NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 Previews- Page 21

Roscoe
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
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5/15/03

Well, yeah, it is a period piece -- it's set in a very specific time and place, with references to Napoleon and the social obligations about marriage and the way women are expected to behave.  It also upsets the expectations of typical period drama by adding deliberate anachronism like neon sneakers and Pierre's reference to spending hours at his screen in order to draw parallels between that period in history and this period in history.  It's a fairly common practice, not exactly new, Shakespeare has a character in JULIUS CAESAR refer to clocks that didn't exist in ancient Rome, and let's not forget that other show a block away where the Founding Fathers quote Oscar Hammerstein, talk about "bringing the thunder" and engage in hiphop rhyming battles.

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
Updated On: 2/22/17 at 08:58 AM
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wonderfulwizard11
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joined:7/30/05
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That's true- I guess I meant that it's pretty clear from the beginning that the show is going to be anachronistic. If The Duel (with the light-up sneakers) is the first time you notice it, then I'm not sure what show you'd been watching up til that point. 

I am a firm believer in serendipity- all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along.
Updated On: 2/22/17 at 09:03 AM
AnnTheatre
Swing
joined:2/1/17
Swing
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2/1/17

I thought it was really bad.  Vulgar interpretation of a classical timeless book.   Making circus out of “War and Peace”.
PIERRE playing harmonica.  Anatoly almost has sex with Natasha. The girls were never left without chaperone at that time. Hélène Kuragina calls herself  “a slut"”. Marya Dmitriyevna character is more like “madam” from  whorehouse then aristocracy.
Leo Tolstoy   will turn in his grave many times  if he knew about this  interpretation.
One of the worst show I have ever  seen. Got TDF ticket- mez raw C to the right for $47.  Money lost.

Updated On: 3/3/17 at 11:10 PM
brdwybuff
Stand-by
joined:4/25/16
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4/25/16

Wow! I just got back from this show and what an extradinary experience! I am still in awe. It was amazing to say the least. Everyone should be experience it for the set design alone.

AnnTheatre
Swing
joined:2/1/17
Swing
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muscle23ftl said: "Hairspray0901 said: "Saw this yesterday (Thanks, Broadwayweek). Walked up to the theatre and found several pieces of paper taped all around [the front doors, the inside doors, the box office window and the understudy board] all saying Josh Groban would be out. Not a huge fan of his, neither is my friend (we both know his work, though, and know he has a beautiful voice), we were there for the show so saw it anyway. 

We both left rather upset we wasted our money on this production. Not even Groban could have saved it. The first act was so incredibly boring (aside from the prologue, which I loved), I found myself nodding off. On the bus ride in, my friend and I were talking about how we've never left a show at intermission before. When the house lights came up we looked at each other and said "so....remember that conversation we had earlier today?" as we contemplated staying for the 2nd act. We stayed. To my surprise (not so much my friends) the 2nd act was much better. The story finally picked up and the numbers were much better. This is where I ended up missing Groban, though, as Pierre had several solos; I saw Scott Stangland whom I thought acted the part wonderfully but his singing fell flat. 

What was that whole strobe light number in the first act?  Maybe I'm missing something but I found the direction in the first act to be all over the place. On the plus side, I got a (real) dumpling (yes, a dumpling...not a pierogi...the cast member called it that too. do they usually give pierogies? i saw it mentioned in the playbill) which was delicious and a (fake) egg! lol. All in all, I will not be recommending this show to anyone. 


 

I had the same exact experience...a waste of $59 and my time. This was absolutely dreadful and not a cohesive production overall. It's a mess! It's supposed to be a period piece and then suddenly there are people dancing on stage and wearing neon sneakers? Ugh. I can't. I left at intermission. A true mess, no depth. Pure garbage.


I couldn't agree more .  This show  does not belong to Broadway. Bad circus,chaos,tasteless. Has nothing to do with  classical book  based on Tolstoy. I lost money and time too.

 

 

Updated On: 3/4/17 at 02:46 AM
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dramamama611
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joined:12/4/07
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Well, yes, actually it does have a great deal to do with War & Peace.  In fact, a recent 4-part mini series, concentrated largely on the same section.

But to say it doesn't belong to [sic] Broadway, is silly. It's ok you didn't care for it, but your personal tastes aren't the judgement barometer.

 

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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Andy51
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"I couldn't agree more  . . . Has nothing to do with  classical book  based on Tolstoy. I lost money and time too."

You clearly haven't read the book.  The narrative in the musical adheres very closely to the section of the book it is based on, and much of the dialogue and lyrics are taken directly from Tolstoy's text.

 

 

 

3GamesToLove
Chorus Member
joined:3/6/17
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joined:
3/6/17

My wife and I got our tickets to see this in early August. It's my first show on Broadway--we're stopping for a day in NYC on the way to our honeymoon in Montreal.

Any guesses on if there will be cast changes by then, aside from Groban/Oak, obviously? I know it'll still be well within a year of opening, but the fact that so many of the cast have been with the show going back to '12/13 has me wondering if there will be an exodus in the summer.

Updated On: 3/6/17 at 12:42 PM
PaulWom
Featured Actor
joined:8/8/16
Featured Actor
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8/8/16

Saw the show Tuesday evening w Scott Stangland. I bought my ticket when I heard he was going on again-- I loved his portrayal so much last time I saw it. And wow, much has changed since a few months ago. First of all, the audience reaction when I was there was huge-- instant standing ovation at the end of the show, for one, huge applause breaks after No One Else, Dust and Ashes, Charming, Sonya Alone... I saw a lot of people in the audience crying in the final scenes. Which, by the way, leads me to say that Denee has grown rather spectacularly into the role. I realized on Tuesday night that when I had seen Phillipa in the tent uptown, she had already been doing this role for some years-- Denee had only a few months with the character. But what a difference a few months makes! I would argue that, as she is now, she is even better than Phillippa. It would be a crime if she wasn't nominated this year- she truly pours out her heart and soul into the piece. All in all, another wonderful evening in 19th century Russia.

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dramamama611
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3GamesToLove said: "My wife and I got our tickets to see this in early August. It's my first show on Broadway--we're stopping for a day in NYC on the way to our honeymoon in Montreal.

Any guesses on if there will be cast changes by then, aside from Groban/Oak, obviously? I know it'll still be well within a year of opening, but the fact that so many of the cast have been with the show going back to '12/13 has me wondering if there will be an exodus in the summer.


 

"

While you might miss some one due to a vacation, I'm fairly certain most of the original cast would have 1 year contracts -- so no worries.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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luvcaroline
Broadway Star
joined:10/19/05
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This was the second show of our trip and we saw it last night. I mostly liked it, and especially loved the inventive staging, but to me the music got slightly repetitive. The story was fairly easy for us to follow. Every single one of the cast members were stellar (especially the 3 leads), but we particularly loved Denee. She is just so gorgeous and touching in this role, and oh my what a voice!  Second best performance of our trip so far (#1 being Bette of course).

We had seen Amber Gray in Hadestown and it was delightful to see her in another juicy role.  I just love her voice and I couldn't take my eyes off of her anytime she was on stage. We will be first in line for any show she does in the future. 

There was an automatic standing o at our performance also, and I thought it was well deserved. 

We sat in the left banquettes, right on the center aisle, next to the string section. Loved the seats, as far as the view of everything goes, but getting to the bathroom and back was a little bit of a chore during intermission and not something we had ever had to deal with before. Still, I would highly recommend that area for a first viewing. If we ever go back we'd likely try orchestra or mezz for a different view of things. 

I do highly recommend this show. As has been said many times here, there's nothing else like it on Broadway right now. 

Updated On: 3/18/17 at 12:05 PM
eugenia2
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joined:10/28/12
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AnnTheatre said: "I thought it was really bad.  Vulgar interpretation of a classical timeless book.   Making circus out of “War and Peace”.
PIERRE playing harmonica.  Anatoly almost has sex with Natasha. The girls were never left without chaperone at that time. Hélène Kuragina calls herself  “a slut"”. Marya Dmitriyevna character is more like “madam” from  whorehouse then aristocracy.
Leo Tolstoy   will turn in his grave many times  if he knew about this  interpretation.
One of the worst show I have ever  seen. Got TDF ticket- mez raw C to the right for $47.  Money lost.
"

well, see what the Tolstoy expert, Andrew Kaufman, thinks:  "How The Great Comet Shines a Brilliant Light On Tolstoy’s World and Ours". i love the show!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-the-great-comet-shines-a-brilliant-light-on-tolstoys_us_58d14abde4b0537a, bd957506?

 

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Kad
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AnnTheatre said: "I thought it was really bad.  Vulgar interpretation of a classical timeless book.   Making circus out of “War and Peace”.
PIERRE playing harmonica.  Anatoly almost has sex with Natasha. The girls were never left without chaperone at that time. Hélène Kuragina calls herself  “a slut"”. Marya Dmitriyevna character is more like “madam” from  whorehouse then aristocracy.
Leo Tolstoy   will turn in his grave many times  if he knew about this  interpretation.
One of the worst show I have ever  seen. Got TDF ticket- mez raw C to the right for $47.  Money lost.
"

This review should be inscribed in a bronze plaque.

 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
PaulWom
Featured Actor
joined:8/8/16
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Yeah, I think I'll take advice from renowned Tolstoy expert Mr. Kaufman over someone who barely knows how to spell and use grammar. Many of the arguments AnnTheatre makes against the show are directly antithetical to intentional choices Dave Malloy and Rachel Chavkin have made. I'll also point out that if you have a problem with anachronism in musicals, then you'll have to take that up with HAMILTON as well, which features founding fathers in a rap battle holding hand-held mikes. What both these shows do is make the characters in the story more contemporary and relatable to today's audiences by connecting them to the present.

Also, Dave Malloy and Chavkin recently did an interview at the Strand which answers a LOT of questions people have constantly been asking about the show, and anachronism is one of them. Check it out! 

https://youtu.be/X0NrL840iyg

PaulWom
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joined:8/8/16
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Also, why are we continuing discussion in the preview thread and not the reviews thread?

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Theatricality
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Hoping someone can help me with this question!

Tonight, I jsaw Comet again for the second time now, and it's one of my favorite musicals on this season for obvious reasons. Anyway, before the show starts there is Russian folk music playing in the background. Both times I went, there was this beautiful song sung by a man with a low, almost opperetic, voice. I believe it was the last song to play before the cast comes out. Shot in the dark, but does anyone know what that song is? I wish I could describe it better. 

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Fan123
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Don't know myself, but I did see a Twitter exchange where Dave Malloy answered a similar question, saying that the same song was also used in (or before?) Beardo. The song itself wasn't identified then though. You could try tweeting him on the off-chance that he responds?

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cb2addict2
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Would love to know this too. The pre show music at COMET is gorgeous

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haterobics
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No one has Shazam?

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cb2addict2
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I don't know if this was posted anywhere (this was announced March 21) but some cool news here: 

http://livedesignonline.com/business-people-news/winners-2017-live-design-awards-announced

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Fan123
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Theatricality and cb2addict2, if you're still searching for that elusive song, Dave Malloy recently tweeted a Spotify playlist of songs which inspired 'Balaga', "...including some tunes from our preshow/intermission mix! (click on full albums for more)" I haven't seen the show so can't tell you which song is what, but give it a try.

Tweet: https://twitter.com/dave_malloy/status/862289060819337216

Playlist: https://t.co/R4P2oF0nfm

JayElle
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Hasn't there been thousands of  play variations of Shakespeare?  In the overall scheme of things, who cares whether  Marya is  a "slut" or madam?  Is that really material to the story?

In genius.com the lyrics are detailed.  The author, Dave Malloy, annotates the lyrics explaining how he came up with lyrics or what he intended behind them.

All in all, it didn't get nominated for 12 Tonys for being awful.

Maxine3
Swing
joined:2/15/17
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Theatricality said: "Hoping someone can help me with this question!

Tonight, I jsaw Comet again for the second time now, and it's one of my favorite musicals on this season for obvious reasons. Anyway, before the show starts there is Russian folk music playing in the background. Both times I went, there was this beautiful song sung by a man with a low, almost opperetic, voice. I believe it was the last song to play before the cast comes out. Shot in the dark, but does anyone know what that song is? I wish I could describe it better. 


"

God I KNOW this is such a late reply but I was wondering the exact thing myself after my second trip this Sunday. The pre-show music is one of my favorite little details that totally transports you "to" the world of the show. 

I went looking for the song you described today and actually managed to find it! It's called Les battlers de la Volga (Russian folk song of course) The particular version they use in the show is by Ivan Rebroff. Hope that helps just thought it was a fun tidbit I could share. 

falsettoswasrobbed
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joined:6/27/17
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After Eight said: ""I know it's early in the season, but The Great Comet might as well start clearing its shelf now for several Tony Awards."

 

Especially for the biggest one of all. I certainly wouldn't be surprised --- it meets all the critics' darling qualifications. But you never know. The critics are always on the lookout for new darlings to fawn over. There could be another of them coming down the pike. Dear Evan Hansen, perhaps?

 

Personally, I preferred Paramour to both of them. At least it presented something in the way of entertainment.


 

"

i love how this post just perfectly predicted the 2017 tonys 8 months before they happened


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