When tax auditor and amateur astronomer Arthur Edgley discovers a massive asteroid hurtling towards Earth, he begins a journey of self-discovery leading him to Mabel Bellcoat, an unsatisfied woman of means. The couple decide to spend the Last Days traveling around the world on a romantic journey, while on the run from Mabel’s narcissistic husband. But will Arthur and Mabel find meaning in their lives before they’re cut short? And what if Arthur is wrong and the planet does keep spinning? As this charming and off-kilter romantic musical comedy races to its thrilling conclusion, the two lovers discover that sometimes the end of the world isn’t the end of the world.
After the Observer sets the scene with the preamble number (“We’re Looking!”), we meet Arthur Edgley, working away at his tax auditing office with his oddball co-worker Pete Petty and singing about what he’d rather be doing instead (“Low Expectations”). Mitzi Stern, Edgley and Petty’s tough boss, comes in demanding some finished schedule K forms and also to raise a stink about an anonymous note she found in the suggestion box asking for more comfortable chairs for the office. Stern knows Edgley wrote the note and promises to get him better chairs if he does a good job auditing the philanthropist Mabel Bellcoat. If he screws it up, they won’t have any chairs at all. After Stern leaves, Edgley confesses to Petty that he’s an amateur astronomer (“Amateur Astronomer”) and invites Petty to observe a comet in the sky. Elsewhere, we meet Mabel Bellcoat and her husband Richard Bellcoat, who insists that they won’t be selling their boat just because Mabel’s getting audited by the IRS. The two argue about the importance of the boat, but Mabel relents, and Richard returns a scarf that Mabel tells him is not hers. Richard passes it off as a gift as Mabel laments her hurt feelings (“Every Time I Try to Be Kind”). At Edgley’s home, he and Petty are searching for that comet, but Petty is too distracted by Edgley’s lovely backyard to care (“Backyard”). Through his telescope, Edgley sees what he thinks is a giant asteroid headed towards Earth, so he calls the local observatory to warn them. The astronomers at the observatory believe Edgley’s mistaking the comet for an asteroid, but decide to pull a little prank: they let Edgley believe that there really is an asteroid and there’s only a 50/50 chance they can stop it with deflector missiles, imploring him to keep this a secret so they don’t panic the whole planet. Edgley follows their orders as he finally meets with Mabel for their tax auditing session. Mabel is concerned at first that she’s being accused of breaking the law, but the two of them end up getting along quite well. Edgley reassures her and asks her about her charities (“The Bellcoat Charities”) and confesses to Mabel that the world might be ending in a month. He boldly proposes they spend the rest of their short lives together as a romantic couple (“It’d Be Nice If It Was You”). Husband be damned, Mabel agrees, and off they go.
Richard is despondent about the idea of losing her— his boat, that is (“Don’t Take Her Away”) and then realizes it’s been a while since he’s seen Mabel. He desperately needs Mabel to be his date for the annual Porpoise Ball coming up at the marina! Meanwhile, Edgley and Mabel go jet-setting to various cities around the world (“Vacation Days”) and land at a hotel room in Copenhagen, Denmark. They love it so much in Copenhagen that they decide to move there if the world doesn’t end. They are very much in love with each other (“And the Moon Looks Lovely Tonight”). Back at the tax office, Richard confronts Stern while looking for his wife. The two of them realize that both Edgley and Mabel have both disappeared since their audit meeting together. Richard threatens to sue if anything afoul is going on, but Stern assures him there is nothing afoul. Out of Richard’s eye however, Stern vents her frustrations with Edgley (“What Do I Do With A Man?”). Mabel and Edgley land in Vancouver, Canada, where Mabel laments the possibility that the world might end. Edgley decides it’s a good time to check in with the Observatory to see how it’s going with those deflector missiles. Edgley calls them and to his dismay, the Observer tells him they were only pranking him— there is no asteroid. When Edgley relays this news to Mabel, she feels duped and tells Edgley they can’t see each other anymore; she has a life to get back to.
The Observer watches them leave, feeling pretty good about the prank she pulled (“A Good Laugh at His Expense”). Mabel has returned home in time to join Richard as his date to the Porpoise Ball at the marina, only while she was missing, Richard took it upon himself to ask Daisy, a secretary at his office, to be his date. Richard’s pretty proud of himself to be the only one at the Porpoise Ball with two dates. Edgley returns to his office to find that he and Petty have no chairs to sit it. Stern greets Edgley upon his return and grills him about how he spent his trip. Edgley demurs with the details and Stern warns him that if he and Mabel were having an affair, he’d be out of a job. Edgley gets philosophical, wondering what life is all about. He’s on the verge of singing a song about this, but is usurped by Petty singing about milk and waffles (“The Creaminess of the Milk”). Suddenly, Mabel shows up at the tax office looking for Edgley. Seeing each other again is a reminder of how much they are enamored with each other (“How Is It Going?”). Stern catches them in an embrace and Edgley confesses that yes, he and Mabel are in love and that he’s quitting his job because they are moving to Copenhagen! Mabel and Edgley go to his home on the eve of flying back to Copenhagen to start a new life. While there, Edgley tries once more to find that comet through his telescope. Instead of a comet, Edgley sees the asteroid he thought he saw, only it’s much closer to Earth. He calls the observatory to let them know that he was right about there being an asteroid after all. Mabel asks Edgley if it’s all over and he replies, “It’s not over… yet” and their last moments on Earth are spent singing the final number (“Only Now”).
Fun. Delightful. Totally satisfying.
–Gia on the Move
Arthur Edgley – 30s-40s. A cog at the tax office who’s been cowed into submission by the ravages of a mundane life, but still hopeful; thinks about the big picture. (Tenor, A2-G#4)
Mabel Bellcoat – 30s-40s. Charitable giving is her life’s work; pragmatic under normal circumstances, a woman of the people. (Mezzo-Soprano, G3-F5)
The following roles are intended to be played by a single performer:
Mitzi Stern – 30s-40s. Edgley and Petty’s tough boss. She likes rules and order, gets pleasure from being ruthless, has strong convictions.
Observer – Leader of the professional astronomers at the observatory; part prankster, part hedonist, part alpha bully.
Daisy – None too bright, oblivious and cheery, the kind of person you avoid at parties.
The following roles are intended to be played by a single performer:
Pete Petty – 30s-40s. Edgley’s co-worker; to call him odd would be an understatement, drawn to minute details, thinks about the small picture.
Richard Bellcoat – Mabel’s arrogant husband, cares about appearances and status.
Setting: A coastal American city; a non-specified time period.
“Disasteroid! takes what could be a tragic premise and turns it into something hopeful and freeing, posing the question: if we were able to, what kind of life would we want to lead? I left this heartwarming production feeling full of energy and inspired to live life to the fullest. Such a delightful show!” –Media Geeks
“Bernstein has emerged with a most sensible, silliest, love-song singin’ & dancin’ comedic-pseudo-thriller in Disasteroid! that will warm your romantic heart and keep you chuckling long after the (gulp) ‘finale.’ …Fun. Delightful. Totally satisfying.” –Gia on the Move
“Disasteroid! is a sweet love story given urgency by impending doom… sharp as a tack and tight as a tick as it speeds down the track with locomotive energy.” –Paul Myrvold’s Theater Notes
Materials: Your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production. They can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for DISASTEROID! includes: