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Review: NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 at Four Winds Farm For Capital City Theatre

Capital City Theatre's Great Comet Soars.

Review: NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 at Four Winds Farm For Capital City Theatre

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 is not your typical musical. It is an immersive, emotional, raucous ride that I was thrilled to have witnessed. It is not, to say the least, your typical musical. In fact, it is an electro-pop opera featuring a mix of rock, pop, soul, electronic dance music and classic Broadway.

Step back in time to 1812 and enter a chapter of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. Taking place in a barn loft that was given a master makeover by Scenic Designer, Christopher R. Dunham, and Lighting Designer, Aimee Hanyzewski. The intimate tavern-style set featured cocktail tables tucked throughout, and multiple playing stages at each end and in the center of the theatre-in-the-round- style production.

Describing the production as immersive theater, hardly does justice to the delightful adventure as the outstanding cast of actors performed amongst the audience. In fact, when the show opened with a joyous, celebration, an actor leapt onto my table so gracefully, my glass of wine, barely wobbled. I shared a gasp with the crowd knowing this was a show like no other we had experienced before.

The story follows the ethical Pierre, (Travis Leland) whose best friend Andrey (Cody Gerszewski), is betrothed to young, naive Natasha, (Miyuki Miyagi). While Andrey is off fighting the war, Natasha is seduced by the charismatic, rogue Anatole, (Charlie Tingen) and chaos ensues.

The story of love, deceit, and gossip is told through soaring ballads, energetic party scenes, and hilarity throughout. Upping the ante, and my favorite aspect of the show, was the power and strength of the Great Comet's ensemble. Never have I felt so engaged. It was as if I was in on the drama as the actors performed mere inches from my seat. Hearing each stellar voice as it passed was a real thrill.

Stella Kim, playing the devious Helena, was a standout with her deliciously manipulative performance of "Charming". Charlie Tingen's Anatole was delivered with just enough swagger and humor to love him yet peppered with enough arrogance and conceit to dislike him. Tingen's vocals and range were off the chart, producing tingles of awe for all. After all the ruckus and rollercoaster rides throughout the evening, Leland masterfully closed the show with the breathtaking title number "The Great Comet of 1812".

The orchestra directed by talented Evan Lange, utilized the actors as wandering musicians, creating a majestic surround sound. The choreography by Sabra Michelle elevated the show with lively exuberance, and it was truly the stage direction by Andrew Abrams, also the artistic director of Capital City Theatre, that created such a spectacular production as he seamlessly wove all the elements into a magical experience each audience member will not soon forget.

Capturing the imagination of audiences in the Madison area, Capital City Theatre (CCT) brings professional Broadway and community talent together, through its unforgettable performances and distinguished Conservatory training. CCT presents diverse, cutting-edge and classic works, employ top national and local talent, and educate future stars.



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From This Author - Angie Stanton