Hot Stuff! Rachel York Serves You Disco Diva Realness with Her Disaster! Wardrobe
March 30th, 2016
by Rachel York
In the splashy and hilarious new Broadway musical Disaster!, Rachel York shines as Jackie, a ditzy but well-meaning lounge singer and single mother. During the course of the evening, Jackie goes from '70s disco glam to barely standing survivor.
Below, Rachel York brings BroadwayBox backstage at Disaster! to track Jackie's journey through her amazing William Ivey Long costumes.
1. The Rhoda Dressing Gown
I lucked out on my costumes by William Ivey Long in this wonderful production of Disaster!. I play Jackie, the singer/performer on our floating casino. This is my lovely dressing gown I wear at the beginning of the show. It's meant to be a throwback to the beautiful dressing gowns of the '30s and '40s with a Diane Von Furstenberg, '70s feel. It's actually made out of two dresses combined with brown stenciled ostrich feathers on the sleeves and skirt. The pattern reminds me of something Rhoda might have worn on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
2. The Car Wash
Being a performer, Jackie collects sparkly beaded gowns. This is one of my favorites. We call this one "The Car Wash" and it references those amazing Bob Mackie costumes designed for Ann Margaret when she performed in Vegas. It's so fantastically gorgeous that our show's wig supervisor, Emilia Martin, would kill for it!
3. The Mockingbird Jumpsuit
I wear this understated jumpsuit when I perform “Mockingbird” with Seth Rudetsky in the show. Modeled after a jump suit Bob Mackie designed for Cher, it is made of two fancy, sequined dresses stitched together. Add some orange feathers and marabou to make it silly and you've got Jackie’s trademark style. The colors also match and complement our fabulous '70s set, which reminds me of The Disney Contemporary Hotel in the 1970s.
4. The Marilyn
Here, Roger Bart, who plays Tony, my fiancé...possibly, presents my favorite dress in the bunch that I would like to snatch personally. Though it is the most conservative dress I wear in the show, the sequin design and nude color give it a kind of peek-a-boo quality. Sparkly and classy. It's something Marilyn Monroe might have worn...perhaps while singing, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President."
5. The 'Is She...?'
After running through the ship desperately looking for my children we have our first major earthquake in Disaster!. I am found in this shredded version of the previous dress. While the first one is opaque, the lining has been removed here to give it that, "OMG, is she naked under that sheer fabric?" appearance. It was carefully cut, dragged through the mud and engineered to survive 8 shows a week by our fabulous associate costume designer, David Kaley.
6. The Raquel Welch
And here we have my finale costume where most of my dress has disappeared in an explosion and I'm left with this ragged bikini, inspired by Raquel Welch's famous photo in One Million Years B.C. To be honest, I'm very modest about my body after having a baby, but the idea of them modeling my last costume after that famous photo (that I so clearly remember as a child) was too perfect to pass up. Anything for comedy! What's unique about this baby is that it is all hand sewn. Luckily, David Kaley carefully cut and placed each piece to cover my, shall we say, less attractive areas. Sort of real life, 4D photo shopping. I highly recommend it.
Get yourself over to Broadway's Nederlander Theatre to see Rachel York (and the rest of the gang!) in 'Disaster!'