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IVCC presents the ‘Airplane’ of musicals

Students present spoof with disco

Illinois Valley Community College's theater department is bringing spoof to its stage beginning this weekend, along with 30 different disco songs.

“Disaster! The Musical” is a send-up spoof of 1970s disaster movies, such as “The Poseidon Adventure,” “The Towering Inferno” and “Earthquake,” with a nod to “Jaws,” “Willard” and “Piranha.”

It is set to well-known disco tunes such as “Hot Stuff,” “Sky High” and “Come To Me.”

There also will be special effects, such as a ship that turns upside down and a tank of piranhas that follow the cast.

The large ensemble features IVCC students, alumni and community members, who are taking on challenging roles.

"It's all played for laughs, but the cast has to take their parts seriously," said Don Zellmer, director and choreographer of the show. "The events are ridiculous, but the approach has to be very serious."

Zellmer said to think of the show as "the 'Airplane!' of musicals."

The group will be among the first nationally to perform "Disaster!" which was on Broadway a couple of years ago, Zellmer said. The first performance in Illinois was in Chicago last weekend.

“Disaster!” takes on many of the stock characters from the genre of disaster movies — the retired couple with a secret, the scientist, a stowaway nun and many more, and spins the story out of control with outrageously silly situations — and one disaster after another.        

The new musical is complete with earthquakes, tidal waves, sharks, rats and infernos set aboard the opening night of the Barracuda, the first floating casino and disco in New York.

The cast includes students Griffin Tabor, of Oglesby; Eric Aguilar, of Mendota; Ashley Hurst, Samantha Anseth and Thomas Bickle, of Peru; Alexis Trammel, of Ottawa; Patrick Sullivan, of Utica; Allison Brown, of Princeton; Sarah Hunter, of La Moille; Bailey Wilson, of Spring Valley; and Taylor Edwards, of Toluca.

Community members include Chad Brokaw, of Princeton; alum Lindsey Wheeler, of Ottawa; Kelly Johnson, of Seneca; Steve Seaborn and Armando Ramos, of Peru; Jennifer Walk, of Granville; alum Jessica Fillbeck, of Ladd; Andrea Kurth, of Walnut; Karen Lesman, of La Salle; and Abigail Colby, of Utica.

The theater department will present the show Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, April 19, 20, 21 and 22 and April 26, 27, 28 and 29 in the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at the door an hour prior to showtime for $20, $15 for students and seniors and free for IVCC students and employees with ID. Seating will begin at 7:10 p.m. or 1:40 p.m. for the matinee.

Go to the IVCC Fine Arts Facebook page to meet the cast and crew and get behind-the-scenes videos and photos.

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