Josh Groban performs in celebration of the new making-of The Great Comet book.
Josh Groban performs in celebration of the new Great Comet book.
(© David Gordon)

Josh Groban, Denée Benton, and the stars of Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 celebrated the release of the show's new companion book at Barnes and Noble on January 13.

Titled Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812: The Journey of a New Musical to Broadway, the book includes behind-the-scenes photos, stories, and a full script annotated by Dave Malloy. Released November 22 by Sterling Publishing, the book is edited and compiled by Steven Suskin, who has written 15 books about theater and music, including Show Tunes (Oxford University Press), The Sound of Broadway Music (Oxford University Press), Opening Night on Broadway (Schirmer), and The Book of Mormon: The Testament of a Broadway Musical (HarperCollins).

Directed by Rachel Chavkin, the Broadway cast is led by Groban and Benton (both making their Broadway debuts in the title roles), alongside Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Gelsey Bell as Princess Mary, Nicholas Belton as Bolonsky and xAndrey, Nick Choksi as Dolokhov, Amber Gray as Helene, Grace McLean as Marya D., Paul Pinto as Balaga, Lucas Steele as Anatole, and Scott Stangland as the standby for Pierre.

The ensemble includes Sumayya Ali, Courtney Bassett, Josh Canfield, Ken Clark, 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, Katrina Yaukey, Lauren Zakrin, Kennedy Caughell, Brad Giovanine, Blaine Alden Krauss, Mary Page Nance, Shoba Narayan, and Celia Mei Rubin.

Inspired by a small section of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, The Great Comet was originally commissioned and developed at Ars Nova in New York, where it had its world premiere in fall 2012, and was transferred to a custom-built venue in the Meatpacking District for summer 2013. The show and the entire venue was transferred to the Theater District where it continued its run into spring 2014. It played a pre-Broadway engagement in 2015 at the American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts.

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