Russia-Themed Musical Dumps Russian Vodka, Supports LGBTs

By: Brandon Voss

It's not the best time to be a Russia-set musical based on War and Peace, but Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 is making the best out of borscht.

Following a hit downtown summer engagement, Dave Malloy’s electro-pop opera, which was inspired by the 1869 Tolstoy classic, has transfered to a new space in NYC's Theater District on West 45th Street. In light of Russia's antigay laws and attitudes, the musical's producers have announced their support of Human Rights Watch as they work to end discrimination and abuse against the LGBT community in Russia. 

The Great Comet producers will donate $10,000 plus all food and beverage sales from the tonight's first uptown performance at Kazino. They'll also contribute all proceeds from tonight's special after-party, which is free of charge and open to anyone wishing to show support for the Russian LGBT community.

“As we invite audiences into our own version of an opulent supper club celebrating Tolstoy’s Russia, we hope to see a contemporary Russia that supports its LGBT community," write Howard and Janet Kagan, the show’s lead producers, in a statement. "We are glad to support Human Rights Watch in their efforts to bring that vision to reality. Also, at Kazino, we promise that until the rights of the Russian LGBT community are ensured, we will only pour vodkas made in the US and Northern and Western Europe.”

Find more info about Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812's limited run here.