One of the things that bothers me so much about this Broadway season is that many of Great Comet’ defining aspects were things repeatedly praised in Hamilton only last year, yet they were largely ignored in GC’s production.
Everyone (not just the Broadway tumblr fanbase, I’m also referring to the mainstream media) praised Hamilton for its diversity, and rightfully so. And while Great Comet was not as diverse as Hamilton, its use of racially blind casting should be used as a model for all future productions. Denée Benton, a black woman with natural hair playing a romantic lead of a prominent musical about old Russians, is damn groundbreaking. Oak’s upcoming turn as Pierre proves this commitment to diversity by the show. Yes, Hamilton did this last year, but one show acting in this way does not excuse ignoring others for doing the same.
Everyone praised Hamilton for seamlessly blended together multiple genres of music; again, rightfully so. Great Comet did this to an even greater extent. Dave Malloy’s score beautifully combined seemingly every genre to create a cohesive, genius piece of work. He utilized these different genres to describe his characters so subtly no one realizes he’s doing it. I could take for pages about how his score is a damn masterpiece, but the point lies in that Hamilton was widely praised for doing the very thing Great Comet is being ignored (or even downright criticized) for.
Finally, many praised Lin’s using of an unconventional source material to tell an excellent Broadway musical. But, again, Dave Malloy looking at a tiny sliver of a classic novel and deciding it should be an electropop opera musical? How? He took something so frequently adapted and made it incredibly original in ways many do not realize. It’s quite frustrating to see writers using the War & Peace origins as only an introductory statement instead of the praise it should be.
tl;dr: I’m just really pissed so many people ignore Great Comet’s successes in the very categories they praised Hamilton for okay sorry for the rant