Behind the scenes rancor troubles Broadway’s potential next hit show

A scene from the production of “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” off-Broadway at Ars Nova. (PHOTO: Ben Arons)
A scene from the production of “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” off-Broadway at Ars Nova. (PHOTO: Ben Arons)

Does new + old = hot show?

Could “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” be the “Hamilton” of the 2016-17 Broadway season? It was a hot-ticket off-Broadway musical that just started previews this week on the Great White Way.In a 2012 review the NYTimes called the original production — which placed actors in the center surrounded by the audience sitting at tables where food and drinks were sold — “… improbably wonderful electro-pop opera based on part of ‘War and Peace.’ Turns out that Tolstoy’s introspective, emotional, impetuous characters take remarkably well to the pop-song format, which doesn’t seem at all false and just the usual amount of unnatural.”

The show was developed by Ars Nova  whose mission, according to its website, “is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the early stages of their professional careers.” It encourage outside-the-box thinking, genre-bending work, risk-taking and collaboration.

That really works for me. And this time, it really paid off.

But all is not well, although the dispute shouldn’t affect ticket theatergoers. According to a recent NYTimes story, the trouble between the show’s nonprofit and commercial producers is over how the nonprofit’s role in the show’s development is credited in the show’s program.

To read the NYTimes story, click here.

To read Rachel Saltz’s review of the off-Broadway show, click here.

To read how the book-inspired ‘Great Comet’ came about, click here.

To learn more about Ars Nova, click here.

To order tickets, click here.

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