Disaster!, the Broadway musical comedy spoof of star-studded 1970s jeopardy movies like The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake and Airport, is to premiere in London for two gala concert charity performances to raise funds for The Make a Difference Trust at Charing Cross Theatre on Sunday 20 November.
Starring its creator, Seth Rudetsky, Disaster! will also feature a cast of West End stars and well-known UK musical theatre performers.
It’s 1979 and New York’s hottest A-listers are lining up for the opening of a floating casino and discotheque. But what begins as a night of boogie fever quickly changes to panic as the ship succumbs to multiple disasters, such as earthquakes, tidal waves and infernos. As the night turns into day, everyone struggles to survive and, quite possibly, repair the love they’ve lost…or at least escape the killer rats!
Disaster! is packed with 1970s dancefloor hits including ‘I Will Survive’, ‘Knock On Wood’, ’Hooked On a Feeling’, ‘Sky High’, ‘I Am Woman’ and ‘Hot Stuff’.
Rudetsky said: “This show is a culmination of everything I love and hope British people love: 1970s songs, comedy and terrifying disasters. When I was a kid in the 70s, I wanted to grow up and be a weatherman because I was obsessed with disaster movies…not the death parts, but the exciting parts! Tidal waves, earthquakes, fires, rats…so great!
“Naturally, my co-writer and I had to put ALL of those disasters in the show. And we love those signature characters in the 70s disaster movies, so we put them in the show as well…the kindly but sassy older lady, the nun who always has a guitar, the sexy lady whose clothes seem to fall off more-and-more with each disaster, and, of course, the know-it-all disaster expert that no one will listen to (the role I stole for myself!). And, yes, I know that everyone thinks the music they grew up with was the best music ever, but 1970s music really is the best music ever, isn’t it?! There was room for everyone…Pop, rock and disco all shared the charts.
“I first performed in London with Patti LuPone two years ago and I found out how much I love British audiences. As soon as my friend Jack Plotnick and I started writing Disaster! we told each other we really wanted to do it in the West End. It only took an initial one-night benefit, a run Off-Off-Broadway, then Off-Broadway, and then on Broadway to get here!”
Disaster! originated at the Triad Theatre in 2012, ran Off-Broadway in 2013 and opened on Broadway in 2016.
Seth Rudetsky is a a musician, stand-up comic, actor, writer, and radio host. His career includes performing on Broadway, writing three books and playing piano in more than a dozen hit musicals, including Ragtime, Les Misérables, and The Phantom of the Opera. Best known to US audiences as the daily Broadway host of Sirius/XM radio, he has also been nominated for a Grammy Award – for his recording of the musical Hair – and was three times nominated for an Emmy Award – for his writing on The Rosie O’Donnell Show as well as winning the title ‘Funniest Gay Male in New York’ for his stand-up comedy.
Disaster! is written by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick and directed by Plotnick. Performance are at the Charing Cross Theatre on Sunday 20 November at 4pm and 7.30pm.