...this self-consciously silly spoof of the cheesy 1970s films that subjected assorted B-list stars to assorted calamities will never rank among the great musicals of our era -- or even the great jukebox musicals of our era, a rather small demographic. But for anyone with a moist, albeit mortifying, affection for the oeuvre of that great auteur Irwin Allen (guilty), and the K-Tel era of pop music (guilty), "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, and ignorant of the show's soundtrack -- a staggering stack of 45s you loved to hate, or hated to love, or a little of both ("Torn Between Two Lovers," "Feelings," "I Am Woman") -- may still have plenty to savor.
Disaster! on Broadway Reviews
Reviews of Disaster! on Broadway. See what all the critics had and read all the reviews for Disaster! including the New York Times and More...
From: New York Times | By: Charles Isherwood | Date: 03/08/2016
From: Associated Press | By: Jennifer Farrar | Date: 03/08/2016
Welcome aboard the Barracuda, a floating casino and discotheque of dubious construction. It's 1979 and we're anchored to a pier in New York City's Hudson River, but about to set sail on a side-splittingly funny evening of singing, dancing and near-death experiences. Directed by Jack Plotnick with a book by Plotnick and Seth Rudetsky, the musical "Disaster!" is a campy carnival of cliches and gleefully cheesy comedy...Tony Award-winner Roger Bart is confidently smarmy as Tony DelVecchio, the corner-cutting casino owner. Co-writer Rudetsky is nerdy perfection as Professor Ted Scheider, the disaster-predicting expert whom Tony will, of course, ignore until the Barracuda is upside down and floating out to sea.
From: Variety | By: Marilyn Stasio | Date: 03/08/2016
Calling all disco queens. Get out your best polyester frock and fluff up your fro -- it's party time on the Barracuda, the casino riverboat bound for destruction in "Disaster!," a ridiculously if unevenly funny Broadway musical...sending up the 1970s cultural zeitgeist. Corralling a catalog of pop and disco hits to tell their spoofy story, the creatives find much to laugh at in the garish fashions, cheesy movies, weepy pop songs and disco-druggy dance tunes of that beloved era...Although not particularly glitzy or glam, this is a good cast that knows the comic ropes...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.
From: TimeOut NY | By: Adam Feldman | Date: 03/08/2016
Put The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake and Airplane! in a blender; add 30 pop hits from the 1970s (such as "Hot Stuff" and "I Am Woman"), carefully chopped; stir in a seasoned cast of Broadway pros and a magical secret ingredient called Jennifer Simard; add garish coloring, muddle with camp and garnish with the kitschiest cocktail umbrella you can find. This is the recipe for Disaster!, a lovably scrappy and often deliciously silly jukebox-musical spoof...Not every joke in Disaster! lands, but there's a lot to enjoy on this nostalgia trip. Sit back, kick off your shoes and have a few laughs on the lido deck.
From: Entertainment Weekly | By: Stephan Lee | Date: 03/08/2016
Disaster!, the new musical from Broadway personality Seth Rudetsky, has all the ingredients to live up to its name. It's a jukebox musical of assorted '70s hits (and a few deep tracks) that's also a broad, shticky parody of retro epics, all spread over two campy acts. There's so much that could go wrong, but 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. B+
From: NJ.com | By: Christopher Kelly | Date: 03/08/2016
As it turns out, "Disaster!" is the season's happiest, most charming surprise. Co-created by Sirius radio host Seth Rudetsky (who also co-stars), Jack Plotnick (who also directed) and Drew Geraci, this show lampoons everyone and everything in sight, and yet still makes us to 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.
From: amNY | By: Matt Windman | Date: 03/08/2016
"Disaster!," the scrappy, witty, ultra-campy new musical that parodies 1970s disaster flicks like "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Airport 1975" to a soundtrack of disco-era pop hits, 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. Visual gags are plentiful and each hit song is integrated with the dialogue in an unusually artful manner...Even so, the show's relentless, one-note silliness grows tiresome, resembling a "Saturday Night Live" sketch that goes on way too long.
From: Washington Post | By: Peter Marks | Date: 03/08/2016
It is the caliber of these parodists that keeps the silliness afloat as Tony's earthquake-racked gambling vessel takes on ever more water. Butler, a star of Broadway's tongue-in-cheek "Hairspray" and "Xanadu," and Pascal, the original Roger in "Rent," approach their stock roles with a winning élan. As dyed-in-the-mink Shirley (modeled on Shelley Winters's performance in the peerless 1972 upside-down cruise ship flick "The Poseidon Adventure") Prince gets to show off a gift for physical comedy that becomes more formidable with the worsening of Shirley's terminal illness - a condition apparently native to the Borscht Belt. And Bart, the Carmen Ghia of Broadway's "The Producers," provides the vital services here of a shameless, polished clown. Best of all, though, is Simard's Sister Mary, a guitar-toting scold who cries "shame" at her shipmates' vices while harboring a secret yearning to shout "Blackjack!"
From: Hollywood Reporter | By: David Rooney | Date: 03/08/2016
In Disaster!, Jennifer Simard plays Sister Mary, a nun who entered the convent to escape her gambling addiction. Midway through the first act, she tries and fails to tear herself and the quarter burning a hole in her habit away from a gleaming new Hawaii Five-O slot machine as she belts out the Gloria Gaynor disco hit, "Never Can Say Goodbye." Because it's a great song and because the sublimely funny Simard goes from deadpan dourness to libidinous delirium as the fever overtakes her, the number is a riot. However, despite a game cast of Broadway pros, this campy spoof of 1970s screen schlockbusters too seldom matches those heights.
From: NBC New York | By: Robert Kahn | Date: 03/08/2016
With this slight, silly, campy and cornball musical comedy, now open at the Nederlander Theatre, many of those celebrities are, I imagine, expressing goodwill for a bona fide Broadway hero. They can consider their debt paid. By the time "Disaster" was over, I had laughed some, but mostly I was rooting for the piranhas...Rudetsky is both a co-star and -- alongside director Jack Plotnick -- co-author of "Disaster," which 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.
From: Newsday | By: Linda Winer | Date: 03/08/2016
It's possible to imagine a mood that may only be satisfied by a couple of hours of watching really good performers having a lark with really bad material. It is harder, however, to guess why "Disaster!," an intentionally tacky and silly hit in a cabaret several years ago, would stretch its amiable cheese-ball foolishness into a Broadway theater at no-joke prices. 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 -- the '70s disaster movie -- in overdone jukebox musical style.
Theater review: ‘Disaster!’ isn’t one — but spoof of catastrophe-themed movies isn’t always funny either
From: NY Daily News | By: Joe Dziemianowicz | Date: 03/08/2016
It takes guts to call a Broadway show "Disaster!" That's just asking for audiences to say that it lives up to its name. But 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"...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, who plays a scientist, and Jack Plotnick, who directs, have come up with something see-worthy but middle-of-the-road.
From: Guardian | By: Alexis Soloski | Date: 03/08/2016
Even appreciating the gratification of nostalgia and camp, 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. Assuming falling rubble or man-eating fish don't get them first.
From: The Wrap | By: Robert Hofler | Date: 03/08/2016
A boat capsizes on Broadway and Irwin Allen turns over in his Hollywood grave. "Disaster" is too dynamic a word to describe the new jukebox musical "Disaster!"...Better words would be "lukewarm mess"...Smaller, not to mention shorter, would help in every way...The long first act gets bogged down in telling us the "somehow" of that nonsense, rather than getting right to the boat capsizing...Rudetsky and Plotnick, who also directs, are wise to give us only snippets of 1970s hits like "Hot Stuff" and "I Will Survive." In a send-up of the jukebox genre, they jam these songs into the narrative, occasionally to comic effect for about two stanzas...Occasionally, a performer breaks through the ice of mediocrity to expose real comic chops. Jennifer Simard's droll nun is a delight...Also fun is watching Roger Bart's sleazy casino owner assiduously avoid a blind woman's calls for help.
From: Huffington Post | By: Steven Suskin | Date: 03/08/2016
I myself would not call Disaster! "Broadway's biggest disaster ever!"...but it does, indeed, founder and sink kind of like cardboard in an overflowing street drain...The show comes from Seth Rudetsky, that ever-rambunctious jack-of-all-trades who most likely emits witty cracks, bell-shaped tones & campy lines in his sleep...Disaster! does make a musical, methinks; but it's one of those small-scale, tongue-in-cheek romps suited for a cabaret bar or way off-Broadway...The best parts of the evening come from the principal cast, who seem to be members of the Rudetsky B'way Circle on the one hand and nifty farceurs on the other...All have been known to carry shows on their own, and all herein chew their way through that cardboard scenery. They...make Disaster! watchable, at least.
From: Chicago Tribune | By: Chris Jones | Date: 03/08/2016
In the great disaster-movie epics of the 1970s, star casting was a crucial weapon..."Disaster!," the tatty, dotty, daffy, trashy new jukebox spoof of the genre that unaccountably opened on Broadway Tuesday night, attempts much the same gimmick - albeit with Broadway rather than Hollywood royalty...It was too late for me about halfway through Act 1 of "Disaster," a cleverly self-protected show that embraces kitsch with aesthetic intensity. This embrace extends to many of the irony-free ballads of the '70s...Sometimes, the likes of "Don't Cry Out Loud" are sung relatively straight...But most of the time they are mugged up, parodied, over-sung and thus the musical joke is telegraphed all the way to the back of the house. In terms of subtlety and satiric nuance, "Disaster!" makes the heavy-metal spoof "Rock of Ages" look like Cole Porter.
From: Deadline | By: Jeremy Gerard | Date: 03/08/2016
Disaster! is the Nick The Lounge Singer of Broadway musicals. 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. Spoof disaster flicks - now there's an original idea. Meta, even. So take pity on Adam Pascal, Max Crum, Seth Rudetsky, Roger Bart, Kerry Butler, Jennifer Simard, Faith Prince, Kevin Chamberlin, Lucretia Nicole, Rachel York and youngster Baylee Littrell. Don't embarrass them with your presence.