The Broadway bow of Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812—inspired by Tolstoy’s War and Peace—officially opened November 14 at the Imperial Theatre.
Rachel Chavkin directs the immersive musical that transformed the Imperial Theatre into an opulent Russian salon that engulfs the audience.
The Broadway cast is led by Josh Groban as Pierre and Denée Benton as Natasha.
WATCH JOSH GROBAN, DENÉE BENTON, AND THE STARS OF THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 HIT THE RED CARPET LIVE WITH PLAYBILL
Read critics’ reviews below.
Associated Press (Mark Kennedy)
DC Theatre Scene (Jonathan Mandell)
Entertainment Weekly (Leah Greenblatt)
Hollywood Reporter (David Rooney)
New York Daily News (Joe Dziemianowicz)
New York Times (Charles Isherwood)
Time Out New York (Adam Feldman)
The Great Comet was commissioned and developed at Ars Nova in NYC, where it had its world premiere in fall 2012 and was soon after transferred to a custom-built venue in the Meatpacking District for the summer of 2013. The show became a hit, and the entire venue was transferred to the theatre district, where it continued its run into the spring of 2014. The musical recently played a limited engagement at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, where its innovative design was expanded to bring the show’s signature staging to a traditional proscenium-style theatre.
The cast also features Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Gelsey Bell as Princess Mary, Nicholas Belton as Bolkonsky/Andrey, Nick Choksi as Dolokhov, Amber Gray as Helene, Grace McLean as Marya D, Paul Pinto as Balaga, Scott Stangland as Pierre (standby), and Lucas Steele as Anatole. The ensemble includes Sumayya Ali, Courtney Bassett, Josh Canfield, Ken Clark, Erica Dorfler, Lulu Fall, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Nick Gaswirth, Alex Gibson, Billy Joe Kiessling, Mary Spencer Knapp, Reed Luplau, Brandt Martinez, Andrew Mayer, Azudi Onyejekwe, Pearl Rhein, Heath Saunders, Ani Taj, Cathryn Wake, Katrina Yaukey, and Lauren Zakrin.
The Great Comet, according to press notes, is described as “a theatrical experience like no other. Malloy’s inspired adaptation of a 70-page slice of War and Peace puts audiences just inches away from Tolstoy’s brash young lovers, as they light up Moscow in an epic tale of romance and passion.”
The new musical features choreography by Sam Pinkleton, set design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Tony Award winner Paloma Young, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nicholas Pope, music supervision by Sonny Paladino, musical direction by Or Matias, casting by Stewart/Whitley, and production stage management by Karyn Meek.
The Broadway production is produced by Howard & Janet Kagan and Paula Marie Black.
Tickets are available via Telecharge.com or by visiting the Imperial Theatre box office (249 West 45th Street).