It was an unlikely theatrical success— a musical about the middle section of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”— but Dave Malloy’s mash-up of indie rock and Russian folk music made it to Broadway in 2016, four years after its debut. At the 2017 Tony Awards, the show was nominated for 12 awards, more than any other show.
On September 3, the cast of “Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812” will perform its last show. The story of its demise is of a single-minded drive for diversity destroying art and opportunity.
When the show opened on Broadway in 2016, Josh Groban took over the role of Pierre originated by Malloy off-Broadway. The famous crooner put people in the seats in his first Broadway foray, and left large shoes to fill when he exited the show in July.
“The Great Comet” settled on Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan as Groban’s replacement. The African-American performer was best known for his impressive performance as Hercules Mulligan in “Hamilton,” but was not a household name like Groban. Box office performance slumped dangerously and the show’s producers started looking for a way to revive it.
In July, the producers announced Onaodowan had agreed to step aside for Broadway vet and household …read more