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Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Members say: Great staging, Entertaining, Ambitious, Great singing, Clever
85
Critics
81
65 reviews
Members
85
2397 reviews
 

Inspired by a 70-page slice of Tolstoy’s 'War and Peace,' this immersive, Off-Broadway hit transfers to the Main Stem.

... 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, 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.

 


Cast & Creatives (46)



Reviews (2462)

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

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

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

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

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

70
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

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

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
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

75
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

65
Front Mezz Junkies

"I wish as much energy was given to creating an emotional arc in the story rather than explanations in a program...The cast of professionals seem to be game...Sadly, this fine group of actors is not given songwriting that approaches their expertise. I will say that it is a sumptuous show. Lively and entertaining. Moments of fun and pleasure delivered by an expert cast, but the combination of the simplistic lyrics and the manic movements created a show that is watched rather than engaged with." 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

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

89
Original, Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Immersive

See it if You want a clever, immersive, untraditional take on a familiar old story. It pushes the boundaries of what a musical should be. Fun show!

Don't see it if you expect the orchestra to be in a pit and the actors on the stage. Both will be all over the place!

65
Delightful, Refreshing, Cliched, Overrated, Slow

See it if you want an unique theater staging experience.

Don't see it if you expect a refreshing storyline and catchy music.

Also The storyline is really dull and cliched. The toneless music did not h... Read more Read less

94
Epic, Exquisite, Confusing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You enjoy the unexpected and want 'new' theater. Also great retelling of a classic.

Don't see it if You want a linear plot, are probe to seizures, and like classic theater. Also not family friendly.

Also Doesn't matter who is in the cast, must see before it closes. Also Ben... Read more Read less

86
Dizzying, Edgy, Inventive, Great staging, Great performances

See it if you enjoy shows pushing boundaries in every possible. It's a high octane production with a classic core. Not for all but perfect for some.

Don't see it if traditional shows delight you because this won't. Comets are harbingers of change and this one upends everyone including the musical form.

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Enchanting, Great singing

See it if you like theatre presented in nontraditional fashion.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy immersive theatre

88
Ambitious, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy immersive staging or just creative staging; you enjoy new and different musical scores; you support innovative theater.

Don't see it if Immersive theater annoys you; traditional musicals are your preference.

Also I enjoyed this far more than I expected. I had seen it in the downtown... Read more Read less

88
Masterful, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if Loved it.

Don't see it if You don't like Josh Groban.

80
Ambitious, Dizzying, Edgy, Indulgent, Confusing

See it if you enjoy theatre as spectacle. There are lots of good roles & beautiful songs for women. The transformation of the theatre is dramatic.

Don't see it if you value plot or traditional theatre. Nearly every inch of the theatre was designed & changed to accommodate this show.

95
Ambitious, Enchanting, Epic, Exquisite, Masterful

See it if Utterly spectacular: design, music, staging, performances. Nuanced humanist fable about love and decorum. Magical, soulful, wild.

Don't see it if can feel maximalist & digressive, though it's elegantly constructed.

Also saw it with Oak playing Pierre. He's a star and he's giving a standout... Read more Read less

87
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if if you want to see an enjoyable interactive musical with a simple plot.

Don't see it if you are looking to see a traditional musical with a complex plot.

99
Clever, Enchanting, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if See the show if you are interested in creative theatre. It is staged like no other show on Broadway.

Don't see it if you do not like complex stories or do not like Rock Musicals.

95
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Unique

See it if you want to see a truly singular musical. Staging, singing, and writing are absorbing and entertaining. Good idea to review the plot before.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of immersive theatre, nontraditional Broadway scores, dizzying strobe lights, or stories of scandals and seductions.

30
Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if You want to see what the "fuss" is about

Don't see it if You want a show that's worth what you pay for it, you have sight difficulties, you want a good show

Also While the staging was very interesting there's no way to get a complet... Read more Read less

80
Ambitious, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You want an unusual theater experience.

Don't see it if You loved War and Peace and don't want to see one chapter out of context.

93
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Raunchy, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like edgy, different musicals, with a lot of new and inventive staging and other technical aspects such as musicians in the ensemble.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of artsy, raunchy performances that don't give a damn about what other people think.

95
Must see, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing, Contemporary

See it if you want a Broadway spectacle but without the datedness of most revivals and without taking out a second mortgage to afford Hamilton.

Don't see it if you get really annoyed—even in fiction—when the good are not unanimously praised and the bad are not harshly punished.

Also Great Comet expertly adapts the traditional pleasures of the big perio... Read more Read less

89
Ambitious, Clever, Enchanting, Masterful, Great staging

See it if you want to experience an incredibly ambitious, exceptionally well-staged production featuring strong acting and a powerful story.

Don't see it if you want a simplistic plot that's easy to follow; this is a more complicated-than-normal story that requires paying close attention.

59
Ambitious, Disappointing, Overrated, Chaotic, Discordant

See it if You like poorly made wanna-be rock operas & a cacophony that only rarely shines. Unusual (for Bway) integration and placing of audience

Don't see it if a list: It's lacking a storyline; Anatole mumbles/slurs; troop capable of singing but mostly yells instead; unimpressive/unmemorable score

90
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if you want an out of the ordinary, but at points a little slow, experience. It is more than just a show...it is revolutionary.

Don't see it if strobe lights bother you, if you can't make it through a few boring points w/o complaining, or you can't keep track of multiple characters

70
Indulgent

See it if Music is amazing!

Don't see it if Lyrics are really really flat!

90
Absorbing, Dizzying, Must see, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy excellent staging and engaging, in-your-face performances. You appreciate historical novels with beautiful contemporary twists.

Don't see it if You would not appreciate a re-imagining of War&Peace, or prefer a straight musical with catchy tunes. Music is genius but not easy listening

80
Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want an imersive theater experience, great singing, lots of fun, entire cast was awesome.

Don't see it if You dont want keep shifting your attention from place to place, the entire theater is the stage.

81
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to see some truly unforgettable staging and some really standout songs. And don't mind a pretty simple story line.

Don't see it if A lot of songs sounding the same in a musical annoy you or you don't like the idea of the actors and the actors being all around you.

92
Enchanting, Romantic, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you like epic orchestrations, performer/musicians, circus style performances, vodka, classic love stories

Don't see it if you dislike shifting your attention from place to place, immersive theatre

65
Ambitious, Dizzying, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if you like interactive, loud, manic performances.

Don't see it if You have epilepsy, are prone to migraines, have free time. Just not my cup of tea. Hats off to the performers they gave it their all.