Sad to hear that there were walkouts mid-act. I think this show is much smarter than it lets on. But I guess some people want an easy night of theater. Okay, a question for those who attended. Was there a vodka table? If you remember in the uptown version, on one table a cast member serves a bottle of Vodka with glasses. If you think it was a prop -- it wasn't. It was real vodka in the bottle.
HopesS said: "I know there is no costumes and the music is sung in german right?"
theatregoer3 said: How so? How did you connect with it emotionally? Are you serious? How can I describe my emotional connection to something? I could just as easily ask you to describe why you didn't connect with it emotionally. But to try to answer your question...I guess I would say that I empathize/sympathize with the characters and their problems. Isn't that at the root of emotional connection? I care about them and what's happened/what's going to happen to them. Why do I care but you don't? Don't ask me. Personal life experiences? I've read War and Peace as well and had the same reactions to the characters there. Maybe reading the novel and having the background of the characters helps? In that sense, it is like Les Mis, but I think this show does a much better job bringing across Tolstoy than the Les Mis musical does in bringing across Hugo.Just my opinion, of course.
theatregoer3 said: "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?"Yeah, eight people have weighed in on the very first preview of a new musical.... it seems overdue for sweeping generalizations.
uncageg said: "I saw it when they moved the tent production uptown. I enjoyed it however I am not a fan of the score. It was fine while watching the show but I cannot listen to the recording. The only song that left a real impression on me was "Sonya Alone". I was left breathless after that song. And the way it was presented was beautiful. Looks like they really captured the feel of the original production. It is actually an evening to remember for the performances, set and atmosphere. JMO" I, too, saw the show back in early 2014 when the show was inside a tent in midtown west. While I loved the intimacy of the tent, the only song I remember listening to was "Sonya Alone". I plan on watching this show soon and am now excited!
HopesS said: "I know there is no costumes and the music is sung in german right? "This is a joke, no?
haterobics said: "Yeah, eight people have weighed in on the very first preview of a new musical.... it seems overdue for sweeping generalizations." I get your point and normally I would agree with you and tell myself to chill out. But hasn't this show been around since 2013? I feel like I'm the last person to see it, definitely not the first. I guess I'm genuinely asking here. There are folks posting on this thread about how this is the fifth time they've seen the show. I think it's fair to ask that question in light of that. For all I know, this is a fact everyone has noted all along since it was at Ars Nova.
I am so excited to see this tonight! Thank you everyone for the reviews!
"But I guess some people want an easy night of theater." Or a satisfying one.
After Eight said: ""But I guess some people want an easy night of theater." Or a satisfying one. "Why you be like that?
theatregoer3, I agree with you that this isn't the same kind of emotional connection I shared with Passing Strange, but that isn't to say that the emotional connection isn't there at all. Personally I find most of the show favors cerebral thrills over emotional sobfests; the big epiphany belongs to Pierre at the tale end of the piece, much like George gaining enlightenment at the end of Sunday in the Park, which is I think is a better comparison to the emotional journey we get in The Great Comet. I've never once gotten weepy when the painting comes together at the end of act one, but it's impossible not to turn into a puddle when George starts reading the words Dot wrote down at the end of act two. Sometimes the best "emotional connections" take us by surprise after a night of cerebral stimulation.
Very well put as always, Whizzer. Thank you for that thoughtful post. I completely agree with all you said. I just couldn't connect with this one. I felt I was perhaps missing something in the translation and it made me want to read the book. I will say that as I woke up this morning the stage pictures were still stuck in my head and I know I'll be humming "Charming" all day :)
Have tickets for this Friday and after seeing it at A.R.T. I'm looking forward to seeing it again. When I saw it at A.R.T, the theater got incredibly warm throughout act two, and when I asked on the way out, the staff said it was because of the lighting - was it warm last night? I also splurged and bought on stage seating, but based on a couple photos I've seen posted, it looks like they might not be great, the last row of the banquettes stage left. It looks like the proscenium/stage wall might be in the way? Regardless, excited to see this.
I actually found some of the lighting in the mezz (from the table lamps) to be distracting.
GreasedLightning said: "Can someone link me to the digital lottery? Can't seem to find the page anywhere. "There won't be a digital lottery til 10/25
Regarding questions about the plot and point of view, I haven't read War and Peace yet but the story told in The Great Comet is rather simple.
Natasha has an affair, is abandoned by her lover and husband, then condescended to by Pierre.
In the meantime we get interludes for Natasha's female relatives building the (unsurprising) thesis that it was hard to be a woman in 19th century Russia.The Off-Broadway highlights came from the environmental staging but listening to the recording beforehand will give you the breakout ballads and some fine vocals from Lucas Steele and Brittain Ashford. It should also make it easier to understand the lyrics in the theater.
"Yeah, eight people have weighed in on the very first preview of a new musical...."I know this is repetition, but - the show is far from new. It's been around for years in several full productions. We've been introduced.I saw it at the teeny tiny Ars Nova and thought it was cute, pseudo-boho in that early 21st century Brooklyn way, musically attractive and simple, and ultimately rather dull after the novelty/gimmick was established and worn out.As I think Groban is one of the flabbiest, dullest performers seen since Perry Como, I doubt that I would return, but good luck to the production and all involved. I admit I was surprised that it had life after Ars Nova, but what do I know? It might be the next Rent or something.
PThespian said: "Hmmmmmm. I have to say I wasn't a huge fan of the show when I saw it at Kazino. In my experience a lot of shows suffer when they move into bigger spaces. My fear is that this might be one that does, but I am happy to be proved wrong."If you already don't like it, how exactly could it suffer by moving to a larger venue?!
Like MrsSallyAdams, I'm a little perplexed by those who say the plot of the show is hard to follow...I mean, I'm totally biased, since I've read the book, so you can take whatever I say with a grain of salt, but even when I just look at the plot objectively, I still don't get it. There are only about half a dozen actual events in the course of the show. The complete novel War and Peace may be called "epic" or "sweeping" (though that depends upon your definition of "epic" ) , but this tiny part of the novel is not at all epic...In fact, it's quite intimate and small-scale, mostly about the struggles taking place inside the characters.Now, if people can't follow the plot because they can't physically hear all the lyrics, that's totally believable, and that's an issue for the sound department to work on......
I saw the show in the midtown tent, and I couldn't follow what was going on. I won't be making a return visit, even though I am a Groban fan (I saw him sing Dust and Ashes live in LI a couple of months ago). I do find it hard to pick up on lyrics in general...To the poster above, this show is much harder to follow than Hamilton in my opinion.
Not sounding optimistic for auditory comprehension... I wrote earlier that understanding the lyrics was my biggest problem at A.R.T., so I really, really hope they use this valuable preview period to make things crisp and understandable before opening.
I think any show with a sung through score is going to have a confusing plot on first listen. There's just a lot to take in. My first times seeing Les Miz and Rent I was rather confused. I got the overall sweeping plot, but the fine details passed me by. I saw this show in Midtown, when i was right next to the Imperial, and I loved it. It was a really fun, exciting night out. I'm not sure if anything will be gained by making it into a proper Broadway house, but I guess with Broadway comes more and more exposure. It's def. a show worth seeing. The music is gorgeous at times. I love the ballads. I didn't so much care for any of Steele's moments. Just didn't think that character totally worked.
I'm shocked that people would struggle with the plot. Isn't it based on only 70 pages of War and Peace? I actually think it's one of the simplest stories being told on Broadway right now.
As far as the sound goes, I wouldn't expect the sound to be perfect for at least the first week. If the show really is staged all over the house, then it's an unusually difficult task for a sound designer to make sure everything is clear, and you can't really start doing that until you have a house actually filled with audience members.
Crazy how given the perspective of Passing Strange from Whizzer did nothing to help me understand if I am going to like this and I usually agree with his take on things so I will go into this one with some trepidation. How spectacle in a tent transfers to spectacle in one of the larger Broadway houses should be interesting. I thought the whole appeal of the tent experience was intimacy. I will say this - I downloaded the recording as soon as it was available and found it not very interesting to listen thru with its cacophony and dissonance laced electro-pop score. So much so I had to delete it from my phone because it kept getting added to my car riding shuffle. All that said I thought the Hal Prince Candide at the Broadway theater (similar immersive experience on what looks like a larger scale) was one of the best theatrical experiences I have ever had and being a young pop oriented theater newbie it even made me appreciate a more classical score - so I am hoping for the same here. I think the experience will help me appreciate the score as something to listen to in order to relive the experience - if that makes any sense.
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