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So, as I continue to review the immense output of Van Dean’s Broadway Records, it’s time to take a listen to something I’ve heard a lot about, but not a note of - the current Broadway phenomena Disaster!
Set in the wildest decade ever, Disaster! delivered earthquakes, tidal waves, infernos and unforgettable '70s hits like 'Knock on Wood', 'Hooked on a Feeling', 'Sky High', 'I Am Woman' and 'Hot Stuff' – plus, an outrageous cast of Tony Award-winning stars of Rent, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, Xanadu, Guys and Dolls and The Producers. Audiences and critics went wild for this hilarious homage to the era of bell-bottoms, platform shoes and the hustle. From the moment the glitter ball started spinning, there was dancing in the seats… and rolling in the aisles.
The album is produced by Michael Croiter, Bart Migal and Seth Rudetsky, with executive producers Hunter Arnold, Robert Ahrens, Carl Daikeler, Sandi Moran and Daniel Rafinejad.
This is a comedy musical in the highest order - you can tell this from just reading the excellent CD booklet, designed as ever by Robbie Rozelle. The action takes place aboard ‘The Barracuda’ (New York’s first floating casino) - this is a mixture of every disaster movie you can think of, and The Love Boat! It’s not an original score - it pulls from the great disco hits of the '70s - but is none the less enjoyable for it. The orchestrations and arrangements are in the safe hands of Joseph Joubert, Michael McElroy, David Dabbon and the great Seth Rudetsky, and form very well into a Broadway score. There are 28 songs here, and some medleys, so it’s a packed hour of listening.
The talent on show here is immense. Adam Pascal, Seth Rudetsky, Roger Bart, Kerry Butler, Faith Prince, Rachel York, Kevin Chamberlin... any one of them would sell a show (and a cast recording), but to have them all here is a gift. They all play the material perfectly, never over pitching, never sending it up. It all works, and sounds, perfect. I would have liked to have some idea of the story from the CD however - I did have to keep referring to the notes to see where we were in the story. A small diversion though from what is a quirky, fun and enjoyable cast recording.