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BWW Review: THE GREAT COMET at Universal Arts Center

The Great Comet lands in South Korea!

BWW Review: THE GREAT COMET at Universal Arts Center

Actors holding various instruments made their way up to the seats, greeting the audience, waving hands. Soon, some of the violinists began to strike a note, with others dancing along. On stage, some were showing magic tricks to the audience members, receiving rounds of applause. Once, the lights dimmed and the siren began to blare, the audience was transported into Russia, as the "Prologue" began to play. This was the beginning of NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 (a.k.a THE GREAT COMET) 's Korean production. The vibrant musical opened its doors to Russia on March 20 at the Universal Arts Center, inviting the Korean audience to an unforgettable theatre experience.

BWW Review: THE GREAT COMET at Universal Arts Center

NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET written by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin, is a sung-through musical adaptation of Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy's 1869 novel, War and Peace, specifically based on Part 8. With 27 musical numbers, the show narrates Natasha's affair with Anatole and Pierre's journey of finding meaning in his life.

BWW Review: THE GREAT COMET at Universal Arts Center
Park Kang Hyun as Anatole/ Credit: SHOWNOTE

For the Korean production, prominent actor, Hong Kwang-ho who has won Best Supporting Actor in a Musical (UK) at the 2015 WhatsOnStage Awards, and K.will, a veteran singer was cast for the role of Pierre. Lee Chung-ju, Ko Eun Sung, and Park Kang Hyun, all talented actors play the role of the dashing, hot Anatole. Well-known K pop idol group, APINK's main vocal member, Jeong Eunji made her musical debut with the role of Natasha, performing along Haena, who has several theatre participations, such as THE BODYGUARD, JEKYLL&HYDE. The entire Korean production cast is consisted of amazing actors, including 'roving musicians,' playing the accordion, viola, violin, and much more. With a diverse and skilled cast, the show provides an outstanding performance.

One aspect I loved most about THE GREAT COMET was how it could be simple and yet complex at the same time. The set of THE GREAT COMET was quite simple in the sense that there are no drastic set changes or any detailed bulky structures, yet the movements of the actors are complex with most of them constantly moving around the stage. Not only that, the story is simple and straightforward, showing Natasha having an affair with Anatole, when her fiancé, Andrey is fighting in a war. However, when you take a closer look, Pierre who may look like an observer from the outside actually is there along with the whole narrative, finding meaning in his life. I particularly loved how THE GREAT COMET was a balanced combination of showing and telling the story.

The doors to Moscow close on May 30. Don't miss the opportunity to see the first-ever Korean production of NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812. Tickets start at 25,000 KRW and can be purchased at www.interparkglobal.com or the box office offline. Please check the COVID 19 guidelines before watching the show. Wearing masks at all times is necessary for the safety of everyone.

For more information, please visit www.interparkglobal.com


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