a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

I hate to be typing this, but my beloved “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” just put up its’ closing notice for Sunday, after the matinee on Sept.3. The casting controversy, which I’ve chronicled elsewhere on this blog, recently, is being sited as the cause.

But I’ll just say I saw this magnificent, original piece of musical theater FOUR times, twice with Josh Groban, who finished his run July 2, as per his contract, and seeing him sing this difficult, challenging score was one of the greatest theatrical experience I’ve ever had in all my years of theater-going, as a critic, as a playright, as an actor, as a director, to me, “Natasha, Pierre…” was excellent on all counts.

And I’m so glad I got to see it four times, once with composer David Malloy, and once with the understudy who is now going to be taking over in this last upcoming stage of its’ run, Scott Stangland, both of whom are white. And both of whom were perfectly fine in the role.

But neither of them is the charismatic Grogan and his incredible voice. And his surprisingly strong chops as an actor. Who sold tickets to the tune of $1,200,000 a week.

And while it’s beyond wonderful that this incredible piece of theater actually happened at all and all involved are exemplary and I’m going to miss seeing it again.

But DO get the masterful CD of the original cast, including the superlative Groban, then you’ll have “Natasha, Pierre…” to play all day. Which I admit I do. And it always delights and surprises me.


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