Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 writer has filed a petition in New York County Supreme Court to begin arbitration on a dispute involving unpaid royalties from international productions of the Tony nominated musical. As reported in The New York Times, Malloy's filing claims producer Howard Kagan owes him "hundreds of thousands of dollars" for a 2019 Japanese production and a Korean mounting in 2021.
The legal filing is not the first surrounding The Great Comet; Ars Nova, which developed the musical before its Broadway bow, went to court over how the company was credited in the Broadway Playbill, a dispute that was ultimately settled.
Based on a portion of Tolstoy's War and Peace, The Great Comet premiered Off-Broadway in 2012 at Ars Nova with an immersive production directed by Rachel Chavkin. With a performance space transformed to look like an opulent Russian club, Chavkin's staging placed the action in and around the audience. The production moved to a temporary structure christened Kazino in the Meatpacking District for a further run in 2013, later moving to another temporary location in the theatre district. Following a pre-Broadway run at Massachusetts' American Repertory Theatre, the piece made its Broadway debut in 2016 at the Imperial Theatre.
Malloy lead the cast as Pierre during the original Off-Broadway run, alongside Phillipa Soo, Lucas Steele, Amber Gray, Brittain Ashford, Nick Choksi, Gelsey Bell, Blake DeLong, Amelia Workman, and Paul Pinto. Steele, Gray, Ashford, Choksi, Bell, and Pinto continued with the work to its Broadway debut, with Josh Groban and Denée Benton taking over as Pierre and Natasha, respecitvely; Malloy replaced Groban later in the run. The Broadway production was nominated for 12 2017 Tony Awards, winning Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Bradley King and Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Mimi Lien.