Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Plays Final Performance March 2
By Michael Gioia
Off-Broadway's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 — Dave Malloy's electropop opera that is based on a slice of the epic novel "War and Peace" — plays its final performance March 2 at Kazino, the supper club-style venue built especially for the production.
As previously reported, producers of the production are planning a feature-film adaptation of the musical with the help of a Kickstarter campaign that recently launched. Click here to visit the film's Kickstarter, which has not yet reached its $250,000 goal.
Independent film director Abe Sylvia ("Nurse Jackie") is attached to helm the feature, which will capture the immersive experience of Natasha, Pierre... by being part HD live recording, part concert film, part feature film and part music video.
The Comet producers, Howard and Janet Kagan, would utilize the existing elements housed at Kazino. Movie production would begin following the show's final performance, and most or all of the current cast would reprise their roles.
The Kickstarter campaign aims to raise $250,000 (by March 2) to create and premiere the two-hour film in New York City, after which the film will be made available for distribution. Rewards in the Kickstarter campaign include merchandise and digital downloads, lunch with the creators, private screenings, a seat in the on-camera audience during the filmed show and the opportunity to have the Kagans host a table read of your own original play or musical.
The production was originally scheduled to play a 14-week limited engagement through Dec. 31, 2013.
The opulent Kazino was first constructed in the Meatpacking disctict for a summer run of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. The show's lead producers, Howard and Janet Kagan, moved the production to the Times Square theatre district (at West 45th Street between Times Square and 8th Avenue) for a limited engagement that began Sept. 27, 2013.
The piece is the recipient of the 2013 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater. Critics praised the production. Read their reviews here. Director Rachel Chavkin, who staged the ambitious work at Ars Nova, again directs with choreography by Sam Pinkleton.
The cast features David Abeles as Pierre, Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Blake DeLong as Bolkonsky/Andrey, Amber Gray as Hélène, Nick Choksi as Dolokhov, Grace McLean as Marya D, Ashkon Davaran as Balaga, Phillipa Soo as Natasha, Lucas Steele as Anatole and Katrina Yaukey as Princess Mary. The cast also includes Catherine Brookman, Josh Canfield, Ken Clark, Lulu Fall, Luke Holloway, Azudi Onyejekwe, Mariand Torres and Lauren Zakrin.
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.'"
A Ghostlight Records album was released in stores Dec. 10. It features a 48-page color booklet with complete lyrics, never-before-seen photos, a show synopsis and an essay by Playbill.com columnist Steven Suskin.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 is produced by Howard and Janet Kagan and co-produced by Paula Marie Black, John Logan, Lisa Matlin, Daveed Frazier, Tom Smedes, and Vertical Entertainment/Roman Gambourg/Lev Gelfer.
For more information and tickets, visit TheGreatCometOf1812.com.
PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: "There's a War Goin' On..." Pre-Show Portraits With Great Comet Stars Phillipa Soo and David Abeles
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