Richard Rodgers Award-Winning Musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Will Play New NYC Venue Kazino
By Michael Gioia
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Dave Malloy’s critically praised "electro-pop opera" based on "War and Peace," which played an extended Off-Broadway run last fall, will return to New York at Kazino — a new venue created specifically for the show — beginning May 1.
Producers Howard and Janet Kagan (Pippin, Porgy and Bess) in partnership with Randy Weiner (Sleep No More) and Simon Hammerstein will present the production at the new space — a temporary structure that will rise at the corner of West 13th Street and Washington Street, wedged between The High Line and The Standard Hotel in the heart of New York's meatpacking district — through Sept. 1.
An official opening night for the piece — the recent recipient of the 2013 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater — will be announced at a later date.
"We were so inspired by this show and its tremendous ingenuity, that we felt compelled to expand upon the experience created at Ars Nova," said producers Howard and Janet Kagan in a statement. "Randy and Simon have both built iconic New York cultural and nightlife destinations and are the ideal partners to take an already exciting show and make it an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience as original as New York itself."
Director Rachel Chavkin, who staged the ambitious, immersive work at Ars Nova, will again direct.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 will feature many of the original cast members from Ars Nova, including Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Gelsey Bell as Princess Mary, Blake DeLong as Bolkonsky/Andrey, Amber Gray as Helene, Ian Lassiter as Dolokhov, Dave Malloy as Pierre, Grace McLean as Marya D, Paul Pinto as Balaga, Phillipa Soo as Natasha and Lucas Steele as Anatole.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, according to producers, "invites you to join Tolstoy's brash young lovers for an evening you'll never forget, as vodka flows and passions ignite in Dave Malloy's electropop opera, ripped from a slice of 'War and Peace.'"
"Howard and Janet's production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 will be more than just a stunning theatrical production; it will be a bona fide only-in-New York event," added Weiner. "Simon and I were inspired by the world of the show to heighten and augment the experience. We are creating our own unique take on a Russian supper club, a world of mystery and mystique that will entice and entertain audiences before, during, and after the show."
Every ticket to the production will include a full Russian-style dinner. Kazino will be open six days a week (Tuesday-Sunday) with doors open at 4 PM on weekdays and noon on weekends. At its center will be eight performances per week of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, complemented by an array of pre and post-show live supper club entertainment and a full gourmet menu and bar. Kazino will be open for food, drink, and live entertainment from the time doors open until closing.
Malloy's original score merges Russian folk and classical music with indie rock, electronica and organ-influenced cadences. The staging transformed Ars Nova's theatre into a "Moscow dining club: with no 'stage,' the musicians, performers and audience sit together at tables piled high with dumplings and vodka as the action unfolds throughout the space." Malloy was also part of the Ars Nova cast.
For more information and tickets, visit TheGreatCometOf1812.com.
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