Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 comes to the Imperial Theatre after four years of productions off Broadway. Dave Malloy whittled about 70 pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, to come up with the score for the period musical.
Set in Moscow during the Napoleonic Wars, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet tells the story of the young Countess Natasha (Denée Benton) as she deals with the throes of high-society romance and the unhappily married Russian aristocrat Pierre (Josh Groban) as he grapples with a dark existential crisis.
The heavy plot combined with moving performances, and catchy, eclectic music is sure to bring every member of the audience to tears.
Something to Rave About: The Costumes
The Tony Award-winning designer Paloma Young designed the costumes. Those browsing through rental shops for theatrical costumes here in Denver can learn from the way Paloma handled the challenge of dressing an unusually large cast: she used period costumes to make it easier to identify every character.
The costumes are a combination of period, vintage, and modern. The inspiration was mostly 1812, a little 1965, and a bit of 2016.
Paloma dressed the women, especially the lead roles, in rich silks. She also embellished the dresses with plenty of beading. Furthermore, she took inspiration for the costumes of the secondary and tertiary characters from a mix of 80s and 90s punk rock styles. In a rave scene in Act I, for instance, a chorus member caught the crowd’s attention by wearing a neon green bikini with a leather harness.
Other Production Details to Look Out For
The set design is just as decadent. The stage designer, Mimi Lien, created a lavish feel by dressing the entire house in crimson velvet and hanging 19th-century-style paintings. To make the set feel like a cabaret or super club, she removed some orchestra seats and replaced those with cocktail tables. No matter where you sit, you will likely be inches away from the actors, creating a 360-degree, immersive experience.
Broadway has seen its share of some of the most richly-designed productions. With its attention to set design and costume detail, it is not surprising to see Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 make that list in the future.