Smithsonian Magazine announced April 27 that Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 creator Dave Malloy and director Rachel Chavkin are the recipients of the American Ingenuity Award in History. The duo will receive the award at a gala at the National Portrait Gallery November 29.
“This is the biggest honor," Chavkin told Playbill. “Growing up in Washington, D.C., I grew up on the Smithsonian. Those museums and the cultural reservoirs they represent are such a national gift. My main creative obsession is looking at the present through the lenses of the past, so I can't really imagine a more special award.”
The new musical, which co-stars Josh Groban and Denée Benton, takes the audience back to Russia during the time of Czar Alexander I; in fact, the Imperial Theatre has been transformed to look like a 19th century nightclub in Moscow. To purchase tickets, click here. For discount tickets on select performances, click here.
“Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 is an explosion of relentless creativity,” said Michael Caruso, editor-in-chief of Smithsonian, in a statement. “The show is time travel at its most enchanting. It is so convincing that audiences walk out blinking, astonished to find themselves back in the present.”
Introduced in 2012, the American Ingenuity Awards honor “groundbreaking individuals and works across nine wide-ranging categories, including technology, performing arts, visual arts, life and physical sciences, education, history, social progress and youth achievement.” Past winners and presenters include Lin-Manuel Miranda (for Hamilton), Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Jeff Bezos, David Byrne, Aziz Ansari, OK Go, St. Vincent, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Representative John Lewis, Senator Al Franken, Rosanne Cash, and T. Bone Burnett.
Additional winners will be announced in the weeks to come.
Watch Benton perform from the new musical below: