'War and Peace' – with Music and Tableside Service, Too

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Imagine turning Tolstoy’s famously epic novel "War and Peace" into a musical. Actually, hold it. Imagine turning 100 or so pages of "War and Peace" into a musical. That's a more manageable chunk of the novel, for sure, and there are still plenty of relationships and nearly inscrutable Russian names to sort out.

Next, imagine a new venue in which to see the story unfold. And now you’re ready for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, the musical that first appeared in New York last year in an off-off-Broadway theater. Now it’s returned in an upgraded production at a pop-up cabaret space in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan called Kazino.

What is this play written by Dave Malloy, who also stars as Pierre, and directed by Rachel Chavkin? And amid a cabaret setting in New York City, does Tolstoy stand a chance? New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood finds out.

And the Tony Awards are this coming Sunday. Tell us the musical and play you think will take home a Tony.

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