Abeles ( Million Dollar Quartet, The Burnt Part Boys) takes over the role of Pierre. He succeeds Malloy, the show's creator, who played his final performance as Pierre June 21 to work on several new projects, including commissions from LCT3, San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater and the Youth Musical Theater Company in Berkeley, as well as upcoming shows at the Incubator Arts Project and The Bushwick Starr.
From June 22-July 7, the role of Pierre was played by Luke Holloway.
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, Grace McLean as Marya D, Paul Pinto as Balaga, Phillipa Soo as Natasha and Lucas Steele as Anatole.
Producers Howard and Janet Kagan ( Pippin, Porgy and Bess) in partnership with Randy Weiner ( Sleep No More) and Simon Hammerstein present the production at the new space — a temporary structure that rises at the corner of West 13th Street and Washington Street, wedged between The High Line and The Standard Hotel in the heart of New York's meatpacking district — through Sept. 1.
The critically acclaimed piece, which played an extended Off-Broadway run last fall and is the recipient of the 2013 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater, officially opened May 16, following previews that began May 1. Click here for Playbill.com's review roundup, The Verdict. "We were so inspired by this show and its tremendous ingenuity, that we felt compelled to expand upon the experience created at Ars Nova," said producers Howard and Janet Kagan in an earlier statement. "Randy and Simon have both built iconic New York cultural and nightlife destinations and are the ideal partners to take an already exciting show and make it an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience as original as New York itself."
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, 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.'"
The piece is set in an immersive environment. Read the Playbill.com interview with critic Kevin Williamson, who discussed theatre etiquette following a cell phone incident at the show.
"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.
As previously announced, a new rush policy has been implemented online and in-person. Rush tickets are $49 and are available for Wednesday matinees, Saturday early evening performances and Sunday matinees. Rush tickets can be purchased at the box office of Kazino (West 13th Street and Washington Street) beginning two hours prior to the posted curtain time as well as online at TheGreatCometOf1812.com beginning the day of the performance at 10 AM by using the code "RUSH" at check-out. Food and drink is not included with the purchase of a rush ticket.
The playing schedule is Tuesdays at 8 PM, Wednesdays at 2 PM and 8 PM, Thursdays at 8 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 5:30 PM and 9:30 PM and Sundays at 1 PM.
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.