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‘The Great Comet’ Announces Closing Date

Following rumors of closing and casting concerns, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (shortened to The Great Comet) will take its final bow next month. The musical will play its final performance at the Imperial Theater on September 3.

The show began previews on October 18, 2016, and officially opened on November 14. When it closes, The Great Comet will have played 32 previews and 336 regular performances, according to Broadway.com.

The Great Comet is described as a “musically eclectic take on a snippet of War and Peace“. It is praised for its uniqueness and unique set and stage design.

After losing 10 out of 12 nominations at the Tony’s (bringing home awards for scenic design and lighting design), ticket sales dropped. Leading man Josh Groban was still scheduled to leave the show, taking with him $500,000 worth of fans per week.

Groban left his role as Pierre on July 2, with Hamilton star Okierete “Oak” Onaodowan assuming the role the following day.

Onaodowan’s 9-week stint was initially intended to end September 4 but was cut short. Onaodowan did not pull sales as much as hoped, so Tony-nominee Mandy Patinkin was supposed to join the cast as Pierre on August 15. He stepped down amidst racial controversy and social media backlash.

Broadway is an industry that struggles heavily with diversity and representation, and Onaodowan’s run being cut short was seen as a statement on race.

Creator Dave Malloy then took to Twitter, saying, “The show asked him [Patinkin] to come asap because we were on brink of closing”.

https://twitter.com/dave_malloy/status/891015202749259776

In response to the controversy, the show’s producers released a statement saying they “had the wrong impression of how Oak felt about the casting announcement and how it would be received by members of the theater community, which we appreciate is deeply invested in the success of actors of color—as are we—and to whom we are grateful for bringing this to our attention. We regret our mistake deeply, and wish to express our apologies to everyone who felt hurt and betrayed by these actions.”

Onaodowan’s last day in the role is August 13, with standby Scott Stangland stepping into the role from August 15-20. Malloy will close out the show in the role of Pierre.

Original cast member Brittain Ashford will reprise her role as Sonya starting August 15, until the close of the show.

Many fans took to twitter to express their love and gratitude for the show following the announcement of it closing:

https://twitter.com/brightcomets/status/895321220593336320

https://twitter.com/_jmusics/status/895310981630492673

https://twitter.com/iconicgayauthor/status/895305192224288768

A national tour is expected to launch in 2019, with plans currently underway.

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