Here's Why People Are Conflicted About Mandy Patinkin Joining "Great Comet"

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Mandy Patinkin will be taking over for Hamilton alum Okieriete Onaodowan as Pierre in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, ending Onaodowan’s run three weeks early.

When it was announced on Wednesday that Broadway veteran and Homeland star Mandy Patinkin would step into the role of Pierre in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet, theater fans were initially thrilled.

When it was announced on Wednesday that Broadway veteran and Homeland star Mandy Patinkin would step into the role of Pierre in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet, theater fans were initially thrilled.

Patinkin, who made a name for himself with shows like Sunday in the Park With George and Evita, hasn’t been on Broadway since An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin in 2012.

Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images

But Patinkin is joining the cast Aug. 15, meaning the current star, Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, will be leaving the show on Aug. 13, three weeks before his previously announced departure.

Onaodowan is best known for his role as Hercules Mulligan in the original Broadway cast of Hamilton. He joined Great Comet as Pierre on July 11, taking over for original star Josh Groban. Onaodowan’s run was originally scheduled to end Sept. 3.

Chad Batka

It was not immediately clear if Onaodowan had chosen to end his run early or if he had been asked to do so in order to make room for Patinkin, a bigger name. But producer Howard Kagan confirmed people’s fears that it was the latter.

It was not immediately clear if Onaodowan had chosen to end his run early or if he had been asked to do so in order to make room for Patinkin, a bigger name. But producer Howard Kagan confirmed people's fears that it was the latter.

“This continues our show’s remarkable history of having great actors and singers see the show as audience members, only to tell us they are inspired to join the cast!” Kagan said in an interview with Broadway World on Wednesday. “Whenever possible we will accommodate them as we did here with Mandy and his Homeland TV schedule. Oak, who was scheduled to appear as Pierre for this period graciously agreed to make room for Mandy, and we sincerely hope that Oak will return to us in the fall or winter. He is a terrific Pierre.”

Chad Batka


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