Book Review – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 – Steven Suskin and Dave Malloy

NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 – Steven Suskin and Dave Malloy (Sterling Books – ISBN: 9781454923282)

The musical of this same name is currently playing to capacity audiences on Broadway, starring Josh Groban and Denée Benton.

So, what better tie-in than a gorgeously produced tome which takes you through the whole process from the first thought in creator Dave Malloy’s head to the opening on Broadway? [Malloy wrote the music, lyrics, book and orchestrations.]

This is a splendid book – from the moment I opened the envelope and saw the gorgeously designed cover, to the minute I finished reading it (took two sittings, but I couldn’t put it down), I was enthralled.

I must say right here and now: I haven’t seen the musical – haven’t been that lucky – but I feel as if I have, just by devouring this book from cover to cover.

Although it says the book is written by Steven Suskin and Dave Malloy, that isn’t strictly true. In addition, other chapters give you a marvellous insight into different aspects of the production, written by costume designer Paloma Young; producer Howard Kagan; choreographer Sam Pinkleton; music director Or Matias; Josh Groban (Pierre); and many others involved with the show.

This is a wonderful way to hear all the different voices explaining in detail what it took to get this amazing production from Malloy’s mind to Broadway.

There is also a complete script at the end of the book with annotations by Malloy, and these are little gems that you should definitely not miss.

On the inside back cover there is a CD with three 3 songs from the Off-Broadway production, along with two all-new recordings for the Broadway show featuring Josh Groban.

I can’t recommend this book enough. Okay, it costs £35, but I feel it is worth every penny. Loaded with photos, diagrams, designs, etc, printed on beautiful quality paper and all contained within hardback covers – a book you will treasure for many years.

Nick Wakeham

Find out how to win a copy of this book by heading over to our Twitter feed!

Readers may also be interested in:

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 – Imperial Theatre, New York – Review

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