Josh Groban on His Broadway Debut in 'Great Comet'

Groban appears on "Popcorn with Peter Travers" to talk about his Broadway debut in the new musical "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812."
19:40 | 11/18/16

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Transcript for Josh Groban on His Broadway Debut in 'Great Comet'
We are. Okay. And. God it was slower and team. Do we can't. The a. I mean. God don't let me know and I'm. Yeah gone. Let me. I'm. Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers and welcome to popcorn we we tell you what's pop and in the pop culture and my guess that a Josh Groban. I tried to have him on Tatis. Million movie. You know he's on TV sneaking in through different things and you know you could see him in the hollers. One. He does it make a CD every year but it's kind of like every other year and occasionally sells like. The seed here to Ebert said only that but now. But now to me this is the lake really exciting music of Broadway and he is making his Broadway debut. In a show called the top. 1812 now that's my work at a self help effort expect. But you know you already worked out. All of this negative for the lightning. It's how exciting it is is the most excited I've been since it was first signed into the industry's seventeen years old with new. Scary wonderful thing for me after so many years of making set albums and touring which is the only reason I haven't seen reports that twins you're always but but it's it's it's a chance for me to. To both go back to my past and and dive head first into the thing that got me started in this business began with. And also try something completely sold what you're talking we're not acting when you say that because she studied that first I would theaters major at Carnegie Mellon University it was that he musical fear and that was my dream I was doing. The lead roles in my high school went to great art high school with heavy and Fiddler on the Roof. I think that I mean I've anything that clear that that's all England played on the Tonys they Hayes me on the town is a plea and yeah. But yet you know as a high school ten I think you definitive I can high school to hiking grow the beard myself this is like. High five coming on yourself. But but before that it was you know right. It would be Mahoney it means rainbow and you know one of doing you know shows like Sweeney Todd is the point that it arts camp and I want to Carnegie Mellon which was like. This was a critical crime class at Carnegie Mellon was myself early thirteen of us Leslie at a junior Josh gad Rory O'Malley is knocking George Hamilton. Katie Nixon. I mean we were a class of one Americans and we were we all options to each no we actually. There inspire is the point we were so scared I think we were intimidated by each other. There there may be with a little bit of coldness just as the fighting each other up because we were all we were all our schools we got to college. So you know we all were the leads in our perspective musicals were over city we came in Europe but here we're definitely get hurt I don't who was the actual it's it's like the Gary Larson cartoon word we're got with the green glass and fixes that well let's just watch now. That was us like we we were just we all had to sing for each other that first day. And we all realized we had very different strengths. And and that was in a testament to Carnegie in their except because I can get and in many other musical theater protest because it was not. A a chorus. You know I couldn't I couldn't high kick but couldn't jazz hands really I was a dramatic moving Barrett town. And so there were only a limited number of those kind of roles. And so Carty he saw something in me and and of course they reward that by signing record the only thing but. I but I I you know I had an opportunity. You went to that crazy music money well you know wasn't thrilled with it at that point. Now they told me that if I if I like him breaking even if like Vegas that the winds to you know walk away. No it was it was interesting because at that point I was I was being courted by. My record label Warner Bros. and David Foster we've heard anything sixteen event. And I said you know as well this school is due in theaters is what my goal past has been. And and they may be an offer that that was not out of monetary want it was one that was a morbid master class like experience one which was basically you're in school to be a performer. This is an opportunity. Two. Two C real world real world experiences to to make an album with one of the top producers have lived. And so I thought well of one's Columbia doctors and without them being a real fork in the road. But we all knew his freshman at the end of four years you showcase and then the doors close. And you're out there in the world anyway he's trying to make things happen such as our year well that can't happen. Absolutely and a lot of extraordinarily talented kids. Have that rude awakening in the four years and it takes a long time sometimes especially if they're unique. And I knew not you know being a troubled double threat not a triple threat. That it might take me a minute after four years to find my group and so the fact that I had a champion at that age that said this is unique. I believe in you I think there's an audience. Talk of what my parents and they are the most. They're the biggest proponents of education and my mom's a teacher you know and they said yes when you have this teacher this this might be a class you can't you can't turn down and so I took a leave of him and quit a code of conduct in the year. But make parents happy yeah exactly yeah the exactly might go back I surely. Oh back yeah old man of I had if I had to go back. After testing out the music it is. You know it would have been it would have been like. I had tried I think anything that Erica they gave me many iWeb back can go so well that could happen. It was necessary dip this thing and then the stars that line in order from a music career to actually double what was that was not. A and TV you know I got signed in the age of boy band's rap rock and snow you know if you didn't have. You know a group for a order or video. What we gonna do with so it took them when you. The before windy that when Allie McBeal the first thing yet it was the race you've seen it yet but at the same time there's a performance going on yeah you're doing well and because I hadn't been released yet Alan up and released yet. The greatest compliment I got was people writing in saying. Com loved the episode who did you who was the singer was doing the voice for that actor. And Celek. Here it's yet selling I have got a ring to it. But but they didn't know that I was doing the singing as well so. You know so that's that was a big break for me doing that was. You know and I didn't get a chance to audition is. I was going to Wrigley to the wedding six I was gonna see thirty seconds Robert Downey junior closed locker in the area at the end of that episode it was. Premier members that show that was at the time when their romance with big thing TV. And and Robert Downey junior was having a difficult time in his life at that point personal problems was arrested and could not Schultz that. And so David. 22 weeks ago. It started in the high school and mosque that analyzes my. It's heartless and obliterate the Fiddler on the Roof of a trail of great value I'd say don't bark yeah one Euro one absolutely. Think of it I Revere had all of those. T have that at that young aides where I guess it David Foster that says. Can you common rehearse with Celine Dion be right cause I dread which Kelly is selected analysts yes it was it was it was this a lot of stars lining up. They say that luck is preparation meets opportunity and I had. I'm massive doors that were on extremely difficult to walk through but they were opened and I was very lucky. For me. The thing I saw you do that made me think he could that you could pulled off was chests. It is at Royal Albert Hall that was a theater. And it is DD DPS should go look at this as it's amazing sentiment out yet it's out of Pasco but that you want playing this part this bottle on a room in him. No chance Russian chess. You don't know exactly and it's a very kind of calculated in cold. You know character that has had there's different we chose an ending that we thought was the most juicy of all the endings because in every every time that the show has been on stage they changed it. You know sometimes he defects sometimes these days. Suggs hit up. Sometimes the American has won the ethics Healy is particularly the book is the book if they didn't think you're great exactly right and that's why we felt it was. So great to of the concert to act the concert eaten because once you once you leave behind. You know the music first aspect of the book is is a world this will dense. And down and so. But thank you for that I had a great time doing it now is I think one of the first moments where really realize that I I want to at some point in the future but back in the fear. Well in you so that it's in back into it. By doing that he deed it's called stages but where you're seeing all those you have the idea that this was not part of the plan when I mean that record. So I. I did you have no master. I don't have to believe that are not kind of plan that is an ivy checked out where's that I I have no sense they'll know how to be shrewd in this industry I wish I did I guess I will still be quite tempting I'd just I'd do exactly at a gladly you know but. Now he gets got a can always go where the goose bumps are aware. You know your your heart strings are telling you go and also where you feel scared I think that that for me. When I feel like I've been doing some for a long time and this. You know making this musical theater records scary thing because again it to be back to the first days where it's at who will whose animals this knows her audience for this is a passion project. And that it did quite well and then right in the middle promoting that I read a theater blog. That they were thinking of bringing touch theater comedy can twelfth two Broadway. I'd love the show in the past and you see and I think it's a brilliant show that I have felt deserved that transfer for a long time. And so I reached out and they want to preaching at the same time I did they knew that if and the show. And and what they went when other and I had drinks with creator Dave Malloy in the directorate for tech and and we talked about a both of our visions for the show I'm a little bit of a different style vocal here and the other peers. And and it just wanna be went totally jelling clicking and and so the fact that we got the imperial theatre at the exact time when my tour was ending. It just wound up being an I've waited a long islander and other things are looking at theater whys and what they want but one could have been him often enough I'm. And I rapist I don't I'm not not a quadruple threat it really huge nine aren't they they aren't their only when a karaoke get wasted yet. And then finally get a that it is just had a lot it's just baby got back but they heads at least that he had and it gets to stay in in the room by tambourine and I and lazy. Yeah. Because of your music and doomed romance. Yeah its you have a following. Sure that the that follow you know who I don't know if they're even dangerous sometimes Eagles they comment I'll cut you. But I wanna say that show is an immersive experience it is so wit every seeing it yet. YouTube could be sitting next year Josh while he thing totally that are present tickets there are paid. They are I should be some kind of lottery they know we are we are we had a lottery yet but because because it really is I've seen the show. Because I was on tour couldn't do it in Cambridge so why I went for a few days and capers sought from every angle. And you could if you choose to you can see the show three you can see basically three different shows. Depending on where you're sitting here doing a very different aspect of what's going on and including the mezzanine and balcony. Is one of the best views in the house because you can see down on the entire. You know game board that we have down there so. But it's going to be a huge hit because they just ran the day he wrecked with the port Hubert people they've they're you know what are you doing coordinator we take it out all the scandal ever placing what ours. We've taken out seats are stages snaking through the seats. You know so. Either we are transforming this theater in between nineteenth century Russian supper supper club. And I love that about it because for me and it theater school we learn about just the idea that once they walk through those front doors. They're in your world and you want to create the most magic experience for them because they probably send traffic they've been standing in line we're going to be going through the winter going to be cold. And when they come in they're going to be walking through. A war bunker. They're going to be going in the doors are gonna open and they're going to be in this lush velvet. Supper house with paintings everywhere in this gorgeous Dade. I compare to it when I walked into baseball's first he'd matter how crappy day I've had. When I see the field for the first time that I did my jaw drop its off field and I three baseball yeah and I just as for the next four hours I'm gonna be in Atlanta's. You know often times that moment only happens once the first curtain rises and you rule in your hand. But Atmel what happens from the won't be walking the front doors in the shall I think that even though they knew there was going to be some construction and it was gonna take a lot of work. The schubert's have been wonderful and our producer Howard. And Kagan has been incredible in that they they got it they wanted they wanna bet that who that magic of it to happen. And for those that saw an earlier incarnations that the tenth and things like that it was more into but it was small but. I was talking to Dave Malloy about it he basically said it will at the imperial we finally get a chance to do it the way Tolstoy wrote it. Which is to have this grand opera this this room that is where the chandeliers they are good can rise like like the opera. And to have the space. This this this dramatic Russian space. It's actually more in line with. The details of book we should tell the deep. That there because I'd met the Lawton they're thinking bit you obesity. But yes those are very expensive public life and music and we interactive deal a fourth wall and the director Rachel is. I'm is so great about allowing us from acting perspective. It's different every night for because you know so much for acting is reacting seniors have that. To have that response from the audience where your singing songs dead people's eyes light. Electric and you don't know it's going to be surprise shopper. Already have somebody do in this idea that it makes you two were you singing. And if they've gotten out here is gonna Goebel with a thick Italian. You don't want to (%expletive) off here. Give you an airline that rocket Ares audio of the rest of them don't let you know drunken did you -- history is likely succeed and I don't wanna scare off people and you're doing a seven hour musical version of warned you know it's a seven EPA's list and -- the our show team from the very juicy part of the shows that people thought to himself. This would make great and he actually was play your part when he originated so how did he do about UT II did I didn't keep anybody guilty. Replace at no I didn't do it and so it. He won in million cast me you know you need to cut decision not to not act in the show. Again and at least for now and I I personally would love for you at some point. When I'm on but. Probably be back and then go in and then that'll make you happy BB king George that we have got them out through or reorder. But let's just say to those people who here is yet to be McIntosh shore so peer Natasha have. Very. Interest in relationship in the book as a whole eventually cricket married have kids and have a happy life but not an issue not in the show in this in this time period they're both going through great. Personal turmoil which is why Dave thought it would be such a great section. I'm Natasha is love Andrei has gone off to war so she is this nineteen year old. Country is in the Andre is that he had him exactly in what caused our country is here. You know when the cat's away so I'm she is wooed by this Casanova and uncle who of course makes her wonder it's like an episode of Maury you know oh Lorena. And at that she loves the ball with others that turmoil of writing him letters to war but also being would hold she's confused meanwhile here. Is married to a woman that he knows does piers come into a great deal of money. He is the ease the guys I'm TO and she's she's she's a hot promiscuous lady that that. He knows is cheating on all the time but he he's such a pushover and has all this internal anger. That he just kind of sit through it. And so he's constantly drinking and meanwhile he's just contemplating the world war. The universe why are we here because I had some depression. Oh yeah but there is that there is that hidden ship was missed two shivery tune to duke here. There is a grant amnesty and it's a but it takes place through anger and confusion and and sometimes wonderment I know that it's all basically resting on yeah. So perhaps feeling Oprah I well that the reason I'm not feeling pressure it is. That I know what an ensemble piece mrs. and I know that whatever reason they come through the door. I know what it is their idea and I'm excited for them because. Because the ensemble is so extraordinary mind. My extraordinary costar Anthony Benton who's so wonderful. Lucas Steele please and it all. Agrees the clean please. Mario I mean it's it's this casts many of them did it in the original so many of them have done it all this time there are 28 Broadway debuts in the show. So the energy for all of must be so interconnected for all of us to be cogs in this beautiful we'll. Is palpable like we're just also giddy and excited so whatever that yes the promoting me my names in lights. This the music is so great the story is so great asset is so great this cast is so great. I'm excited. For the discoveries they're going to have even if they're coming in because at the line I'm excited for what they don't know they want. I think that's kind of the great thing I think introduces another audience into the theater which really crude and vice Versa you know there are going to be people who've never. Don't know me from Adam said. That our theater fans that are gonna come in and hopefully it's a way for me to show another side as well also goes both ways. I am I do have to get you out of here but this show always ends in song. Yeah end. I was hoping rather than you did something you've already done yeah that she would hit something that from the movie yeah did meal it. Oh now you have to tell where the show went oh my gosh we don't and we always end in song. Though they are Hodges a cave. Some. His goal was Greek the when there honk. In the sky. You'll get. If use. 30 our parents rule. Small. Land create two mob rule. You'll see a in this time as shining through. Infuse. Food should some. Tony town lay out how it happened. Yeah that's a good what did yeah. Thank you just think this is great had a good time really what does.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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