Proscenium Re-Invention of Acclaimed Great Comet of 1812 Will Mix Original Cast With Fresh Faces

News   Proscenium Re-Invention of Acclaimed Great Comet of 1812 Will Mix Original Cast With Fresh Faces Cambridge's American Repertory Theater announced it will stage newly re-imagined production of Dave Malloy's electropop opera Natasha Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. The staging will feature some of the original cast members from the acclaimed Off-Broadway debut, as well as a string of Broadway actors.

The A.R.T staging, kicking off Dec. 6, will be helmed by original director Rachel Chavkin. Originally seen Off-Broadway in a supperclub tent built especially to house the immersive production, this new incarnation has been reconceived for a proscenium setting at the Loeb Drama Center. To capture the experience of the original, additional playing spaces will be created throughout the theatre, with banquettes and dining tables added.

A scene from the original Off-Broadway production of <i>Natasha Pierre &amp; The Great Comet of 1812</i>
A scene from the original Off-Broadway production of Natasha Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Photo by Chad Batka

MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ winner Mimi Lien is the show's set designer.

Returning to the production are Nicholas Benton as Andrey, Lucas Steele as Anatole, Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Nick Choksi as Dolokhov and Grace McLean as Marya.

Performances will run through Jan. 3, 2016, at the Loeb Drama Center.

The cast will also feature new additions Denèe Benton (national tour of The Book of Mormon) as Natasha (originally played by Hamilton's Phillipa Soo), Lilli Cooper (Spring Awakening) as Hélène and Scott Stangland (Once) as Pierre, who will perform among the audience in this immersive staging. Visit A.R.T for more information on how to purchase tickets.  Casting is rounded out by Gelsey Bell and Paul Pinto. The ensemble is composed of Courtney Bassett, Josh Canfield, Ken Clark, Erica Dorfler, Lulu Fall (who played Hélène in the original), Ashley Perez Flanagan, Nick Gaswirth, Azudi Onyejekweb (also featured in the original ensemble), Heath Saunders, Lauren Zakrin (featured in the original ensemble) and Katrina Yaukey.

Malloy's The Great Comet is based on a 70-page slice of Leo Tolstoy's epic novel "War and Peace." "Step into a glamorous, romantic world of chandeliers, vodka and caviar in the salons and opera houses of 19th century Moscow," state press notes from A.R.T. "Where passions ignite as Napoleon’s war rages outside the city...This new musical brings to life the heart of literature’s most epic tale of love and fate."

The production has choreography by Sam Pinkletoncostume design by Paloma Young, lighting design by Bradley King and sound design by Matthew Hubbs. Casting is by Stewart/Whitley.

Natasha Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 premiered at Ars Nova in 2012 where it garnered critical acclaim. The show transferred to the Kazino — a supper club-style venue created specifically for the show that immerses audiences in the experience — in May 2013. It played its final performance there March 2, 2014.

Playbill.com announced earlier in 2015 that producers Howard and Janet Kagan were eyeing a Broadway run, though no official announcement has been made. Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 was co-produced by Paula Marie Black, John Logan, Lisa Matlin, Daveed Frazier, Tom Smedes and Vertical Entertainment/Roman Gambourg/Lev Gelfer.

A feature-film adaptation of the musical was in the works (with the help of a Kickstarter campaign), but plans fell through when the Kickstarter did not reach its $250,000 goal.

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