Open run

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Members say: Great staging, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Clever
85
Critics
81
62 reviews
Members
85
595 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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Reviews (657)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
81
Avg Score

95
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

90
Theatermania

"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

85
BroadwayWorld

"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

95
NY1

"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

90
Variety

"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

95
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

90
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

90
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

75
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

65
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

75
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

55
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

80
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

95
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

60
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

80
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

80
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

70
Deadline

"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

80
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

85
Newsday

"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

85
CurtainUp

"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

95
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

90
NorthJersey.com

"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

35
The Associated Press

"It's best for people who want to say they experienced a cool immersive experience on Broadway, but one without any heart. It's pure showmanship with none of the emotional payoff...The show, under the restless direction of Rachel Chavkin, reaches for an immersive experience by trying to erase the line between audience and performer...Some of the songs are super, but too many are weak and the whole thing needs editing." Full Review

97
TheaterScene.net

“Lest you feared that in the move to the Great White Way David Malloy's magnificent electro pop opera, now starring Josh Groban and Denée Benton in their Broadway debuts, this innovative musical work would lose its ambiance, be reassured. Resourceful and gifted set designer Mimi Lien has recreated her Russian supper club in the Imperial Theatre, an ironically named choice of venue, and director Rachel Chavkin's staging has lost none of its effectiveness.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
85
Avg Score

85
Absorbing, Enchanting, Epic, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want a totally different Broadway experience with the glitz of Broadway, you care about the ensemble effort

Don't see it if you don't care for long-winded stories or storytelling, you'd rather not watch an opera-style musical

93
Entertaining, Engaging, Unique, Previous production: fabulous!

See it if you'd like to see something different, great production with atmosphere, dynamism & immersion

Don't see it if you'd bug out if you got a 'mash note' from one of the characters (I did & loved it!); have anti-Russian sentiments this year

Also I saw a previous production, without a "Big Star" and loved it very mu... Read more Read less

100
Delightful, Exquisite, Entertaining

See it if this masterpiece features great performances by Josh Groban and Denee Benton, great scenic design, great score, and great singing. Bravo!

Don't see it if ...don't miss it...it is outstanding.

88
Masterful, Relevant, Riveting, Romantic, Great staging

See it if you're looking for an alternative to the usual Broadway musicals. This is energetic, beautiful, and exciting story-telling.

Don't see it if You don't like actors being in close proximity to audience members, or you prefer traditional narratives.

75
Ambitious, Exquisite, Quirky, Confusing, Great staging

See it if If you want an experience where the entire theatre is transformed to a time s space and there are no bad seats and like Josh groban

Don't see it if If you like songs in a musical and lyrics that scan. If you like traditional settings and don't like character types

Also I loved the experience but the music literally included singing stage ... Read more Read less

90
Ambitious, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if a FUN show. If you like period pieces, love stories, musicals, great choreography and spectacular theater all rolled into one, this is it.

Don't see it if you want a quiet show. This one pulls out all of the bells and whistles, from performances to staging to costuming and everything in between

Also Totally original and thoroughly entertaining. A theater experience tha... Read more Read less

89
Exciting, Entertaining, Big

See it if you like great staging, singing and dancing. Energetic performances keep the show moving briskly along. The time goes by very quickly.

Don't see it if won't work at understanding what is going on. The ending was not fully satisfying, but the journey counts much more than the destination.

90
Original, Great staging, Great set, Great lighting

See it if you want a fully immersive experience. The ambience derived from the set and lighting complete this show. Great music.

Don't see it if if you want to be able to see everything thats going on. Actors are everywhere.

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Great staging, Groundbreaking

See it if you want a riotous night of enchanting music and beautiful storytelling - very russian in format, beautifully done all around

Don't see it if you are sensitive to strobe - there's an entire song done in strobe lighting - and if you want a calmer evening - the show is very exciting

81
Absorbing, Clever, Masterful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You like Josh Groban and fun musicals with unique sets that aren't typical fare. See his first role on Broadway! You won't be disappointed!

Don't see it if You prefer to listen to dialog without it being 100% song. If there's a show that sparks more interest go the seemingly more reliable route.

84
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you like opera, are happy to enjoy amazing singing without a perfect plot, enjoy unusual productions, want to have a fun night

Don't see it if you need a beautiful, consistent libretto or a mind-blowing plot, they aren't here, although production still highly compelling, esp. Groban

85
Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if For a lovely imaginative romp through a small piece of Tolstoy via varied musical styles,interaction with audience and gorgeous staging

Don't see it if You don't like out of period music mixed with Slavic dance music that is all sung through. Grab a pierrogi or a shaker and join in

80
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to enjoy a good story in a PHENOMENAL space with astounding acting and singing. It was like an indoor carnival at times. Beautiful.

Don't see it if The story is bizarre, the way they tell the story is odd (very Tolstoy). So you have to be willing to go along for the ride.

100
Absorbing, Edgy, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you are interested in seeing a truly innovative, brilliant piece of theatre

Don't see it if you aren't open to new types of theatre

Also I try to see a large amount of theatre, and I can truly say that this ... Read more Read less

94
Edgy, Epic, Riveting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You like spectacle musicals with fantastic choreography,singing,staging,actors, musicians,staging,audience involvement,Josh Groban ...,,,

Don't see it if You like a quiet evening at the theatre

Also This is a transformational spectacle that is not to be missed. The Imp... Read more Read less

86
Original, Ambitious, Dizzying, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want a thoroughly immersive theater experience. The joyous staging allows the effervescent cast to interact at will with the audience.

Don't see it if you hate War & Peace? While Natasha & Pierre don't surpass the heart-tugging boy next door (Evan Hansen) their spot on the block is deserved

93
Original, Dizzying, Romantic, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to be magically transported to Tolstoy's Russia for an enchanting tale of a doomed love affair.

Don't see it if you are opposed to immersive theater.

80
Original, Ambitious, Refreshing, Entertaining, Beautifully set

See it if you like something new. Theater has been transformed to allow cast interaction. Very Russian feel and so much fun to be part of.

Don't see it if the show has to be excellent music and writing. There is so much to enjoy here, even if not perfect.

80
Ambitious, Clever, Dizzying, Confusing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy lavish, clever, immersive staging that makes you feel like you're a part of the show.

Don't see it if You're seeking a well-written musical, or don't want to follow a confusing plot. The would be a total snore without the exuberant staging.

81
Ambitious, Exquisite, Great staging

See it if Fantastic ensemble and musicians -- talented, fun and interactive. Exquisite set design and costume. Immersive and intimate experience.

Don't see it if The book and the lyrics were not particularly innovative. Mezzanine seating = great view and value.

59
Ambitious, Confusing, Overrated, Slow, Great staging

See it if You are looking for a rock opera that is overdone in every sense of the word. Talent is good but Josh G could have been anyone from Broadway

Don't see it if You r looking for storytelling and performances that are nuanced and tolerable or a show that has music you will remember.

Also It's not bad, just not great.

91
Ambitious, Clever, Exquisite, Great singing, Colorful

See it if you like spectaculars; amazing sets, costumes, acting and singing, intelligent writing and mesmerizing exuberant productions; high energy.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy grand, theatrical performances; a busy stage; mixing 1812 with some contemporary costumes; two dimensional characters.

88
Ambitious, Enchanting, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to see some incredible staging and some amazing tech.

Don't see it if you don't like historical fiction set to semi-anachronistic music. Or if you are expecting traditional musical theatre.

Also This is a truly unique experience. Definitely worth it. I wish I had s... Read more Read less

85
Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Great staging

See it if You enjoy something different in musicals. Josh Groban is perfect in the role of Russian nobleman. Russian flavor of the show is delicious

Don't see it if You're looking for the usual in Bway musicals. Waiting for 2nd Act can be hard to bear.

55
Boring, redundant, disappointing, mess

See it if For the buzz. You like dazzle for dazzle sake. You want commentary on action rather than action. Stage directions should be dialog.

Don't see it if you want orchestration. narrative. involvement in the story, intimacy, emotion. You don't like overdrawn arch characters.

Also I dont think I liked any part of this. The performers were wildly unev... Read more Read less