Jennifer Simard is to make her London stage debut, recreating her Tony-nominated role as gambling-addicted nun, Sister Mary Downy, in a gala concert of the Broadway spoof comedy musical DISASTER!
The musical is to premiere in London for two glittering gala concert charity performances to raise funds for The Make a Difference Trust at Charing Cross Theatre on Sunday 20 November.
Also starring its creator, Broadway legend Seth Rudetsky, DISASTER! will feature a cast of West End stars and well-known UK musical theatre performers – to be announced soon!
Jennifer Simard, who will co-star with Bette Midler in Hello Dolly! the most eagerly anticipated New York theatre production of the year – it took a staggering, record $9million on the day tickets went on sale – also received a 2016 Drama League nomination for her hilarious perfornance as Sr. Downy in DISASTER! She has previously been nominated for the Drama Desk 4 times, the Drama League twice, and once for a Lucille Lortel Award. Her other major credits include Sister Act, Shrek The Musical and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Jennifer said: “I am thrilled to make my London debut and eat my weight in Marmite.”
Seth Rudetsky said: “The Nun in DISASTER! is a character who is torn; she desperately wants to do good but she doesn’t know how. Then she nds herself in a casino and we all nd out her secret: she’s a gambling addict! A gambling addict who also happens to have an incredibly high belt and amazing comic timing. Jack and I wrote a character with some funny laugh lines but Jennifer Simard has perfected the art of making every line she says brilliant. She took moments that had literally no humour in them, they were purely expositional, and she made them bring down the house: watch when she says “I’ve always loved Jesus.” It’s not written as a laugh line yet it gets one of the biggest laughs in Act One. We’re obsessed! Her performance of “Never Can Say Goodbye” was one of my favorite moments on Broadway because not only did I love it, but the cast would stand in the wings and watch her every night. We were all obsessed with her “dance” moves, bizarre line readings and amazing high notes. Jack and I started doing sketch comedy with Jennifer in a little, tiny cabaret back in 1993. And now we’re all going to London together doing a big ben on the West End! And she’s going to get to play the role that got her a Tony nomination. We are so crazily happy and excited!”
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! Set in the wildest decade ever, DISASTER! is packed with unforgettable 70s dance floor hits including “I Will Survive”, “Knock On Wood,” “Hooked On A Feeling,” “Sky High,” “I Am Woman” and “Hot Stuff”.
DISASTER! will perform two shows at the Charing Cross Theatre on Sunday 20 November. If you would like any further details, you can visit the website http://www.charingcrosstheatre.co.uk