Open run

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Members say: Great staging, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Clever
65 reviews
1010 reviews

Inspired by a 70-page slice of Tolstoy’s 'War and Peace,' this immersive, Off-Broadway hit transfers to the Main Stem with recording star Josh Groban in his Broadway debut.

... Read more

Natasha is young, Anatole is hot, and Andrey isn't here. But what about Pierre? Natasha is a beautiful ingenue visiting Moscow while she waits for her fiancée Andrey to return from the war. In a moment of indiscretion, she is seduced by the dashing (but already married) Anatole and her life is ruined. Her only hope lies with Pierre (Groban), the lonely outsider whose love and compassion for Natasha may be the key to her redemption. Featuring a score that mixes rock, pop, soul, folk and electronic dance music with classic Broadway, 'The Great Comet' arrives on Broadway after its critically acclaimed 2013 Off-Broadway premiere. Its creative team has re-imagined the Imperial Theatre as an opulent Russian salon, where every seat provides a unique perspective.

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$99 Orchestra Seats for Dave Malloy's Performances (5/4-5/9, 5/16, 6/13, 6/20, 6/27) with code GCPLY321 |
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Reviews (1075)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

"Who would have guessed that Dave Malloy’s gorgeous pop opera would land on Broadway with all its signal virtues intact, and in some ways heightened?...The show remains a witty, inventive enchantment from rousing start to mournful finish...O.K., so it’s a little dense...Even if you get lost for a bit, the dazzling staging, the vivid performances and the richness of Mr. Malloy’s music will provide pleasures that go well beyond the narrative." Full Review


"The most exciting theatrical experience since 'Hamilton,' a must-see for anyone who wants a sneak peek at how Broadway will look in the coming decades...Malloy's sharp lyrics and tunefully experimental music make the occasional haziness of the book easy to forgive...'The Great Comet' is a model for how to present 21st-century theater in venues designed 100 years ago....Everyone in this cast is working hard and it pays off." Full Review


"Director Rachel Chavkin's brilliantly joyous and sneakily subversive mounting of ‘The Great Comet,’ an infectiously lively musical…Josh Groban supplies the attention-grabbing star name and does a fine job anchoring the festivities with gravitas…Denée Benton's Natasha revels in the spotlight much of the time and she reflects it luminously with a lovely voice and a glowing presence...Let this dazzling show fill your spirits all night long." Full Review


"Pure theatrical magic…Country aristocrat Natasha is played with sparkle and pluck by Denée Benton…Josh Groban makes a forceful and passionate Broadway debut as the dissolute Pierre...Rachel Chavkin’s breathless, immersive staging is a constant source of wonder...One of the most thrilling Broadway musicals this decade, 'The Great Comet' is intimate yet epic, ironic yet deeply felt, cosmic yet down to earth. It lights up the sky and our hearts." Full Review


"A luscious, 360-degree immersive experience that feels like being smothered in velvet...You really don’t want to miss a thing in this musically lush and visually opulent production...Malloy, who wrote the marvelous book, tuneful music, and smart lyrics, understands and even admires the members of this aristocratic society, who in ensemble songs reveal themselves as irresistibly charming and hopelessly corrupt." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Director Rachel Chavkin’s approach to the show—spectacular yet intimate, theatrical yet personal—is an ideal complement to Malloy’s brilliantly unconventional musical...In Malloy’s complex and eclectic score, lovely stand-alone songs are woven into a larger blanket of recitative and surprising combinations of content and genre...Bittersweet and joyous, artful and accessible, this is a Broadway party like no other...It’s a wonderful, soul-stirring escape." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

"When the dancers are leaping, the accordions wheezing, the lights flashing, the skirts swirling, and the vodka flowing, then 'Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812' feels thrillingly unlike anything else on Broadway...The combinatory musical style is perhaps too eclectic, yet also undeniably invigorating – like a shot of horseradish vodka. Besides, these are rather minor quibbles when compared with the beauty of many of the songs and the excitement of the immersive staging." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"Extraordinary, the freshest, most inviting show on Broadway this season. 'Great Comet' is awesome in its stagecraft, in its music, and in its performances...Director Rachel Chavkin and set designer Mimi Lien in particular deserve kudos for staging on Broadway something very close to the kind of immersive theater that’s lately been intriguing theatergoers all over the world – everywhere but Broadway, until now." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Never, ever dull...As engaging as all the color, movement, and vocal pyrotechnics can be, there is something uncertain about the piece…'The Great Comet’ is sometimes moving, sometimes electrifying, and sometimes just a bit vulgar and overreaching in its gritted-teeth determination to give the audience a good time…As it is, it's prone to rather giddy mood shifts that sometimes undermine the story it is trying to tell. Make no mistake, however -- this is a wild, rollicking circus of a show." Full Review

Cultural Weekly

"Set designer Lien has done her best to recreate the atmosphere of a Russian dinner club, but the experience is much less intimate...The musical’s delicate closing moments brought me to tears Off-Broadway, but here I just admired the stagecraft...Groban exhibits a magnificent voice, but lacks the depth to fully inhabit the role. Benton’s Natasha is charming and bubbly yet when her liaison with Anatole is shattered, she fails to move us." Full Review

Front Row Center

"The talent here is mighty. Across the board. The story, however, could have been condensed into a tight 90-minute extravaganza. As it is, the themes are repeated over and over and over–and not in nuanced ways. Repetition overcomes talent as well as spectacle and wears the listener down...To be sure this is a visual spectacle that you rarely see on Broadway. Without the spectacle, however, the story does not stand up." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"More often than not it succeeds at making a great time, even if it falls short of making great art...Though I remain an admirer of 'Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,' I find that its flaws are even more evident now, and Chavkin and Malloy are not able to disguise how hard they're working...Malloy walks a thin line between serious adaptation and rib-poking irony, and does not always get the ratios correct...Ultimately more a triumph of style than it is a classic piece of writing." Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

"For all its explosive liveliness, Ms. Chavkin’s staging looks like a hopped-up concert version of a musical, not a bona fide Broadway show, and it serves mainly to paper over the essentially undramatic nature of 'The Great Comet,' which feels less like an opera than a cantata...There’s more than one way to write a show, and I freely acknowledge the extreme cleverness and originality of 'The Great Comet.' I just wish it didn’t seem at least 45 minutes longer than it really is." Full Review

AM New York

"Since it premiered, I have always found the show to be extremely uneven, with a stop-and-start momentum that alternates between all-out liveliness and long episodes of slow tedium. That being said, Rachel Chavkin’s stunning production is an intoxicating whirlwind of wild activity...Benton, a little-known actress, is wonderful as the doe-eyed Natasha, and Groban, with his rich voice in tow, gives a sensitive performance that fully captures Pierre’s angst-filled personality." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Groban is delivering an unassuming, restrained and nuanced performance as an overweight older man burdened by his unhappy life...He soars, but he doesn’t show off...This is an ensemble and he fits in very nicely indeed...The show is mostly a spectacle but it has one especially affecting moment at the climax in which Groban’s Pierre and the socially disgraced Natasha have a meeting of the souls. It’s quiet, lovely, emotional." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"It arrives on Broadway in superlative shape, its humor, emotional content and rip-roaring storytelling every bit as vibrant as its madly infectious score...No disrespect to the marvelous cast, many of whom have been with the project since its earliest stages, but the true stars are the material and production, which is often as cinematic as it is blazingly theatrical...Chavkin's direction is a marvel of intricacy, with simultaneous action happening in multiple spots...Don't miss it." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"If 'Natasha' used this gorgeousness to set up a contrast with the characters’ turpitude, or to bring its world crashing down at the end, it might seem less vapid...Groban sings not just beautifully but without irony; almost alone among the cast he makes real connections to the ideas behind the words...The misalignment of source and style is so severe in 'Natasha' that it seems like an example of elitist decadence rather than the condemnation of it that Tolstoy intended." Full Review

New York Daily News

"That immersive world has been realized ingeniously on Broadway...The large talented cast delivers the goods in director Rachel Chavkin’s lively staging and there’s much to admire in Molloy’s wistful arias and rowdy beats. The production sometimes stalls and loses impact amid the sprawl and spectacle...Still, the show is bold and affecting and a welcome addition to the Great White Way." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"The visually stunning ‘The Great Comet’ has improved in many ways from its other three incarnations…Rachel Chavkin’s direction is another work of art. Ms. Chavkin moves her players around with such grace and intimacy, the audience is sure to be astounded in its opulence…Mr. Groban’s acting is splendid...What is lacking from this production is the force of energy that was Natasha...Denée Benton is beautiful, sings well, and can act. What she lacks is star power " Full Review


"I can pretty much guarantee that no one attending this gorgeous evocation of 19th-century Moscow will leave convinced they didn’t get their ruble’s worth...The book and score by Dave Malloy take great pains to spell it all out for us, often to the exclusion of, oh character development, motivation and feeling...Malloy is an inventive composer of not very beautiful music...All this action delivers pleasure for the eye and, intermittently, the ear. But not for the soul." Full Review


"Malloy's sung-through lyrics are clear as any play dialogue and propel the narrative most effectively. And Chavkin has guided the performers to make their situations and feelings easily comprehensible...Electro-pop-influenced and sung-through like an opera, but it also, and beautifully, blends in Russian folk and classical music...They've managed to give audiences a view of Tolstoy's rather overwrought romantic subplot through a contemporary and often humorous and unique lens." Full Review


"It’s a massive, luscious, romantic escape into decadent 19th-century Moscow by way of Broadway...A multifaceted talent named Dave Malloy wrote and composed this seriously beautiful lark of an oddball musical...Directed by the spectacle-wizard Rachel Chavkin...Inextricable from the music and story are the overwhelming sets and costumes—sensory overload with little on its mind except offbeat entertainment." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"A wildly inventive new musical...'Great Comet' functions as a satire of the trope of turning Russian fiction into musicals...The weakness of Chavkin's fabulously staged production is pretty simple and obvious. Little attention is paid to the emotional inner lives of the characters...It is like you're watching a cutting, a really cool post-modern cabaret lived in real time." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"A masterful musical… A remarkable story of love gone wrong…’The Great Comet’ is one of the most innovative musicals to appear on Broadway for a very long time. Its uniqueness is surpassed only by its impressive cast. Under Rachel Chavkin’s refined and imaginative direction, Denee Benton, Josh Groban and the ensemble cast grapple successfully with Dave Malloy’s music, lyrics, and book and create a delicious and innovative approach to a small slice of ‘War and Peace.’" Full Review


"Great, extravagantly entertaining fun, with a soaring score that runs the musical gamut from raucous rock to classical...It also stirs the soul, with a beautifully sung finale, performed to a hushed audience by pop star Josh Groban…It might not cure your heartache, but it's a reminder of the solace that art can provide…Onstage, there's unparalleled intimacy, with the actors excitingly close. The negative is that with actors continually brushing by, you can get distracted from the story." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Ambitious, Dizzying, Epic, Exquisite, Must see

See it if You want a non-traditional, immersive experience; you like musicals with lots of different musical styles; to see something totally unique

Don't see it if You don't want to interact w/actors; you have trouble following fast lyrics that explain the action; you don't like loud contemporary music

Also I've seen this 2x on Broadway and 1x in the Kazino tent in midtown. So... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Epic, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you love reinventions of theatre, immersive theatre, rock operas, unique stories, and creative directing/staging

Don't see it if You want to be able to see everything that's going on all the time. And if you don't want to work to understand the plot.

Unique and fun theater experience

See it if If you are up for a non-traditional Broadway experience that's fun, uniquely staged & based on 1 tiny storyline from a dense Russian novel

Don't see it if The plot and score are the least interesting elements of this show.. and the repeated inculcation of who the characters are gets tedious.

Also Josh Grobin was a standout-- see it with him if you can

Ambitious, Masterful, Must see, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy (musical) theatre that is bold, fresh, and adventurous; with performances that are equally captivating.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy immersive theatre, or are in need of a traditional musical or traditional storytelling.

Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to see THE finest show on Broadway+ the likely 2017 Tony winner ! Originality is at the top of the list for you. Perfection, your *

Don't see it if This is an electro pop opera. Traditional shows and staging are all that interesting you, but I say take a chance ! Go, see it, yes you !

Also I saw this show produced by Ars Nova in 2012. It was performed in a te... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Dizzying, Confusing, Impressive, Great staging

See it if period shows with contemporary stylings appeal to you. The set design is very impressive. It held my interest even when the plot did not.

Don't see it if you're looking for a feel-good show with a happy ending, or if you prefer your Tolstoy straightforward & without musical accompaniment.

Also The plot admittedly didn't do much for me but I was still captivated w... Read more Read less

Clever, Dizzying, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You're in the mood for something out of the ordinary and exciting.

Don't see it if Having actors in your face makes you uncomfortable.

Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Great staging

See it if You buy into the hype. Want 2 see the Imperial configured like no other theater set-up ever. Want a free pirogi. Love Josh Groban.

Don't see it if You know up front that you need to read the Playbill GUIDE or the "family tree" to have any idea of what the hell is going on or who's who.

Also I never read War & Peace. Audience is asked by show of hands before th... Read more Read less

Clever, Dizzying, Entertaining

See it if a new musical with an interesting take on War and Peace is something you'd get into. Great energy and staging are a plus.

Don't see it if a musical with a lot of activity and strobe lights are to annoying for you. You may find it hard to follow in some ways like Edwin Drue.

Creative, thrilling, exciting theater from the moment you step into the lobby., Immersive and untraditional., A musical cross-section. it all works and it's fun., Sad story given an enchanting production.

See it if You want to go on a merry ride and embrace having the cast perform all around you. There's always something to watch here. This is special.

Don't see it if Hate not understanding lyrics even if you still get what's going on. Don't like energetic choreography/staging. Immersive's not your thing.

Also I loved this show. The cast was charming and beautifully-voiced (hello... Read more Read less

Clever, Intelligent, Refreshing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like imaginative stagings, creative use of light, great singing by Josh Groban & cast and a semi-immersive experience with the actors.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals/Josh Groban, are confused by numerous Russian characters called by varying names, prefer all action on center stage.

Ambitious, Clever, Great singing, Great staging, Great concept

See it if you appreciate an imaginative, beautifully realized immersive production with a great cast. A treat!

Don't see it if Please give it a chance. You'll be glad you did.

Overrated, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you love a spectacle

Don't see it if if you don't like creative staging

Epic, Must see, Profound, Quirky, Great staging

See it if You want to see a truly original show, from its unique staging to its glorious content. A beautiful ensemble piece. Sit on the stage.

Don't see it if You want to see an old fashioned Broadway musical. This has a new and exciting look and sound.

Great singing, Great staging, Immersive, Eye catching, Tosltoy techno

See it if you like musicals with no spoken dialogue, a set which encompasses the whole theater and some magnificent voices.

Don't see it if you dislike a musical that plays a bit like an opera/circus, interacts with the audience (no matter where they're sitting)...

Also Tolstoy Techno?... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Masterful, Must see, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love Josh Groban whose voice is pure gold!!! He gave me chills!!! Have mixed feelings about the show, but enjoyed the spectacle.

Don't see it if You want a straight forward, typical show. This is unlike anything else. Glad I saw it.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Masterful, Resonant, Great staging

See it if you want to experience a stellar ensemble cast put an original twist on an old story; you enjoy a bit of audience participation

Don't see it if you cannot handle performers surrounding you; new versions of old stories bore you

Dizzying, Quirky, Slow, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to see an AMAZING staging and set that lifts up a show to another level.

Don't see it if a few great songs don't cover the sometimes slow and boring centre that drags a bit despite the amazing staging and cast.

Delightful, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if If you enjoy big Broadway spectaculars.

Don't see it if If you are bothered by bright lights. Strobe lights and a panel of blinding bright lights in center stage were used in a couple of scenes.

Ambitious, Must see, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy immersive shows with the action developing all around you throughout the theatre, audience participation, and excellent singing.

Don't see it if you dislike songs that convey plot & characters' thoughts & emotions; shows that are fully sung; strobe lights; a mix of old & new worlds.

Also The cast is extremely talented. See it with Josh Groban if you can. Th... Read more Read less

Quirky, Confusing, Slow, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You would like to see a musical with great staging, singing, and direction; the actors are magnificent!

Don't see it if You enjoy stories that actually have an ending, or a real plot for that matter. Very long-and-drawn-out story with no solid end.

Overrated, Overblown, confusing, overdone production

See it if you enjoy seeing small off Broadway shows turned into big spectacles and losing the heart of the show and it's story.

Don't see it if you enjoyed the off Broadway productions which were simple and unique in their production values

Ambitious, Great staging, Visually gorgeous

See it if you want to see something different and like weirder, more atonal music.

Don't see it if you like the actors to stay on the stage, sing in a predictable range or have issues with understanding when people don't enunciate.

Also It is one of the most visually stunning shows I've ever seen. The set,... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Slow, Great singing, Spectacular staging

See it if you appreciate amazing direction, staging, music, and spectacle. As you'd expect, Josh Groban's performance is magnificent.

Don't see it if you want a story that actually goes somewhere and has an ending. Think LONG Russian novels you tried to plow your way through in school.

Ambitious, Delightful, Edgy, Enchanting, Great staging

See it if You're interested in a pop opera of War & Peace, you're open to unusual staging.

Don't see it if You have a seizure disorder because there is strobe lighting; you like a straightforward, traditional book; you hate anything like opera.