Ticket and CD Giveaway: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

GreatCometLogoUpdate: By random drawing, Emily (@stagemaven) has won the tickets and Matthew (@artwinewhimsy)has won the CD.

Win the original cast album or two free tickets to see Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, a musical adaptation of a scandalous slice of Tolstoy’s War and Peace by brilliant composer/librettist/performer Dave Malloy that I just loved. (Watch three songs from the show.)  It is performed as a kind of Russian dinner theater, complete with vodka, in Kazino supper club, which is an elaborate tent that has been erected on a lot on 45th Street between Times Square and Eighth Avenue.

To enter the contest, please answer one of the following questions:

What is the most unusual setting you’ve seen a work of theater? (Did it work for you?)


What great work of literature would you like to see adapted to the stage? Why?

PhilippaSooasNatasha(Update: By literature, I mean novels or poetry or memoirs or histories — books, basically. And by great, I mean those that have entered the canon.)

1. Please put your answer in the comments at the bottom of this blog post, because the winner will be chosen through Random.org based on the order of your reply, not its content.

But you must answer one of the questions, complete with explanation, or your entry will not be approved for submission.

2. Please include in your answer your Twitter name and follow my Twitter feed at @NewYorkTheater so that I can send you a direct message. (If you don’t have a Twitter name, create one. It’s free.)
3. This contest ends Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at midnight Eastern Time, and I will make the drawing no later than noon the next day. You must respond to my direct message on Twitter within 24 hours or I will choose another winner.
There will be two winners — one for the CD, the other for the tickets. (The first winner of the drawing will choose which he or she wants.) To qualify for the tickets, you must be in New York able to attend one of the eligible performances from now through December 30, 2013.
(Since I’m choosing by the order in which you submit, please do not write me more than once. Make sure you have all the requirements — such as your Twitter name — before submitting. All submissions have to be approved, so you won’t necessarily see your entry right away: Please be patient.)


Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

35 thoughts on “Ticket and CD Giveaway: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

  1. @sierrarein I’d love to see a theatrical adaptation of Farenheit 451, if it hasn’t been done already. Modern sci-fi-futurists seem to try to make a world on stage that’s “edgy,” without going back to the original vision of the author. The world of F451 is so specific, and it could be done quite effectively with modern-day stage magic.

  2. @pli1018 I think The Great Gatsby would make a great musical. From the setting to the era’s musical sound, it’s the kind of piece that would immerse you and immediately bring you to a specific time and place.

  3. @jeanvic24 Lord of the Flies would make a great play. It’s got interesting characters, a suspenseful and twisted plot, and needs only one set. Plus it has something to say about humanity.

  4. @mnally16 Here Lies Love set in a disco was a great and unusual setting for a piece of theater! I loved it so much, it added to the story and made for a cool environment.

  5. @KrasMagic My favourite site-specific theatre piece was called You Can Sleep When You’re Dead, which converted a historic old house in Toronto into a haunted house walkthrough/anthology play. Groups were led into a bunch of rooms to be immersed in a half-dozen or so horror playettes. Involving, creepy, and absurdly fun.

  6. @edgeword2 A few weeks ago I saw a group doing Macbeth in Washington Square Park. It definitely didn’t work for me. They seemed like they might have been good, but I could barely hear what they were saying. No one can project enough for Washington Square Park!

  7. Probably the most unusual setting I’ve seen a show in was the atmospheric play “experience” of Sleep No More, inspired by Macbeth…the “audience” all anonymous in masks, following performers around a crazy, dark, rich, mysterious environment inside a “hotel”, but containing everything from a garden maze to an insane asylum! Fascinating.

  8. @stagemaven I saw an improv based play about a 5th grade reunion that took place in someone’s apartment in Astoria. Was a different concept.

  9. The set of Cats. Who would think that amongst all the garbage strewn throughout the theatre, such a great piece of work would emerge. And it really worked! @Siwckc

  10. I would like to see “North & South” by Elizabeth Gaskell adapted to stage. The story is interesting with important themes and a historical basis and the characters are intriguing. Also a great love story. It would be particularly effective if Richard Armitage, who was in the British TV miniseries version and is a stage actor, were cast in the play. @mymusicboxes

  11. John Green’s Looking For Alaska I believe would be fantastic on stage. It could absolutely attract more high schoolers to theatre, especially if it is performed in schools.

  12. What is the most unusual setting you’ve seen a work of theater? (Did it work for you?)
    I saw a production of a play in a vacant lot in downtown San Francisco. It gave the play a really incredible setting that contributed to the tone of the work, but MAN was it cold. My discomfort got in the way of my enjoyment of the show.

  13. While setting Shakespeare in a prison is not a new concept, the recent Donmar Warehouse production of Julius Caesar at St. Ann’s was the first time I had seen it so successfully done. I very much liked that the ushers and staff maintained the conceit throughout the experience- being forced to enter through a cold loading dock under the surveillance of “armed” guards and security cameras lent a definite air of anxiety and dehumanization. The liberties they took with the script to fit the setting, such as making a last minute casting change when an inmate was summoned for meds, or a staged fight that gets out of control, were a nice demonstration of how creativity with classic texts can add layers of significance.


  14. I saw a production of Macbeth that took place in a forest – we had to follow the cast through different parts of it for different scenes. It actually worked really well, because the play has so many scenes in different places, and for the end with the woods coming to life in the play, we all really felt it. Luckily the weather was nice, otherwise it wouldn’t really have worked at all!

  15. Chicago Opera Theater recently did Orpheus & Euridice in a pool. Not the first production ever to pursue aquatic staging, but still interesting. I sadly was unable to attend, but audiences were reportedly very enthusiastic. Supposedly there were some technical issue with acoustics and instruments in the humidity, but overall an interesting and inventive production. @ArtWineWhimsy

  16. I’d say that Prometheus Bound, done by Diane Paulus for A.R.T. in Oberon, their club setting, was one of the more evocative I’ve attended. Very immersive and raw. @stageelf

  17. I’d be interested in seeing an incredibly stylized, small-cast production of either Atlas Shrugged or the Fountainhead. Translating the heavy tomes of Ayn Rand into a modern-day telling reflecting the philosophical debates often repeated in our current political system could be really interesting, assuming it has the right style of director.

    @ mduaime

  18. @lavesq I have to sat the setting for Fuerza Bruta was most unusual. Gunshots, people running across the ceilings, people diving from above and swimming above you in a pool that could have exploded and drown the audience at any moment. Damn it was worth every penny! lol

  19. I would love to see “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry adapted to stage. It is such a wonderful book. It has been my favorite since I was required to read it when I was in 8th grade, many years ago.

  20. I saw a play once in an abandoned power station. It would be great to have a theatrical adaptation of the great science fiction novel by Ursula K. LeGuin of “The Left Hand of Darkness”. I have always revered this book. The social and sexual complications of its plot would be suited for the 21st century audience. The book never feels dated. It is a transformative piece of literature.

  21. Anna Karenina would make an incredible epic musical. The novel comes with a dramatic protagonist and multiple subplots built right in. Ode to the age of the large-scale, music-based musical.

  22. I saw The Borough by Punchdrunk in Aldeburgh, England, where the entire town was the “stage”. You walked through the town, entering houses and buildings and ended up in a marsh. It was so great.

  23. My answer used to be either Ever After or The Princess Bride, but U’ve heard rumours both are on their way (!!!!) so now I would have to say either The Help or The Time Travlers Wife (def based on the book, not the movie).

    Or I could say Rebecca just to be ammusing.

  24. @shimmerot Though there would be many classic short stories to choose from, I am certain that Sherlock Holmes would make a compelling stage production.

  25. The most unusual setting I’ve seen a work of theater in was some kind of abandoned subway area in London. So unusual, I couldn’t even tell you where/what it was exactly! Halfway through the show, they opened these huge doors, & an entire 2nd area was revealed ~ making us aware of a whole other audience of participants! It was environment/site-specific, innovative, and hyper connected. Loved it!

  26. The most unusual setting where I’ve seen a work of theater was the opera Tosca in an amphitheater in Italy. It was fabulous.

  27. I stage managed a production of The Laramie Project in college in the black box theatre, but we transformed it. The walls were spray painted with graffiti: derogatory words, slang, and also messages of hope. All around we put shards of mirrors on the walls. They were covered with copies of news articles about Matthew Shepard, and at the end the actors took away the newspaper to reveal the sparkling mirrors. The audience sat in the round on make-shift wooden benches. It was such a magical experience and the audience was truly immersed in the show. It worked better than we could have ever expected. That show still has an impact on me today because of the staging we did. @MicheleW_86

  28. The most unusual setting for me was Ed Schmidt’s home in Brooklyn where he performed “My Last Play.” At first it seemed very weird to be in someone’s house, but his story was engaging enough that I forgot. And we got to pick a book from his bookshelves to take home with us (I took the play “Bent”).

  29. I’d love to see The Great Gatsby turned into a big, jazz age musical. I think the time period had some of the most interesting music, and the story would work well on the stage.


  30. I would go crazy to see any novel by Murakami adapted for the stage. It’d be impossibly hard to do, but if someone were up for a challenge… The kind of mental expansion Murakami insists on in his work strikes me as ripe for theater magic. I’d probably start with Kafka on the Shore.

  31. @SFH26 I would love to see a theatrical adaptation of The Pictures of Dorian Gray, because I think themes like sexuality, the meaning of beauty, and art, would let this philosophical piece of fiction translate well on stage.

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