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Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 opens at Theatre Wesleyan

Photo courtesy of Lauren Garza
The electropop opera, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, shows at the Thad Smotherman Theatre for one weekend only.

The sounds of synths usher the audience into the opening scene of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. Directed by Jeanne Everton, associate professor of theatre acting & directing studies, this adaptation of Dave Malloy’s musical opens with a vibrant number from the whole cast that invites viewers to pay attention to the story that is to unfold.  

In this play the audience is introduced to a great deal of characters whose lives are so intimately and intriguingly intertwined in this weird and whacky musical. “Pierre” played by Chase Di Iulio is the first character to make the audience’s acquaintance. A wealthy man in a loveless marriage he seems to have everything and nothing all at once. Di Iulio played this part effortlessly as he is the first to take the stage and the last to exit, he brings this whirlwind of a story full circle.  

The play begins and ends strong but seems to lose its spark somewhere in between. Though the energy of the production struggles to be maintained throughout, the ensemble pieces redeem the show, sung gracefully by the voices of all those on stage.  

Senior theatre major Abigale Hunt performs her solo “No One Else” as her character ‘Natasha Rostova’. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Garza)

Part’s one and two of the production show cousin’s “Natasha Rostova” and “Sonya” arrive in Moscow to wait on their loved ones to return from the war. We follow them as they learn to adjust to Moscow society whilst holding on to the hope of their lovers’ return.  

The play would not be what it is without Abigale Hunt who embodies a young and ever so in love “Natasha” engaged to be married to the absent “Andrey”. Natasha so eager to win over the love of her betrothed’s family is sourly surprised when their affections are not returned. Nevertheless, she does not lose sight of what is important. The innocence glistens in Natasha’s eyes as she sings so sweetly of her love and happiness in “No One Else”.  

Part three takes us to the opera, and from here the plot thickens. In a moment where all seems to be good and well, trouble walks in as “Anatole”, played by Nicholas Keel, the strapping soldier that puts a spanner in the works as he makes a tempting proposal to Natasha. It is at this point that the energy of the production seems to lull momentarily from time to time.  

It should be noted that the musical accompaniment throughout the production is fun and fluid. The modern synths married into more classical pieces adds to the overall whimsical feel of the production.  

For those interested in viewing the show, it runs from April 18 through April 21. Tickets are available online through Theatre Wesleyan’s Box Office.  

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Chiara Watson
Chiara Watson, Editor-in-Chief
Chiara Watson is an international student at Texas Wesleyan University, born and raised in Johannesburg South Africa. As Editor-in-Chief for the Rambler Media Group, she loves the idea of connecting with the students, parents, faculty and staff at Wesleyan through her writing. Chiara loves a good story, whether it comes in the form of a book, film, poem, or song, and is excited to share the stories closest to the hearts and minds of the Texas Wesleyan community.

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