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Complete cast announced for The Great Comet of 1812

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Complete casting has now been announced for the Broadway premiere of Dave Malloy's musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, directed by Rachel Chavkin, which begins previews at Broadway's Imperial Theatre on 18 October 2016, before an official opening on 14 November.

The principal cast of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 includes three-time Grammy nominee and multi-platinum recording artist Josh Groban (Pierre) and Denée Benton (Natasha), both making their Broadway debuts, alongside Brittain Ashford (Sonya), Gelsey Bell (Princess Mary), Nicholas Belton (Bolkonsky/Andrey), Nick Choksi (Dolokhov), Amber Gray (Helene), Grace McLean (Marya D), Paul Pinto (Balaga), Lucas Steele (Anatole) and Scott Stangland (as the standby for the role of Pierre).

The ensemble includes Sumayya Ali, Courtney Bassett, Josh Canfield, Ken Clark, Erica Dorfler, Lulu Fall, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Nick Gaswirth, Alex Gibson, Billy Joe Kiessling, Mary Spencer Knapp, Reed Luplau, Brandt Martinez, Andrew Mayer, Azudi Onyejekwe, Pearl Rhein, Heath Saunders, Ani Taj, Cathryn Wake, Katrina Yaukey, and Lauren Zakrin.

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 at Ars Nova (2012), Kazino (2013) and the Theater District (2013) and also played a limited engagement at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2015-2016). 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.

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."

Denée 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).

- by Tom Millward

Josh Groban

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