How do you replace a name as recognizable as Josh Groban? Broadway’s Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 is going with a man who needs no introduction, Hercules Mulligan. The show announced today that Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, who originated the role of Mulligan and James Madison in Hamilton, will replace Groban in the role of Pierre starting July 3. He’ll star alongside Denée Benton, who currently plays Natasha, meaning that the show, which is based on sections of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, will have two black actors playing lead characters not specifically written to be black. Also, we hope this means that Onaodowan follows Josh Groban’s footsteps elsewhere and releases a whole Christmas album, preferably all in a Hercules Mulligan voice.
A star rising into a Comet. Photo: Walter McBride/Getty Images