Recently nominated for 12 Tony Awards, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 has been called one of the best Broadway musicals of the year by The New York Times and Time Out New York. The Hamilton New York City program had the chance to see the “electropop opera” at the Imperial Theatre on April 26.
Singer/songwriter Josh Groban stars as Pierre, a downtrodden Russian aristocrat in 19th century Moscow. The writer and composer based the show of a portion of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, but The Great Comet is anything but stuffy. Inches from the audience’s noses, performers sing, kick up their heels, and demonstrate virtuosity on violins and the accordion. Pockets of the orchestra, and of the audience, were center stage.
The Broadway cast consists of many of the actors who starred in the original Off-Broadway production. Notably absent, however, is Philippa Soo who originated the role of Natasha. That was the role in which she was discovered by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who cast her as Eliza in Hamilton. Soo currently stars in the new musical Amélie and the role of Natasha is played by Denée Benton in her Broadway debut.
“I had no idea going in that the play would be so interactive and funny,” said Laura Whitmer ’18. “The theater itself was gorgeous, and I loved the costumes and lighting throughout.”