Greetings, fellow theatrical art enthusiasts!
Today, let’s explore the world of NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 which is a co-production by The Musical Stage Company and Crow’s Theatre in Toronto. This is a long-awaited Canadian premiere of the Broadway musical was written by Dave Malloy, directed by Chris Abraham, choreography by Ray Hogg and music direction by Ryan deSouza.
A contemporary style musical that combines indie rock, pop, folk, electronic dance, and classic Broadway music. Adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s monumental novel “War and Peace,” audiences are dropped into imperial Russia of 1812. The narrative follows Natasha, a young aristocrat engaged to Andrey, as she becomes entangled in a web of love and intrigue that mixes time and space.
The set is gorgeous and innovative. They built balconies with golden staircases, plentiful draperies and chandeliers. We have been lucky enough to have snatched one their scenic painters to work on our upcoming production of Marion Bridge. The center of the acting space is a square platform that turns. While a turning platform can indicate different scenes, I think they liked turning it because it was cool. Not every rotation was necessary.
The balconies were used for seating, walkways, and some members of the orchestra. Call me an old fogey but why does the sound have to be so loud? I have seen many plays at Crow’s Theater under the direction of Chris Abraham and if he is not the best Artistic Director around, I don’t know who is. I’m glad I saw Natasha, Pierre, et al but it was my least favourite production at Crows. Those who know me will say, but you don’t like musicals. Yes, but I loved The Musical Theatre Company’s production of Kelly vs. Kelly.
Winner of two Tony Awards, three Lucille Lortel Awards, the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical, a Special Obie Citation, and the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 is “the most innovative and the best new musical to open on Broadway since Hamilton” (The New York Times).
Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this spectacular play in the vibrant Crow’s Theatre, from Dec 5, 2023 – Feb 11, 2024, where the art of storytelling comes to life in its most enchanting form.
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Cover Image Credit: Hailey Gillis by Colton Curtis.