OKIERIETE “OAK” ONAODOWAN
TO STAR AS ‘PIERRE’ IN BROADWAY’S
THE GREAT COMET
JOINING DENÉE BENTON AS ‘NATASHA’
BEGINNING JULY 3, 2017
(New York, NY - February 15, 2017) Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, best known for originating the roles of Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in Hamilton, will join the cast of the new Broadway musical NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 as “Pierre” beginning July 3, 2017, starring alongside Denée Benton as ‘Natasha.’
Created by Dave Malloy (Ghost Quartet, Preludes) and directed by Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown, Artistic Director of The TEAM), THE GREAT COMET began previews at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street) on October 18, and officially opened Monday, November 14, 2016. Josh Groban, who made his Broadway debut as ‘Pierre,’ will perform in the show through July 2, 2017.
Onaodowan’s Broadway credits include Hamilton, Rocky, and Cyrano de Bergerac. Off-Broadway work includes Hamilton (The Public), Luce (LCT3), Neighbors (The Public), and Young Jean Lee’s The Shipment. He was in the first national tour of American Idiot and has performed regionally in The Brothers Size, The Royale (Old Globe), Ruined (Berkeley Rep, Huntington Theater, La Jolla Playhouse). Film and TV work includes “Girls,” Unt. Spike-Lee, “Law and Order: SVU,” “The Get Down,” “Ballers,” “Blue Bloods,” The Super, and Thanks for Sharing.
Inspired by a 70-page slice of War and Peace, this “vibrant, thrillingly imagined new musical” (The New York Times) is “stunning and blazingly original” (Entertainment Weekly) and brings us just inches from Tolstoy’s brash young lovers as they light up Moscow in a “heaven-sent fireball” (The New York Times) of romance and passion.
Creator Dave Malloy will make his Broadway performing debut in the show this spring, stepping into the role of ‘Pierre’ for 10 performances across May and June 2017. Malloy originated the role of ‘Pierre’ in the show’s initial off-Broadway runs at Ars Nova and Kazino. He will perform the role of ‘Pierre’ at the following performances: Thursday, May 4 at 7pm; Friday, May 5 at 8pm; Saturday, May 6 at 2pm; Saturday, May 6 at 8pm; Sunday, May 7 at 3pm; Tuesday, May 9 at 7pm; Tuesday, May 16 at 7pm; Tuesday, June 13 at 7pm; Tuesday, June 20 at 7pm; and Tuesday, June 27 at 7pm.
Led by Groban and Benton, the current cast of THE GREAT COMET includes Brittain Ashford as ‘Sonya,’ Gelsey Bell as ‘Mary,’ Nicholas Belton as ‘Andrey/Bolkonsky,’ Nick Choksi as ‘Dolokhov,’ Amber Gray as ‘Hélène,’ Grace McLean as ‘Marya D,’ Paul Pinto as ‘Balaga,’ Scott Stangland as ‘Pierre’ (standby), and Lucas Steele as ‘Anatole.’ The ensemble includes Sumayya Ali, Courtney Bassett, Josh Canfield, Kennedy Caughell, Ken Clark, Lulu Fall, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Nick Gaswirth, Alex Gibson, Brad Giovanine, Billy Joe Kiessling, Mary Spencer Knapp, Blaine Alden Krauss, Reed Luplau, Brandt Martinez, Andrew Mayer, Mary Page Nance, Shoba Narayan, Azudi Onyejekwe, Pearl Rhein, Celia Mei Rubin, Heath Saunders, Ani Taj, Katrina Yaukey, and Lauren Zakrin.
THE GREAT COMET features choreography by Sam Pinkleton, set design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Tony Award winner Paloma Young, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nicholas Pope, music supervision by Sonny Paladino, musical direction by Or Matias, casting by Stewart/Whitley, and production stage management by Karyn Meek.
Natasha is young, Anatole is hot, and Andrey isn't here… but what about Pierre? Natasha is a beautiful ingénue visiting Moscow while she waits for her beloved fiancé Andrey to return from the war. In a moment of indiscretion, she is seduced by the dashing (but already married) Anatole and her position in society is ruined. Her only hope lies with Pierre, the lonely outsider whose love and compassion for Natasha may be the key to her redemption… and to the renewal of his own soul.
“One of the decade's best musicals” (Time Out New York), THE GREAT COMET has “rousing music and ravishing performances” (Daily News) with a groundbreaking score that mixes rock, pop, soul, folk and electronic dance music with classic Broadway. THE GREAT COMET arrives fresh off its sold-out run in Boston and its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere. Its renowned creative team has reimagined the Imperial Theatre as an opulent Russian salon, where every seat provides a unique perspective and an unforgettable experience which is “thrilling, a feast for the senses” (Associated Press) and “inventive, ravishing and full-on romantic” (New York Post).