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Benton to make B'way debut in The Great Comet of 1812

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Denée Benton will make her Broadway debut as Natasha, joining previously announced Grammy nominee and multi-platinum recording artist Josh Groban, who will also be making his Broadway debut as Pierre, in Dave Malloy's musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, directed by Rachel Chavkin, which will begin performances in September 2016.

Ms Benton has previously appeared in 'The Book of Mormon, as 'Nabulungi' in London's West End and on the US National Tour. Her regional credits include 'Annie,' 'Sunset Boulevard,' and 'Fiddler on the Roof' (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera).

Synopsis: "Based on a most scandalous chapter of Leo Tolstoy's Russian masterpiece 'War and Peace,' the musical tells the story of a young girl named Natasha, who is betrothed to Andrey, though he's off at war. In his absence, Natasha strikes up a relationship with the attractive Anatole, whose rebellious nature causes Andrey's best friend Pierre to be on alert to the budding romance. Dave Malloy's adaptation of this 70-page slice of 'War and Peace' puts audiences just inches away from Tolstoy's brash young lovers, as they light up Moscow in an epic tale of romance and passion."

The show has enjoyed off-Broadway incarnations of at Ars Nova (2012), Kazino (2013) and the Theater District (2013) and is currently playing a limited engagement at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts through to 3 January 2016. For this production the show's signature intimate staging has been re-designed to fit a traditional proscenium-style theatre.

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 is produced on Broadway by Howard & Janet Kagan and Paula Marie Black. Further casting, creative team, dates and venue information will be announced at a later date.

Josh Groban has released 7 studio albums to date, including his most recent album "Stages" which is comprised of Groban's favourite showtunes. He has previously appeared in the 2003 Actors Fund performance of 'Chess,' as well as the 2008 London concert version. His screen credits include "Glee," "Ally McBeal," "Crazy, Stupid, Love.," "The Hollars," and "Muppets Most Wanted."

- by Tom Millward

Denée Benton (Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva)

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