Most of us, myself included, couldn't be dragged to an opera by the Budweiser clydesdales -- but if you're in New York, you owe it to yourself to see the sexiest, most mind-blowing night of singing and sin you'll ever experience. N.Y.C., especially around the holidays, is a feast for the senses, especially for those of us with ADD. Everything is loud, shiny and doesn't ask too much of our attention. Thank goodness a show comes along every now and then, like Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 that's as stimulating for the mind as it is for the ears, eyes and other appendages.
Tolstoy's War and Peace shouldn't work as a musical. It's long. It's complicated. And you'll need plenty of drinks just to get through the prologue. This version, however, works. And works brilliantly. And comes with drinks! Nestled in the middle of all the Broadway theaters is a small tent on 45th street. Decorated to look like a strip club fit for a Czar, Club Kazino becomes an interactive, pleasure palace for the senses. During the course of the show, you'll be played with by the actors, asked to raise many a toast, shake noisemakers and immerse yourself in the 360 degree theatrical experience.
As the opening number says: "You're gonna have to study up a little bit if you wanna keep with the plot. It's a complicated Russian novel. Everyone has nine different names." But, don't let the daunting plot of a book most of us pretended to ready in college interfere with your enjoyment of the show. It won't.
The actors are young, hot and take you on one hell of a rock concert through 19th century Russia. It is so alluring and exciting, you'll be too hooked on the love story to even notice how convoluted the plot really is. As all the best classics from the 1800s go: Guy loves girl; girl loves guy; hotter guy comes along; innocent girl turns slutty, and everyone goes nuts dealing with the drama.
For those of you who are still on the fence about a night at the opera, let this be your introduction to the kind of incredible art that is only possible in a place like New York City. You probably weren't expecting strobe lights, vodka shots, tight leather pants and skimpy dresses were you? You get all that and then some in this one. It's way more night club than opera house as you take in the show at cabaret tables and leather banquettes. There's no such thing as a bad seat, as the show plays out in front of you, next to you, on top of you... You get the idea.
The plot may be Russian, but the mind-blowing voices are right out of American Idol. Blonde, male heartthrob Lucas Steel will make all the ladies (and probably a few men) hot under their ascots as bad boy, Anatole. He oozes David Bowie-esque sexual charm out of every pore, and hits notes that would make Adam Lambert blush. The ladies of The Great Comet blur the lines between sensuality and badass like I've never seen before with Phillipa Soo (Natasha, the good girl), Amber Gray (Helene, the slut) and Grace McLean (the fierce dame, Marya) giving unbelievable power with every song. They may be damsels, but they are most definitely not in distress. They are supported by an ensemble of sickeningly talented actors and singers who make this performance truly unforgettable.
Now, running through January 5, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 is not to be missed. Grab a glass of vodka and say: "Nostrovya," to prove that the theatre is alive, well and sexier than ever!