NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 Previews- Page 3

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steven22
Broadway Legend
joined:5/19/06
Broadway Legend
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5/19/06

Overall I loved loved loved it! However, this show belongs at the Circle in the Square. 

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theatregoer3
Broadway Star
joined:3/8/13
Broadway Star
joined:
3/8/13

Curious to see what everyone else thought. I enjoyed myself but became a bit bored. The decor really took the cake and the show, music and storytelling failed to live up to the surroundings.

 

I also thought a few of the actors were really off-key throughout. Maybe an audio issue that will be resolved.

 

Great at work from Groban and Gray though. Beyond that I'm not understanding the hype.

 

Hoping for other perspectives that may help me see something I'd missed!

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LesWickedly
Broadway Legend
joined:2/18/13
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/18/13

How was Denée? One thing I love about Phillipa is how powerful she is in her singing of this score, but what I've heard from Denée isn't really powerful, but more sweet and soft. 

HopesS
Understudy
joined:7/7/16
Understudy
joined:
7/7/16

I am just so happy that Broadway has become less commercial. Who would of thought we could have a  show on Bipolar Disorder , or have Non Whites playing Whites doing hip hop or have a young girl finding her sexuality . Its a great couple of years for theater . And I believe the Tony Committee has embraced it.

billyelliotfan123
Leading Actor
joined:10/24/09
Leading Actor
joined:
10/24/09

Where did everyone sit? How was the view?

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talinatter
Understudy
joined:9/21/15
Understudy
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theatregoer3 said: "Curious to see what everyone else thought. I enjoyed myself but became a bit bored. The decor really took the cake and the show, music and storytelling failed to live up to the surroundings.

 

I also thought a few of the actors were really off-key throughout. Maybe an audio issue that will be resolved.

 

Great at work from Groban and Gray though. Beyond that I'm not understanding the hype.

 

Hoping for other perspectives that may help me see something I'd missed!


 

"

I very much agree with this!!!!!!! The tech was SO GOOD!!!!! And the two leads were AWESOME! But, I think the story was very confusing, and the advanced tech sounds and stuff like light up sneakers and masks distracted from the beautiful story. Each song sounded totally different, which is great, but also sort of distracting because some were gorgeous ballads while some were completely techno and modern. Really rare theatre experience. Nothing like it physically, but I don't know if the show itself is as good as I have heard

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Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/1/04

Whenever I heard someone speak warmly about the show in its previous incarnations, I thought it was strange that they never really talked about the piece itself. Now I think I understand. It's totally legitimate to love something for the high you get off of it as an event, as an experience, but I really was not impressed with this as a musical. I didn't feel any reason for being; no strong point of view. Some lovely moments and some fun kinetic stuff, but I had very little emotional or intellectual engagement. 

 

The set-up is very impressive. What they've done to the theater is remarkable, especially given how recently they began loading in. But I was onstage, and I have to admit that it was not as aimed at all sides as I imagined. It definitely felt like I was cut off from pretty traditionally arranged stage pictures throughout. I'd recommend front Mezz if you don't really care about interacting with performers and such. 

 

Josh Groban was a pleasant surprise. 

 

It's different from most of the commercial Broadway landscape, and I have to give it props for that. 

Updated On: 10/18/16 at 11:41 PM
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WhizzerMarvin
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
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joined:
5/26/05

This is truly commercial theater on the edge of innovation. We haven't seen a Broadway musical this wild since Passing Strange, and The Great Comet, thanks in large part to a box office draw, might actually stand a chance in turning a profit. 

I was at the first preview of the downtown tent production and I fell in love the score and actors then. There was truly something magical in the air that night and luckily a good deal of it has been retained in its journey to Broadway. I was extremely doubtful that this would play well from the rear mezz of the Imperial, but the transformation of the theater is stunning helps greatly with recapturing the immersive quality of the tent. 

I thought Josh did a wonderful job as Pierre. He sounded lovely and his acting was on point too. Though he's a star this is not stunt casting. The greatest compliment I can give is that he blended seemlessly in with the other leads who have been with the show for so long. He was just one of the gang. Given how little he has to do in act one I do wonder if people who only bought a ticket based on his name were a little disappointed with his stage time, but hopefully they fell under the spell of the show too. 

I wasn't as won over by Denée Benton. She often sounded very similar to Soo, but the force of her performance didn't travel as far back into the theater as those of her castmates. 

Gray is still the standout and Charming should be the lead off single from the score. Sonya Alone is gorgeous; I love the whole score, what can I say! 

Rachel Chavkin has rather geniusly fit her production into the Imperial and even with the season barely underway it's hard not to imagine her as the top contender for Best Director at the Tonys. Her achievement is so overwhelming and often jaw-dropping. Sam Pinkleton provides thrilling choreography as well. 

Bradley King, who I believe is making his Broadway debut in lighting design will stop Natasha Katz from winning her 15th Tony this year for some of the best lighting I have EVER seen. 

I will be attending this production many times, I know. I hope all theater can aspire to be this good. 

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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VotePeron
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/13
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/2/13

Just got home from tonight's performance, which I found to be remarkable. I emotionally connected with the show, especially in the second act, much more than I dreamt I would.

I would also like to state that I was in the last row of the center rear mezzanine tonight, and thought my view was perfect. I saw everything in perfect sight, had actors near me and interacting with me all evening, and didn't feel the slightest left out from the action. I actually worry about sitting in the orchestra, or even on stage, as you don't get to see all the beautiful pictures created throughout the evening, especially with the lighting design.

One of the best shows I have ever seen.

showscpt
Swing
joined:5/24/15
Swing
joined:
5/24/15

This show is in a word - INCREDIBLE. Unlike anything I have ever encountered. I even featured in the show ( making my broadway stage debut NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 Previews asked to stand by Mary in the scene with her father - Prince Bolkonsky. That was a first !

The scenic design is phenomenal. I was seated on stage - to the right of pierre's salon ( "onstage upholstered armchair" ) ... less than a metre from the leads and would highly recommend anyone wanting to see the show to opt for this immersive option. I worry that the show would not be nearly as good from the 'traditional' seating. Being on stage like this completely envelopes you in the action ... and I can only imagine what it would be like to see Phantom / les Mis like this.

Phenomenal. See it whilst you can ... even if only just for the 'experience'

Some pics here - https://postimg.org/gallery/2gb9j7u76/

Updated On: 10/19/16 at 12:05 AM
aimeric
Stand-by
joined:8/7/15
Stand-by
joined:
8/7/15

Finally got home from the show, whew!  It started a bit late, and we got out around 10:55, so it's running maybe, I dunno, 2:40 including intermission.

I should preface this by saying that I've seen the show five times, so I can't really comment on its effect as a show.  I loved the show the first time I saw it, back in the Kazino tent, and I still love it now.  Very little has changed lyrically/musically, more in the first act than in the second act.  The changes made in the ART production were mostly retained, with a few extra lyrical changes as well.  The Bolkonskys number got probably the most cut/rearranged in it.

The performers are still great, though I must say I'm not so hot on their Andrei, who fares better as Old Bolkonsky than as Andrei: it's esp. obvious when he's singing next to Groban, who's actually pretty spectacular.  (I was shocked how much I loved Groban and I felt like he really brought Pierre back closer to Tolstoy's version of the character.)  Denee was very good, but she was hampered by a very quiet mic.  In fact, many of the singers' mics seemed too low, and hopefully they tweak that as the preview period continues, because if this was my first time seeing the show I probably would've missed a lot of the lyrics.  Denee also seemed to be maybe holding back a little vocally...Maybe sick?  When I saw her in the role at ART, she never had the power of Philippa Soo's voice, but she definitely had more vocal power than she had tonight.  I still think she's a better actress than Soo (gasp!).

Lighting was fantastic, orchestra was great, etc.

My seat was in orch row H, house right, and I felt that I had a wonderful view of everything.  We had one of the platforms just in front of us, and while occasionally we were getting a faceful of dancing legs, it was staged such that the cast always kept moving, and if your view was blocked one moment, the next moment it wasn't anymore.  That said, I didn't really think these platforms were too useful overall...In ART, they were used more for actual staging of scenes, but not at all now, because they're actually set underneath the mezz overhang, so they're not visible to the whole theatre.  To those who were asking if these rows right in back of the platforms would offer more legroom, I would say no, because the platforms have solid wood sides with nowhere to put your feet underneath.  The seats that might give you a tiny bit more legroom are seats behind the little end-tables that are scattered throughout the orch: you might be able to stick a foot or two under those tables, since they're open underneath.  And damn, that legroom is tight in the orch rows!

Ah, and for those who will inevitably ask about merch: there was lots of it tonight!  I saw magnets, two types of keychain, coffee mugs, copper booze mugs (like a Moscow Mule-type mug?), posters, the off-Bway CD, and at least three different types of T-shirt.  No souvenir playbills yet, or not that I saw.

aimeric
Stand-by
joined:8/7/15
Stand-by
joined:
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Ha, showscpt, that was you!  Great job, suitor!  NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 Previews

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GreasedLightning
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/14
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2/11/14

Can someone link me to the digital lottery? Can't seem to find the page anywhere. 

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theatregoer3
Broadway Star
joined:3/8/13
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So far, VotePeron is the only person who spoke of an emotional connection. Everyone else is only praising the superficial aspects. Can we say that this show is just a creatively staged spectacle and of little substance?

 

I can understand the visual connection to Passing Strange, but I found Passing Strange to be an instance of great depth in storytelling. It could have been performed on a bare stage and would have most likely achieved the same effect. Would that be the case with Natasha?

willep
Broadway Legend
joined:9/20/08
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9/20/08

I just got home and will type up a post with more thoughts, but I definitely connected to the show emotionally and was honestly on the verge of tears a couple times.

 

As I said, more thoughts to come, but overall a thrilling night.

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TBone
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joined:8/14/03
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GreasedLightning said: "Can someone link me to the digital lottery? Can't seem to find the page anywhere."

 

No digital lottery until next Tuesday, the 25th.

 

"Where nothing ever grows Where no one ever goes In lands of storms and snows We'll plant one burning rose, love..."
aimeric
Stand-by
joined:8/7/15
Stand-by
joined:
8/7/15

Well, it was performed on a fairly bare "stage" at Ars Nova, and we know how that ended up, so...

I connect with it enormously on an emotional level, probably more than with a more sweeping epic like Les Mis.

After Eight
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joined:6/5/09
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We've all heard of old wine in new bottles; now we have old bores in new theatres. In this case, the new theatre is splendidly appointed, and the scenic design and lighting are striking. The show, however, is the same draggy, sophomoric entity it was off-Broadway. The staging offers up a great deal of movement to little avail, while the music just drones on and on. The two leads are very good, and Lucas Steele struts about amusingly. The show could really do with some cutting.

 

"Beyond that I'm not understanding the hype."

Increasingly, hype has become an end unto itself, with shows themselves simply the means to that end.

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icecreambenjamin
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This idea that a show is only good if it can be performed on a bare stage is ridiculous.  The Great Comet has a mammoth score that is pretty incredible and while it does rely heavily on the spectacle of the production, that doesn't make it a poorly written musical.  I've always thought of the show as an atmospheric piece of theatre with an absolutely gorgeous score.

I saw the show off-broadway and I'm excited to hear such wonderful things about the show now.  I'll be seeing it in January with Dear Evan Hansen.

After Eight
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"I am just so happy that Broadway has become less commercial."

Everything presented on Broadway for a commercial run seeks to make money.

"Its a great couple of years for theater."

I'm glad you think so.

"And I believe the Tony Committee has embraced it."

Now, that's for sure!

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theatregoer3
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joined:3/8/13
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icecreambenjamin: I didn't mean to imply that to be the only quantifier. I tend to enjoy spectacle but with more layers of meaning and intention behind it. I guess I didn't see that tonight. But maybe I'm the odd man out and simply couldn't see it.

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theatregoer3
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aimeric said: "Well, it was performed on a fairly bare "stage" at Ars Nova, and we know how that ended up, so...

I connect with it enormously on an emotional level, probably more than with a more sweeping epic like Les Mis.
"

 

How so? How did you connect with it emotionally?

ArtMan
Broadway Legend
joined:9/10/08
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If I'm not a big fan of Josh Groban, could I still enjoy this show?  I'm trying to plan for my trip next year and it's a toss up of this or Charlie.  (For musicals I've already have tickets for Dolly, Evan Hansen and Miss Saigon).

holdyourbatboy
Stand-by
joined:3/1/04
Stand-by
joined:
3/1/04

Saw the show tonight. I was completely unengaged throughout. The design and lighting are stunning... for the first 30 minutes. It's a one trick pony.

 

The biggest issue was - there was no emotional connection with any of the characters. And it tried haaaard for there to be one. From a storytelling standpoint, it was EXTREMELY difficult to understand what was going on, who was related to who... I'm still confused by what I saw. And it isn't just me -- in the Playbill they have a full page synopsis broken up into 4 different "acts". Next to it they have a full page "family tree". So they went into it knowing this would be an issue.

 

Once again... the lighting was beautiful and much of the staging was very inspired. It just grew monotonous. The first act was much stronger than the second. Maybe in a smaller venue with food and drinks being served you would feel part of the action and atmosphere. There could have been some charm that was lacking in this production.

 

There were a significant amount of walkouts. Seats in the mezz opened up for act two. Another friend who was sitting in the on-stage section said that there were holes in the Orch after intermission as well. 

 

However, I absolutely saw some fans having the time of their lives - I'm sure there were many that loved it! 

 

Josh Groban's role is supporting and I think people that bought tkts Bc of his name will be disappointed. He sings maybe two songs in the first act. Two songs in the second act.  His last song closes out the show, so it tricks you into thinking his role is bigger than it actually was. 

---

 

THAT BEING SAID - MY BIG TAKEAWAY is that Josh Groban was FANTASTIC. His singing is extraordinary, and his solos were the highlights of the show for me. I did not expect that walking into the show... and ultimately he walked AWAY with the show. 

HopesS
Understudy
joined:7/7/16
Understudy
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7/7/16

I know there is no costumes and the music is sung in german right?