Monday, March 19, 2012


Seth Rudetsky is arguably one of the most talented people in New York and definitely one of the funniest. His latest production is Disaster!, co-written with Jack Plotnick, and it is over two hours of comic joy.

Seth Rudetsky
The premise is simple: Disaster! is a musical spoof of disaster films, using songs from the 1970s. It features a lot of the jokes you might predict, but with twists that make them funnier, plus jokes and situations and visuals that are surprising and wonderful. Under Denis Jones's insanely creative direction, the small space bursts with action and fun and inspired silliness. And the helicopter rescue is a delight.

Impressively, the songs aren't shoehorned in. As a matter of fact, one or two are weaved in so well that they seem written for the show. As just one example, Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" becomes an effective opening number with a surprising range of interpretations.

And the songs are beautifully sung by the amazing cast. An extra bonus is that the performers enunciate like the musical theatre pros they are. Last night was the first time I ever understood all the words to "Alone Again, Naturally" and "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight."

The charming Zak Resnick plays the lead, a sexually successful waiter who is secretly nursing a broken heart. Carrie Manolakos is his staunchly feminst ex-fiancee; she is woman, hear her roar. Rudetsky plays the dour scientist, and he's perfect in the role, mining the humor and springing out a long and surprising high note when needed. Lacretta Nicole is hysterical as the down-on-her-luck diva; Felicia Finley is amazing as the almost-as-dumb-as-she-seems pop singer; Anika Larsen shines as the nun-slash-compulsive-gambler; and Annie Golden is delightful and impressive, as Annie Golden always is. Others in the wonderful cast include Paul Castree, Kevin Loreque, Clif Thorn, Saum Eskandani, Clark Oliver (great fun as twins), Tom Riis Farrell, Jennifer Know, Linsay Nicole Chambers (those of you who know her from Submissions Only will get an extra kick out of seeing her actually smile), and Sherz Aletaha.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, Disaster! has only one more performance: March 25th at 9:00 at the Triad. Catch it if you possibly can!

And, to the producer I was chatting with yesterday, yes, Disaster! could have a larger audience. And it should!

(reviewer ticket; audience left, five-ish rows-ish from stage)

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