Review Roundup: NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812
Producers Howard and Janet Kagan present Dave Malloy's groundbreaking electropop opera NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 at Kazino (West 13th Street and Washington Street). Kazino is a brand new venue created specifically for the show, in the heart of New York's meatpacking district, to transport audiences to a Russian supper club, complete with an authentic Russian menu and bar.
The performance schedule for NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 varies. For the latest performance schedule and to purchase tickets, please visit the show's website at www.thegreatcometof1812.com.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Charles Isherwood, New York Times: When that comet streaks through the sky at the hushed climax of the show, Pierre experiences an epiphany that had my heart leaping into my throat, as he sang with humble joy of the mysterious workings of human affections. Having come to realize that his abiding love for Natasha has grown even richer, Pierre is wonder-struck at the discovery that compassion for another's suffering can bring us a pleasure as profound as the fulfillment of our own greatest desires.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: It is sensational, high-stakes stuff, especially as the room between tables is tiny and the speed the actors are moving is quick. Plus, there's alcohol flowing. Somehow, all the actors find themselves under Bradley King's complicated and myriad lights perfectly in synch, even if that's in your startled lap.
Thom Greier, Entertainment Weekly: Some of the performances, including Ian Lassiter as an aged and addled prince (and Natasha's prospective father-in-law) and Grace McLean as Natasha's protective godmother, teeter uncomfortably close to caricature. But most strike a balance between theatricality and fully grounded humanity. Malloy brings a world-weariness and vocal growl to the intellectual Pierre. Lucas Steele is dashingly caddish as the lothario Anatole who seduces the already-betrothed Natasha. And the radiant Soo plays Natasha with heart-on-her-sleeve innocence. By the end of this sensational and singular Off Broadway production, there may not be a dry eye in the dacha. A-
Marilyn Stasio, Variety: The calculated lack of musical consistency is enough to drive a purist crazy. The lyrics also march defiantly to their own drumbeat, observing no rhyme scheme, ignoring historical authenticity, and overstepping their musical limits, if they feel like it. There's an air of danger to that kind of unpredictability - and how sexy is that.
Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post: Happily, the show has reopened with essentially the same cast at Kazino, a new venue that, like Ars Nova before, has been customized to accommodate director Rachel Chavkin's immersive vision. This life is a cabaret - a Russian one, complete with red drapes and booths, and paintings of Napoleon and snowy scenes. We've lost a bit of magic in the transfer. Kazino is twice the size of Ars Nova, and while waiting we're subjected to tacky trance techno.
Adam Feldman, Time Out New York: Revisiting a favorite show, like reuniting with a lover after months of separation, can be a source of concern. Has it changed since last I saw it? Have I? Was it as lovely as I thought, or was I swayed by all the vodka? Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 was the best thing I saw in a theater last year, when it played at Ars Nova; now it has reopened at Kazino, a sumptuous pop-up venue in the Meatpacking District that-in accordance with the musical's immersive approach-doubles as a Russian supper club. I needn't have worried:Natasha, Pierre is bigger but as beautiful as ever.
Matt Windman, amNY: Whereas many shows tend to lose some of their luster when transferred to a larger venue, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812," Dave Malloy's festive and sexy electro-pop opera based on a small slice of Tolstoy's "War and Peace," plays better at Kazino than it did a few months ago at the more intimate Ars Nova.