which everyone tends to stand around inertly as a gag gets played out or a song gets sung. It's also the type of disposable send-up that can play like gangbusters in a scrappy dive theater with tacky sets, but looks cheap and desperate in a big house…That's not to say it's without laughs…Overall, it's dispiriting to watch a gifted cast working above material that seldom amounts to more than hit-or-miss sketch fodder.”
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March 8th, 2016

"The performances are so unapologetically silly and the production is so bright with flashing disco lights that ultimately you’re blinded to its flaws: humor that can miss the mark and campiness that’s sometimes a bit too overwrought...'Disaster!' is pure maximalism — a big, old-fashioned musical with big numbers and big performances. A lot of the fun is in recognizing the ’70s references, but even ’80s babies like me will be swept up in the show’s energy."
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March 8th, 2016

"Although not particularly glitzy or glam, this is a good cast that knows the comic ropes — and then some, in the special case of Jennifer Simard…The fun is contagious as long as we’re following these eccentric musical cues for plot and character development…At the helm, Plotnick manages the traffic well enough, and the actors are game, bless their hearts. But ultimately, '70s disaster movies were far more ludicrous than anything on this stage.”
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March 10th, 2016

"I doubt the world is full of sixtysomething fans of ‘The Poseidon Adventure’ who long to see what can best be described as an only-the-jokes-have-been-changed knockoff of ‘Airplane!’. As for most everyone else, they’re too young to remember what Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick are spoofing. Nor does it help that ‘Disaster!’ is silly rather than funny, save for the gloriously redemptive presence of Jennifer Simard...I can’t wait to see her in a real show—and I bet it won’t take long."
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March 8th, 2016

"A cast of extraordinarily gifted stars appears to have been tricked into stretching a three-minute parody of movies that were parodies to begin with into a two-hour show. The result is so painfully witless it’s hard to tell where the sea-spray ends and the flop sweat begins...There’s nothing quite like watching a terrific comic actor pace the stage with tiger sharks where his forearms once were and still not being funny. Someone throw these folks a life preserver."
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March 8th, 2016

"As directed by Plotnick, 'Disaster!' is intentionally cut from some pretty tacky cloth — a lot of it polyester, no doubt. So don’t plunk down your hard-earned bucks thinking you’re paying for 'The King and I.' Or even 'Mamma Mia!' for that matter. This slapstick diversion puts into the throats of its vocally accomplished cast of Broadway vets the sort of music that’s the subject of nostalgic TV pitches after 1 a.m...It is the caliber of these parodists that keeps the silliness afloat."
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March 8th, 2016

"A cleverly self-protected show that embraces kitsch with aesthetic intensity.…In terms of subtlety and satiric nuance, ‘Disaster!’ makes the heavy-metal spoof ‘Rock of Ages’ look like Cole Porter...There's cheap puppets! Life preservers on bungee cords! 'I Will Survive.' Will you? Will you care? Never mind the imperative for dry land, how about some dry wit?...There's no consistency to the comedic business—I'd say about 20 percent of the shtick works."
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March 8th, 2016

“This spoof of catastrophe-themed movies set on a floating casino and mixed with ’70s pop hits is not a Titanic — or a jackpot. The campy entertainment lands halfway between. In other words, it’s not 'Hot Stuff', one of the disco ditties sung. It’s Tepid Stuff. It’s not sharp enough to be a toothy parody. Or consistently funny enough to be called hilarious...As is, creators Seth Rudetsky, and Jack Plotnick, who directs, have come up with something see-worthy but middle-of-the-road.”
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March 8th, 2016

"'[It] may have been better off staying off-Broadway instead of making the unanticipated and improbable move to Broadway, where it looks and feels out of place and its flaws become more apparent...'Disaster!' takes ridiculousness to an extreme that, at its best, can be hilarious...Even so, the show’s relentless, one-note silliness grows tiresome, resembling a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch that goes on way too long. "
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March 8th, 2016

"A gleefully silly experience that doesn't purport to be anything but. Though the show does run a bit long and some of the jokes are belabored to the point of exhaustion, it works surprisingly well precisely because it doesn't take itself seriously even for a second...With a title like 'Disaster!', Rudetsky and Plotnick are asking for it. But the mixture of a fabulous cast, winning self-effacement, and tunes we've been grooving to for 40 years lead to a perfect storm of enjoyment."
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March 8th, 2016

"Disaster! fails on every level. It's not just that this show spoofs all the same targets, or that it does so via the intrinsic laziness of a pre-fab jukebox-style 'score' of the era's rock-disco hits. It also reveals the limits of Broadway's magic and tolerance for this assault on its house form...A physical production that looks both too cheap and too expensive...and suggests you're actually supposed to take everything seriously. No no no no no."
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March 9th, 2016

"An outstanding ensemble cast...The laughs come not just from the increasing insanity of the plot, or from the over-the-top performances, but in the way Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick use their book to deliver unexpected twists on 1970s tunes...'Disaster!' zips along because the authors know when the joke is done and it’s time to move on, which allows the talented cast to shine even more brightly in the more extended bits of physical comedy."
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March 8th, 2016

“The Broadway production is bigger, louder, funnier, and even better...Recast for the most part with a number of major league performers, this cartoon of a show is a perfect showcase for these interpreters of old-fashioned slapstick...The wonder of this show is that though the characters are archetypes they all also have dimensions that make us root for them…The score is comprised of classics that will undoubtedly bring smiles of recognition. What a delightful disaster this turned out to be.”
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March 15th, 2016

"'Disaster!' is a perfect storm of spoof. And, like all spoofs, it only works if you get onboard and stay onboard, even when the ship upends...The writers slipped in lots of big and small moments for nearly everyone...Bottom line–I had a good time. I knew the songs. I wore the clothes. I liked the silliness and the way, way overdrawn parodies. Cheesy? No question. Fun? Yep."
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T
March 17th, 2016

"'Disaster!' is a delightful musical that knows what it is and celebrates that with inexorable joy. It is smart enough to be an incisive parody of a film genre and still know how to be a successful parody of itself. It is difficult to imagine 'Disaster!' without its remarkable cast. Not one star or ensemble member is expendable. This is an impressive, near miraculous accomplishment and one not to be missed."
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March 15th, 2016

"'Disaster!' is a campy spoof of 1970s disaster movies mashed up with well-sung snippets of dozens of 1970s pop hits in order to produce moments of hilarity. I counted at least seven such moments. The problem is sitting through the 100 or so minutes in between them...The presence of so many deeply talented performers in 'Disaster!' managed to turn a show for which I had few expectations into a disappointment."
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March 10th, 2016

"While I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking, there is a guilty pleasure shaking up Broadway: 'Disaster!', a new(ish) musical by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick...The high voltage cast delivers mostly hilarious performances and an array of familiar tunes assembled from the 1970s pop music songbook...The musical’s lack of original music occasionally feels contrived, though it’s fun to recognize the jukebox score...'Disaster!' doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what it is."
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March 9th, 2016

"The plot is stitched together with the loosest and most breakable of thread. But just about everyone involved seems to have happily accepted the awfulness of the story...'Disaster!' is an odd property to find on Broadway and doesn’t seem particularly at home here, with its cheap sets, shabby projections and understaffed chorus. But with its winking awareness of its own deficiencies, it invites everyone to get hooked on a feeling."
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March 8th, 2016

“Maybe they do want us to say, with winking eye, that ‘Disaster!’ is Broadway's biggest disaster ever…If the idea of a cheesy pastiche-musical based on a spoofy old film and outfitted with a pop score sounds familiar, you need only go back to 'Xanadu'…There is likely some type of audience for a way over-the-top camp-pop pastiche musical, and let us hope they find their way to the Nederlander. For everyone else, though, this ‘disaster’ of a musical might well leave you with a sinking feeling.”
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March 8th, 2016

"'Disaster' is too dynamic a word to describe the new jukebox musical 'Disaster!'. Better words would be 'lukewarm mess'...The long first act gets bogged down in telling us the 'somehow' of that nonsense, rather than getting right to the boat capsizing...Occasionally, a performer breaks through the ice of mediocrity to expose real comic chops. Jennifer Simard’s droll nun is a delight."
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March 16th, 2016

"The kooky material is given its best possible treatment by a seasoned cast displaying clockwork timing. A slew of Tony winners and nominees expertly plays a shipful of stereotypes... Is 'Disaster!' the most brilliant musical in years? No. But it is a goofy, silly ride transforming the Nederlander into a joyful amusement park."
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March 8th, 2016

"To fault the show for lacking substance would be as nonsensical as expecting 'Mamma Mia!' to be thought-provoking. And yet, given the flock of genuine experts who signed on for the spree, it does seem fair to expect more than this sporadically clever, sweetly produced, fantastically performed spoof of a passe genre in overdone jukebox musical style...The pleasures come from the soaring pop-vocal covers by theater vets pretending not to be too smart for their jobs."
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March 9th, 2016

"The musical delivers plenty of laughs spoofing ‘70s disaster films to a soundtrack of the era’s most recognizable hits. Its combo of nostalgia and cheap gags makes for a crowd-pleasing, if not exactly original recipe, and its ensemble of Broadway heavyweights, while capable of much more than they’re tasked with here, certainly seem to be having a blast...Plotnick juggles a lot of moving parts, though it may have taken an outsider’s perspective to make them add up to a more coherent whole."
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March 9th, 2016

"'Disaster!' is silly, and I mean that as a compliment...While the performances are really good, the placement of the songs isn't notably inspired...Most of the first act is preparation, some of it redundant, for the terror to come, and the comic capabilities of the talented cast aren't fully called upon until horror strikes...'Disaster!' isn't a show that'll get you to consider the meaning of life, but it compensates by being lots of fun."
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March 8th, 2016

"By the time 'Disaster!' was over, I had laughed some, but mostly I was rooting for the piranhas... 'Disaster!' features a melange of the era’s cheesiest songs, inserted, and often pummeled, into the book in such a way that they’re meant to exist as an extension of the dialogue...This is a goofy show, and one producers would’ve been far wiser to squeeze into a single act."
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M
March 8th, 2016

"It’s a promising concept, but as now launched onto Broadway, the result falls far short of the laugh-riot territory it’s aiming for...A 17-person cast, studded with some impressive Broadway names, works dutifully if rarely successfully to keep things afloat...Folks around me [were] in stitches. But despite their gales of laughter, I sat there glumly contemplating how the show was living up to its title – exclamation point and all."
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March 18th, 2016

"You can have a swell time enjoying this unpretentious collection of bits and pieces of silliness...Jack Plotnick has directed and JoAnn M Hunter has choreographed a cast of 20, and they certainly keep things moving all evening long. It’s worth seeing...In the end, I had a jolly good time watching this stage full of talented folks letting loose and not worrying one bit about the 21st Century craziness going on outside the theatre."
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March 8th, 2016

"'Disaster!' is the season's happiest, most charming surprise...This show lampoons everyone and everything in sight, and yet still makes us care about its lovable cast of off-the-wall characters. This is the best kind of campy comedy — the kind with a very big heart...'Disaster!' keeps spitballing one outlandish gag after another at the audience, a shocking number of which land."
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March 10th, 2016

"It's a recipe for theatrical cheesiness beyond compare and one that's served up with gusto by a spectacular array of Broadway talent...Anyone with even a passing familiarity with the genre at hand will anticipate most of what happens to these folks well before it takes place...'Disaster!,' thanks to the inestimable talents of the company, has steady enough theatrical sea-legs to provoke roars of laughter for those looking for a goofball night out."
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March 8th, 2016

"The musical 'Disaster!' is a campy carnival of cliches and gleefully cheesy comedy...The creative team has adroitly expanded the special effects and choreography to fill the Nederlander stage on Broadway. The book skillfully weaves a range of popular songs from the 1970s...Some character will always pop up with a new rescue idea, and there is high hilarity on these high seas."
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March 15th, 2016

"Many strained laughs in a jukebox musical without much context…Instead of giving us a solid plot and exquisitely jabbing the satirical needle into the genre, Mr. Rudetsky and director Jack Plotnick give us a lazy series of lame, half-baked skits that aren’t funny and serve no purpose…There are many Tony-nominated and Tony-winning stage veterans in the show, but their talents are mostly wasted on the thin material."
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March 16th, 2016

"When the willfully silly 'Disaster!' is funny, it’s one of the funniest shows in town. Plus, you will simply not hear the 1970s disco and pop rock songs that make up its score sung better anywhere – in some cases they outshine the original...Plotnick’s direction is deft, dynamic and fluid, aided and abbeted by witty, driving work from choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter...'Disaster' is plenty of fun – at its best, close to comedy heaven – and recommended."
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February 14th, 2016

"'Disaster!' totally isn't one. Sure, it could maybe be shorter by about fifteen minutes, and maybe a little sharper in spots, but I saw the third preview and it was already pretty damned funny…The whole cast is game--I am sure a sense of humor was a prerequisite for even getting an audition for this one…I also hope 'Disaster!' finds a big, loyal audience, whether on Broadway or on tour…'Disaster!' is a silly, goofy, terrifically fun production."
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March 9th, 2016

"Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick’s parody of ’70s disaster movies—set to carefully selected Top 40 pop and disco hits–turns out to be too much fun not to love...At first, 'Disaster!' seems a little on the nose, and somewhat like a show that might actually be on a cruise ship. The choreography in the early scenes feels like it’s lifted from a bad ’70s variety show–it’s a little frantic. But once things settle down, the fun kicks in. And the second act just gets better, better, better."
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March 21st, 2016

"'Disaster!' can best be described as a ridiculous disaster BUT has the best cast around and is so stupid you can’t help but laugh your head off. This show, about a cruise ship being attacked by an earthquake and a tidal wave, hits you with more sight gags, clichés and old songs than you can assimilate...If you want a night off from all the other serious Broadway shows, you will have yourself a ball sinking with this ship and its great cast."
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March 8th, 2016

"'Disaster!' on Broadway is ridiculously entertaining...There is no need to extrapolate deep meaning from 'Disaster!'. Could it be any sillier? Probably not, but honestly it doesn’t have to be. Everyone should just sit back and enjoy the wild ride; for us older folks, the disco music track to which this musical is set is a fab mood booster... Superbly curated hits from the ’70s cleverly edge the story along. Mix the zaniness with a terrific cast, and you have a highly entertaining evening."
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March 10th, 2016

"'Disaster!' is a spoof of the 1970’s disaster movies and boasts a cast that can only be described as 'the best of the boulevard'. 'Disaster!' has a score of disco and pop hits, but I don’t think you can legitimately call this a musical. The songs are used as jokes, foreshadowed by a line so that you are expecting the song and elated when it shows up. None of the songs stay around long enough to wear thin. I laughed, I danced, I had a marvelous time. 'Disaster!' is disco delight!"
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March 10th, 2016

"The laughs literally don’t stop...I’m always a big fan and love anything that makes fun of itself in the process. There aren’t many serious moments in this piece. It is a kind of funny that you won’t find anywhere else, though some jokes may be considered hackney and overused, 'Disaster!' doesn’t pretend they aren’t. In fact, 'Disaster!' keeps very aware of that very notion throughout the piece...You truly need to be open to the silly and absurd to enjoy yourself."
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November 6th, 2013
For a previous production

"Theatergoers who do not chuckle at the reference to a star of the TV classic 'Fantasy Island' will be bewildered by much of what transpires in 'Disaster!' And in truth the convoluted story line could easily be chopped in half and not much would be lost. But there’s a certain shameful pleasure in hearing some of the grisliest pop hits of the era shoehorned into the proceedings at the slightest pretext. And there are moments of inspired lunacy."
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November 4th, 2013
For a previous production

"Five stars seems grand for a campy, low-budget spoof of 1970s crisis flicks like 'The Poseidon Adventure' and 'Airport'. But I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud at the theater as often as I did at 'Disaster!', a blissfully silly jukebox musical...Built with meticulous ingenuity, the show repurposes three dozen classic tunes from the Me Decade to often hilarious effect. And the cast brims with top-of-the-line musical-comedy talents:"
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November 5th, 2013
For a previous production

"The scribes behind 'Disaster!', a scrappy but irresistible new Off Broadway musical, wring this phenomenon for all its outrageous camp value with no shortage on gags and groans in the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker mode...Over a dozen actors — many with multiple roles — go full out in this blissfully tacky extravaganza about a soon-to-launch casino boat that undergoes a series of catastrophes."
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November 5th, 2013
For a previous production

"Happily, 'Disaster!' turns out to be a hilarious little nugget. It does what it does really, really well, and is by far one of the funniest shows in town...The show’s master stroke is its use of the songs, which acquire new meaning without a single word being changed."
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November 4th, 2013
For a previous production

"It could be shorter, but this otherwise enjoyably frenzied evening boasts a fiercely committed cast, sharp book, and songs that will get stuck in your head for days — if they haven't already been there for four decades...'Disaster!' accomplishes what it sets out to do: it's a fun parody of a genre that doesn't really get parodied in the realm of theater."
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November 4th, 2013
For a previous production

"'Disaster!' is a giddy, dopey, and thoroughly winning new show...This is not to say that 'Disaster!' is perfect...But, all things considered, the tribute paid to the genre is sure-footed, and the use of the era's pop hits as good as it could possibly be...Given its modest aspirations and the low bar for shows of this type, that this one works so well is a noteworthy achievement."
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November 4th, 2013
For a previous production

"Disaster!' is campy and irreverent entertainment at its finest, never taking itself too seriously. Sure, it could perhaps benefit from shaving about ten minutes off the two-hour running time but the show never falls short in providing belly laughs and delightful vocal performances from start to finish. For those who love a good campy musical, 'Disaster! A 70s Disaster Movie Musical' is a must-see."
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November 1st, 2013
For a previous production

"The musical actually has plenty to offer beyond a bunch of throwaway jokes and a nostalgia trip of songs...The joy of 'Disaster!' is seeing some incredibly talented performers act completely ridiculous in a delightfully over-the-top show. It's not Shakespeare, nor is it trying to be. This show knows exactly what it is, and it happens to be a lot of fun."
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November 4th, 2013
For a previous production

"I was very excited to see it -- and this fun high-energy show met and surpassed all my expectations. I highly recommend it...'Disaster!' has a first-rate cast, great songs, and a very exciting story line that draws you right in."
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T
November 4th, 2013
For a previous production

"As parodies go, 'Disaster!' is among the best...Replete with outrageously humorous allusions which keep the audience not only responding with laughter but with anticipation...All performances, under Jack Plotnick’s thoughtful direction, are exhilarating and engaging. It is remarkable how connected the audience becomes to characters that, in the hands of less skilled performers, could be nothing more than cartoons. "
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December 17th, 2013
For a previous production

"The material is thin, not all of it works, and you wonder...why an intermission is necessary and what more can be yanked out of the tube in a second act. But when it’s all over you realize, hey, you’ve had a really good time watching these screwballs facing death and dismemberment from so many Hollywood-generated calamities. You may even want to get home to dig up those 8 tracks again. Unless they’re buried in the rubble or were eaten by the rats."
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January 5th, 2014
For a previous production

"Both an affectionate parody of the movie genre and an unusually artful jukebox musical...'Disaster!' takes ridiculousness to an extreme that, at its best, can be hilarious and inspired. The lead-in dialogue preceding all of the songs is especially clever. Even so, the show, which runs 2 1/2 hours, would benefit from judicious editing in order to bring it into tighter form."
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November 23rd, 2013
For a previous production

"It is a corny, groan-inducing, slapstick kind of funny...It's way too long. It's not a direct spoof of the disaster movies (which is kind of disappointing), just an homage to them, so the joke can only go so far before it gets old. The silly plot and minimally designed set would lend themselves better to a dinner theater setup like the one hosted across the street at Sophia's Downstairs."
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November 22nd, 2013
For a previous production

"'Disaster!' isn't a catastrophe, but it is a blast of two hours of dizzying comedic gags and exuberant musical energy. I must have had a good time watching it because the only thing I could think of as the show ended was when I would see it again."
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