What About Oak? GREAT COMET Producer Explains Okieriete Onaodowan's Exit
As BroadwayWorld reported this morning, Tony and Emmy Award winner Mandy Patinkin will make his long-awaited return to Broadway in NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812, starring as 'Pierre' from August 15 - September 3 only. Okieriete "Oak" Onaodowan, currently playing the role, will play his final performance as 'Pierre' on August 13.
What about Oak? Producer Howard Kagan explains: "This continues our show's remarkable history of having great actors and singers see the show as audience members, only to tell us they are inspired to join the cast! Whenever possible we will accommodate them as we did here with Mandy and his Homeland TV schedule. Oak, who was scheduled to appear as Pierre for this period graciously agreed to make room for Mandy, and we sincerely hope that Oak will return to us in the fall or winter. He is a terrific Pierre."
Mandy Patinkin has given iconic performances in every major entertainment medium. On Broadway, he created the role of 'Che' in Evita and 'George' in Sunday in the Park with George. Television appearances include his currently Emmy nominated performance as Saul on "Homeland," "Chicago Hope," "Dead Like Me," and "Criminal Minds." Feature films include Yentl, Dick Tracy, and the beloved "Inigo Montoya" in The Princess Bride. In all, he has been nominated for six Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, and three Tonys, winning an Emmy for "Chicago Hope" and a Tony Award for Evita.
Created by three-time Tony nominee Dave Malloy (Ghost Quartet, Preludes) and directed by Tony nominee Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown, Artistic Director of The TEAM), THE GREAT COMET began previews at Broadway's Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street) on October 18, and officially opened Monday, November 14, 2016.
THE GREAT COMET features a thrilling mix of rock, pop, soul, electronic dance music and classic Broadway. Inspired by a 70-page slice of War And Peace, the immersive staging of this unforgettable epic story brings audiences just inches from the performers as they light up Broadway in an experience like no other. THE GREAT COMET was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical (Josh Groban), Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical (Denée Benton), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Lucas Steele), Outstanding Direction (Rachel Chavkin), Outstanding Original Score (Dave Malloy), Outstanding Book (Dave Malloy), Outstanding Orchestrations (Dave Malloy), Outstanding Choreography (Sam Pinkleton), and Outstanding Costume Design (Paloma Young). THE GREAT COMET received two 2017 Tony Awards for Outstanding Scenic Design (Mimi Lien) and Outstanding Lighting Design (Bradley King).
The current cast of THE GREAT COMET also includes Ingrid Michaelson as 'Sonya' (through August 13 only), Courtney Bassett as 'Mary,' Nicholas Belton as 'Andrey/Bolkonsky,' Nick Choksi as 'Dolokhov,' Amber Gray as 'Hélène,' Grace McLean as 'Marya D,' Paul Pinto as 'Balaga,' Scott Stangland as 'Pierre' (standby), and Lucas Steele as 'Anatole.' The ensemble includes Sumayya Ali, Josh Canfield, Kennedy Caughell, Ken Clark, Lulu Fall, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Nick Gaswirth, Alex Gibson, Brad Giovanine, Billy Joe Kiessling, Mary Spencer Knapp, Blaine Alden Krauss, Reed Luplau, Brandt Martinez, Andrew Mayer, Mary Page Nance, Shoba Narayan, Azudi Onyejekwe, Pearl Rhein, Celia Mei Rubin, Heath Saunders, Katrina Yaukey, and Lauren Zakrin.
THE GREAT COMET features choreography by Sam Pinkleton, set design by 2017 Tony Award, Drama Desk and OCC winner Mimi Lien, costume design by Tony Award winner Paloma Young, lighting design by 2017 Tony Award, Drama Desk and OCC winner Bradley King, sound design by 2017 Drama Desk winner Nicholas Pope, music supervision by Sonny Paladino, musical direction by Rick Hip-Flores, casting by Stewart/Whitley, and production stage management by Karyn Meek.
Natasha is young, Anatole is hot, and Andrey isn't here... but what about Pierre? Natasha is a beautiful ingénue visiting Moscow while she waits for her beloved fiancé Andrey to return from the war. In a moment of indiscretion, she is seduced by the dashing (but already married) Anatole and her position in society is ruined. Her only hope lies with Pierre, the lonely outsider whose love and compassion for Natasha may be the key to her redemption... and to the renewal of his own soul.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski
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