Open run

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Members say: Great staging, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Clever
85
Critics
81
65 reviews
Members
85
1401 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 (1466)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

95
Original, Ambitious, Masterful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to see something like broadway has never seen before! Love audience participation, and anachronisms. Also, Josh Groban is amazing!

Don't see it if you are a stickler for historical accuracy, and don't like modern/dance music in a story about 19th century Russia.

Also I saw it on a Wednesday Matinee, and ALL the main actresses had issues... Read more Read less

76
Dizzying, Enchanting, Epic, Riveting, Great staging

See it if You want to experience something brand new--theatre in the round, but with a proscenium stage. And Josh Groban, too.

Don't see it if You are too traditional to see circus-style theatre or War & Peace is too far out of your wheel house.

90
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, New

See it if You want a unique theatrical experience you can't get anywhere else on Broadway! A brilliant new show!

Don't see it if you are afraid of "new". It's very much it's own style of show.

82
Ambitious, Confusing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy operatic voices performing. flawlessly. Fantastic costumes and lighting design. Delightful Russian folk dancing.

Don't see it if You have problems with confusing story lines.

92
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you like romances

Don't see it if you don't like romances

100
Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to experience something truly new and unique.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy modern takes on classic literature or are uncomfortable with immersive theatre

94
Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Entertaining, One-of-a-kind

See it if you're prepared for a night of egg shaking & dumpling eating in a not-so-traditional show. Oh, and there's Josh Groban (and his amaze voice)

Don't see it if you want to miss out on of the most original, immersive, and satisfyingly weird show Broadway has ever seen.

Also If you've seen it once, I recommend seeing it again. The show gets eve... Read more Read less

85
Clever, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love Josh Groban (main reason why I watched it). He and the entire cast does not disappoint. I found myself empathizing with them!

Don't see it if you don't want to see yet another love story, or don't want to see a time-themed show.

Also I thought there were parts that were a little slow, but overall, I lov... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Dizzying, Riveting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You would like to see some experimental theater, which is rare on Broadway. The immersive nature of the show and the great songs stand out.

Don't see it if You don't like complicated plots. Better read synopsis before the show, I have no idea what is going on at certain times.

69
Funny, Ambitious, Dizzying, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if Love Josh Groban or you enjoy Russian literature and can't get enough of it on stage. Josh Groban doesn't disappoint.

Don't see it if You believed the critics who may have referred to this show as cthe best musical since Hamilton. It's not.

Also The cast works very hard to make this mashup seem edgy and fresh. Unfo... Read more Read less

100
Edgy, Must see, Romantic, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to have the most unique Broadway (or theatrical) experience of your life.

Don't see it if You don't like strobe lights. Otherwise, there is no reason NOT to see it!

Also I loved the show. Everyone should go.

91
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

100
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.

85
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

98
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.

90
Enchanting, Must see, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to party as if life will end when earth passes through the tail of a comet. You love great music and want to hear Josh sing it.

Don't see it if You yearn for the intimacy of the tent cabaret. You can't stand a whole opera-like song than languishes over a moment of anguish.

Also The staging and choreography used in the tent is amped up to fill the ... Read more Read less

100
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

76
Ambitious, Dizzying, Confusing, Impressive, Great staging

See it if period shows with contemporary stylings appeal to you. The staging 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

98
Masterful, Resonant, Great singing, Great staging, Innovative

See it if You want to see an innovative musical that challenges your expectations and gives you free pierogies!

Don't see it if You don't like Russian literature

70
Dizzying, Confusing, Insipid

See it if you enjoy nonsensical spectacle.

Don't see it if you've heard some of the music and don't like it.

86
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.

90
Dizzying, Edgy, Riveting, Great singing, Immersive

See it if you're looking for a unique, energetic, original theater experience.

Don't see it if you're not into a techo-pop score, don't like strobe lighting or a sung-through score and prefer a traditional musical.

58
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

81
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.

95
A musical cross-section. it all works and it's fun., Enchanting and delightful, Unique theater., Creative and thrilling.

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