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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

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Alumnus composer, writer, performer and sound designer Dave Malloy (B.F.A. 1998). Photo by Michael De Angelis.

Alumnus composer, writer, performer and sound designer Dave Malloy (B.F.A. 1998). Photo by Michael De Angelis.

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OHIO alumnus David Malloy’s newest musical is a shining success on Broadway


Ohio University’s School of Music celebrates the glowing critical success of alumnus Dave Malloy’s (B.F.A. 1998) newest Broadway production of “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” directed by frequent collaborator Rachel Chavkin, which opened November 14 at the Imperial Theater.

“Great Comet,” which The New York Times proclaimed, “The most innovative and the best new musical since Hamilton,” is an electropop opera based on portions of Leo Tolstoy’s “War & Peace.” The unconventional production has transformed the Imperial Theatre into a Russian salon engulfing the audience, creating an immersive experience featuring a cast headed by multi-platinum recording artist Josh Groban as Pierre and Denée Benton as Natasha. The show was named one of 2016’s best by the New York Times.

Originally premiering at Ars Nova in the fall of 2012, “Great Comet,” transferred Off-Broadway to Kazino, a Russian supper club built specially for the show. The show won multiple awards, including the Richard Rodgers Award, a Special Citation OBIE Award, an ASCAP New Horizons Award, five Drama Desk nominations, and taking home three of eleven Lucille Lortel nominations.

Malloy, a composer, writer, performer and sound designer studied closely with OHIO Distinguished Professor of Music Mark Phillips while an undergraduate in the School of Music in the late 1990’s.

“It was obvious even then that he was very bright and creative, with a wide range of interests beyond music—notably literature, poetry and dance. He accompanied dance classes while he was a student here, and worked with Andre Gribou. When I have composition students like Malloy, it’s important that I give them space to explore and broaden their experience, rather than forcing a narrow focus on degree requirements,” recalled Phillips.

“I have been actively following his career for about a decade — since his 2008 ‘Beowulf’production started creating waves.”

Malloy has written the music for eleven musicals, including “Ghost Quartet,” a song cycle about love, death and whiskey, which premiered in October 2014 at the Bushwick Starr for an extended, sold-out run followed by a production at The McKittrick Hotel, January 2016 and is now touring the country. Malloy’s musical “Beowulf” was staged with the Trinity Repertory Company, Rhode Island’s State Theater in September of this year.