Open run

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Members say: Great staging, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Clever
85
Critics
81
63 reviews
Members
85
832 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 (895)

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

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

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

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

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
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

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

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

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

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
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.

99
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

83
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.

70
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

76
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

82
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.

80
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.

20
Ambitious, Edgy, Disappointing, Overrated, Great staging

See it if You're into experimental theatre and don't want a show with actually decent music or a compelling plot.

Don't see it if You're not a huge fan of War & Peace.

Also This is the first Broadway show I ever walked out of during intermissi... Read more Read less

98
Clever, Edgy, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to have an EXPERIENCE. This show is wonderfully unique and original, entertaining, fun, impeccable staged, and so original.

Don't see it if you don't like cast members in the audience, don't want to see something new and different, or hate WAR AND PEACE.

79
Original, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to see an extremely original musical based on "War and Peace", with a high-energy cast and an excellent performance by Josh Groban.

Don't see it if you only like traditional musicals, especially ones with beautiful tunes. This isn't one!

50
Ambitious, Confusing, Great set, High energy, Tiresome

See it if you want to see a big, splashy musical version of part of "War and Peace."

Don't see it if you don't want to waste your time on a dull "spectacular."

76
Must see, Confusing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if An interesting concept show. Energetic and fun night of theater.

Don't see it if you want a detailed story or one that is easy to follow. This is very confusing, but you end up not caring.

86
The most spectacular immersive musical theater i have ever experienced

See it if overwhelms! brilliantly transforms entire theater into "set" 4 production, dynamic cast brings play 2 audience; inventive, affecting score

Don't see it if this is essentially a romantic melodrama - spectacularly done - but still a melodrama; many good but no breakout performances

Also I enjoyed the Broadway version of Natasha, but I preferred the earlier... Read more Read less

80
Ambitious, Clever, Dizzying, Exquisite, Must see

See it if You want a Broadway experience like you have never had before. It is utterly unique and original and should be seen at least once.

Don't see it if You want a more traditional evening at the theatre. The show has some real problems in terms of material and can be slow at times.

90
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if Great show! Beautiful performances among an amazingly beautiful set. Loved the music. Great singing.

Don't see it if If you don't like sung-through musicals, this might not be for you.

Also I have to add that the way they used the entire theatre was a huge boo... Read more Read less

93
Delightful, Masterful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to see innovative staging in a Broadway house. The music is fantastic and the cast is phenomenal!

Don't see it if you can't handle strobe lights or don't like sung-through shows.

87
Ambitious, Exquisite, Masterful, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if you want a broadway experience like nothing else, if you like War and Peace, or if you want to see a show with intricate staging

Don't see it if the music is the most important part of a musical for you, if you want something traditional, or if you want a show with lots of dialogue

90
Absorbing, Refreshing, Resonant, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy non traditional shows where 19th century Russia is infused with rock and roll and other modernities. You enjoy literary adaptation

Don't see it if You don't like musicals with dialogue that is almost completely sung, a hodgepodge of musical styles in one show, or Josh Groban.

90
Refreshing, Romantic, Great singing, Great staging, Incredible ensemble

See it if you want an immersive interactive high energy experience. I really loved it. I recommend listening to the music and studying the synopsis

Don't see it if in advance. The style is eclectic, the storyline is episodic, the music and staging are in your face and over the top.

90
Dizzying, Great singing, Lively, Unique, Great set and costumes

See it if you like spectacle. The whole theater becomes a stage. There's a lot of energy, and I haven't seen something on-Broadway like it.

Don't see it if You're looking for plot, will be overwhelmed overly-stimulating staging and lots of strobe lights

85
Clever, Refreshing, Romantic, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if Tolstoy tale of Natasha saved from Anatole by melancholy Pierre is novel idea for a musical. More Night at the Opera than War and Peace.

Don't see it if Boisterous singing, rushing hordes on Russian steps and character overload will have your head spinning, literally. A lot of fun to take in.

94
Ambitious, Must see, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You want to see a new show with great singing and staging. The cast is energizing and the story is not Broadway typical.

Don't see it if Just see it. Groban sings gloriously as does the whole cast in this inventively staged show that engages the audience. Different and good.

94
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Confusing, Entertaining

See it if You're looking for something BRILLIANT and UNIQUE and MOVING!!! I LOVED this show!!!

Don't see it if You can't step out of the "safe zone"...

90
Absorbing, Ambitious, Quirky

See it if you are interested in modern non traditional theatre

Don't see it if you like a classic. This is VERY modern

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