Critically Acclaimed Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Begins Midtown Engagement Sept. 27
By Michael Gioia
Dave Malloy's critically praised musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which is staged within the custom-built pop-up supper club Kazino, begins performances Sept. 27 in midtown's theatre district after an earlier summer engagement downtown.
The musical was initially scheduled to begin Sept. 24; however, minor complications on the physical transfer of Kazino caused a delay in the start of performances.
The opulent Kazino, the supper club-style venue built especially for the production, was first constructed in the Meatpacking disctict for a summer run of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. The show's lead producers, Howard and Janet Kagan, have moved the hit production to the Times Square theatre district (at West 45th Street between Times Square and 8th Avenue) for a 14-week limited engagement through Dec. 31.
The show's producers have also announced that they will stand with the Russian LGBT community to support Human Rights Watch in their work to end discrimination and abuse against the LGBT community in Russia. They will donate $10,000 plus all food and beverage sales from the show's Sept. 27 performance (in addition to proceeds from a special free first night after-party) to HRW in its efforts to ensure Russian LGBT equality. The afterparty at Kazino is open to the public with or without a ticket.
The piece is the recipient of the 2013 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater. Previews began Off-Broadway May 1, following its world premiere at Ars Nova. Critics praised the production. Read their reviews here.
Director Rachel Chavkin, who staged the ambitious work at Ars Nova, again directs with choreography by Sam Pinkleton. The final downtown cast transfers with the production.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 features many of the original cast members from Ars Nova, including Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Shaina Taub as Princess Mary, Blake DeLong as Bolkonsky/Andrey, Amber Gray as Helene, Nick Choksi as Dolokhov, David Abeles as Pierre, Grace McLean as Marya D, Phillipa Soo as Natasha and Lucas Steele as Anatole. Ashkon Davaran will play Balaga, and the cast also features Ken Clark, Catherine Brookman, Luke Holloway, Azudi Onyejekwe, Mariand Torres and Lauren Zakrin.
Ghostlight Records will release a two-disc cast album, preserving Malloy's original score — which merges Russian folk and classical music with indie rock, electronica and organ-influenced cadences — later this year.
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.'"
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 is produced by Howard and Janet Kagan and co-produced by Paula Marie Black, John Logan, Lisa Matlin, Daveed Frazier, Tom Smedes, and Vertical Entertainment/Roman Gambourg/Lev Gelfer.
For more information and tickets, visit TheGreatCometOf1812.com.
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