Could Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Play Broadway's St. James Theatre?

By Adam Hetrick
and Michael Gioia
16 Aug 2013

Phillipa Soo and Lucas Steele
Phillipa Soo and Lucas Steele
Photo by Ben Arons

Dave Malloy’s critically praised musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which will end its Off-Broadway run Sept. 1 at its immersive home Kazino, may be eyeing a Broadway transfer, according to the New York Post.

The St. James Theatre, which currently houses the Beatles tribute concert Let It Be, has caught the eye of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 producers, who may book the theatre for a 13-week run this fall, the Post reports. The musical is currently housed in a one-of-a-kind supper club-style venue built especially for the production in the Meat Packing district.

In addition, the Post reports that producers are considering removing the orchestra seating at the St. James in order to accommodate the immersive staging of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.

Let It Be is currently booking tickets through Dec. 22; however, the Post indicates that the production may vacate the St. James sooner than expected.



Bullets Over Broadway will begin previews at the St. James in the spring.

Producers Howard and Janet Kagan (Pippin, Porgy and Bess) in partnership with Randy Weiner (Sleep No More) and Simon Hammerstein present Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. The piece is the recent recipient of the 2013 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater. Previews began May 1.

Critics praised the production. Read their reviews here.

Director Rachel Chavkin, who staged the ambitious, immersive work at Ars Nova, again directs with choreography by Sam Pinkleton.

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 features many of the original cast members from Ars Nova, including Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Gelsey Bell as Princess Mary, Blake DeLong as Bolkonsky/Andrey, Amber Gray as Helene, Ian Lassiter as Dolokhov, David Abeles as Pierre, Grace McLean as Marya D, Paul Pinto as Balaga, Phillipa Soo as Natasha and Lucas Steele as Anatole.

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, according to producers, "invites you to join Tolstoy's brash young lovers for an evening you'll never forget, as vodka flows and passions ignite in Dave Malloy's electropop opera, ripped from a slice of 'War and Peace.'"

"Howard and Janet's production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 will be more than just a stunning theatrical production; it will be a bona fide only-in-New York event," added Weiner. "Simon and I were inspired by the world of the show to heighten and augment the experience. We are creating our own unique take on a Russian supper club, a world of mystery and mystique that will entice and entertain audiences before, during, and after the show."

Every ticket to the production includes a full Russian-style dinner. Kazino is open six days a week (Tuesday-Sunday) with doors open at 4 PM on weekdays and noon on weekends. At its center are eight performances per week of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, complemented by an array of pre- and post-show live supper club entertainment and a full gourmet menu and bar. Kazino is open for food, drink and live entertainment from the time doors open until closing. 

Malloy's original score merges Russian folk and classical music with indie rock, electronica and organ-influenced cadences. The staging transformed Ars Nova's theatre into a "Moscow dining club: with no 'stage,' the musicians, performers and audience sit together at tables piled high with dumplings and vodka as the action unfolds throughout the space." Malloy was also part of the Ars Nova cast. 

For more information and tickets, visit TheGreatCometOf1812.com.