The All-Encompassing Set of 'Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812'

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 Josh Groban and the cast of "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812."

Broadway musicals can be as much about the music as they are about the costumes and set. That's definitely the case for the show "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812."

Based on a part of "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy, the musical had a successful run off-Broadway where the audience was immersed in the show: the set was a Russian nightclub where the performers sang and danced, even fought next to the audience. That set was an essential part of the show and one that the creative team had to re-imagine for a Broadway theater with more than a thousand seats.

Josh_Groban, Denée_Benton, natasha_pierre_and_the_great_comet_of_1812

WNYC's Richard Hake went to the Imperial Theater to speak with Rachel Chavkin, the musical's director, and set designer Mimi Lien about the challenges of staging this show on Broadway, and why it matters.