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Disaster! A Musical

Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Hilarious, Quirky
74
Critics
62
55 reviews
Members
75
650 reviews
 

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

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'Disaster!' takes place in 1979 Manhattan during opening night of the Barracuda, the first floating casino and discothèque in New York. The characters gather to gamble and dance, unaware of impending natural disasters, and of the building's lack of safety measures.

 

Cast & Creatives (25)



Reviews (705)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
62
Avg Score

80
The New York Times

"'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." Full Review

70
Variety

"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.” Full Review

85
Time Out New York

“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.” Full Review

90
Theatermania

"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." Full Review

30
The Huffington Post

“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.” Full Review

60
The Guardian (UK)

"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." Full Review

10
New York Magazine / Vulture

“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." Full Review

25
New York Theater

"'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." Full Review

80
Cultural Weekly

"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." Full Review

25
The Wall Street Journal

"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." Full Review

30
The Hollywood Reporter

"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.” Full Review

45
AM New York

"'[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. " Full Review

15
Talkin' Broadway

"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." Full Review

75
Front Row Center

"'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." Full Review

50
New York Daily News

“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.” Full Review

25
Chicago Tribune

"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." Full Review

10
Deadline

"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." Full Review

90
Theatre Reviews Limited

"'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." Full Review

35
Newsday

"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." Full Review

30
The Wrap

"'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." Full Review

80
NorthJersey.com

"'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." Full Review

20
WNBC

"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." Full Review

85
The Associated Press

"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." Full Review

80
DC Metro Theater Arts

"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." Full Review

90
NJ.com

"'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." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
75
Avg Score

85
Funny, Clever, Dizzying, Entertaining, Campy

See it if you're looking for an escape back to the 70s (Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake) & all that great music. No disappointments!

Don't see it if silly/campy shows don't entertain you. It's not a "heavy" show. Although it could have been successfully mounted OFF-bdwy, it's great fun.

70
Funny, Delightful, Entertaining, Campy

See it if You want a silly and fun musical filler with pieces of disco songs.

Don't see it if You do not like silly comedy or disco

50
Funny, Disappointing, Cliched, Insipid, Fluffy

See it if the parts are greater than the whole for you.

Don't see it if you don't like parody.

79
Funny, Delightful, Hilarious, Entertaining, Goofy

See it if You think that you will enjoy a spoof of the disaster movies of the 70's.

Don't see it if You are looking for a serious show that you will think about afterwards.

68
Funny, Quirky, Cliched, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if If you like 70's pop songs and want a great star cast. Just a fun night at the theatre.

Don't see it if If you want the next Sondheim show.

100
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if Fun show to watch. Very emtertaining

Don't see it if No reason not to see it

82
Clever, Hilarious, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You love period/genre spoofs. I saw this both on and off Broadway. Jennifer Simard was BRILLIANT! Cleaver and fun song choices. A hoot!

Don't see it if You are looking for high production values. I was hoping that the broadway transfer would step them up in a funny way, but sadly it didn't.

69
Dizzying, Great acting, Banal, Cliched

See it if you like ultra campy take on 1970's era disaster films, set to a score of disco hits; if you like really silly jokes and gags.

Don't see it if you dislike camp, dislike musicals where the songs are not only non-original for that show, but are mostly not performed in their entirety

82
Funny, Clever, Cliched, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you'd like a fun disco-infused laugh-out-loud night out featuring show-stopping performances by an all star cast

Don't see it if jukebox musicals aren't your thing and if you don't know a single song from the disco age

83
Delightful, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Fun throwback show... Yay 70's! And all that A list talent!

Don't see it if You can't handle campy.

50
Quirky, Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Fluffy

See it if You really love 70's music.

Don't see it if You want to see a solid show. I wanted to love this so much, but it was so over the top in its crazy antics that I couldn't get on board.

25
Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid

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!

90
Funny, Original, Clever, Great acting, Fluffy

See it if You like 70's music and love to laugh...

Don't see it if You don't have a sense of humor...

65
Cliched, Insipid, Great singing

See it if You like the music and can stand a poorly written spoof/parody. It's more like a dinner-theatre comedy. There are some funny bits, THE NUN!

Don't see it if You will be annoyed with just a basic funny show.

82
Funny, Original, Ambitious, Clever, Quirky

See it if Pitch Perfect cast. Jennifer Simard. 70's soundtrack. When jokes hit they are out of the park

Don't see it if When jokes miss its a titanic strikeout. Can be seen as mercilessly stupid by those who do not have the sense of humor needed to appreciate

69
Funny, Banal, Disappointing

See it if you like jukebox musicals and silly entertainment.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of the music and you prefer more intelligent humor.

80
Funny, Cliched, Dated, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if well it's closed now...so you should have seen it. Funny parody musical, if you like 70's music, if you like the stars, you like cheap laugh

Don't see it if you hate spoofs, you want serious theatre, you hate cheap laughs.

74
Funny, Clever, Quirky, Dated, Entertaining

See it if You loved 70s disco music and will get a kick out of watching it woven into every possible category of disaster movie setting by happy cast.

Don't see it if You can't stand disco or a show totally built on camp.

85
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Hilarious, Fluffy

See it if like a fun evening at the theater. Jennifer Simard as the gambling addicted nun is simply fantastic. Over the top humor with 70s music

Don't see it if are looking for an in depth musical

86
Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if you want to laugh! Great writing. Amazing performances by great actors.

Don't see it if you don't like 70's music.

69
Funny, Indulgent, Fluffy

See it if You love the 70's or for Jennifer Simard's performance.

Don't see it if You want to see something that isn't a campy, spoofy revue.

88
Funny, Delightful, Enchanting, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You like lively music and a show with comedy

Don't see it if You don't like a fun time

75
Funny, Quirky, Fluffy

See it if 70s hit music with a great cast is your thing. It's nice to laugh to corny parody jokes but it's the performance that you wanna see here.

Don't see it if corny and formulaic is not your thing. It's a parody of all the old disaster movies like Piranha, Earthquake, Airplane, etc.

85
Funny, Delightful, Hilarious, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you enjoy a juke box musical that is intended to make you laugh with silly puns, plus a masterful comic performance by Jennifer Simard.

Don't see it if you need an original score and more heft to your story.

100
Clever, Great acting, Must see, Hilarious, Talented singing

See it if you want some great performing, excellent vocals, great stage works and plenty of dark humor

Don't see it if dark humor, musicals, or 70s music aren't your thing