Drawing inspiration from the beloved films, Anastasia the Musical lets us peek at the life of the protagonist Anya during the 1920s Russian Empire as she sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. On her way to Paris, they all embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.
“A SERIOUS HIT! Broadway’s got a bright new star – its name is Anastasia.” – NBC TV
“A monster hit! I loved it even more the second time.” – The New York Times
“A big, wonderful Broadway musical with plenty of charms to thrill the audience.” – NY1
“Anastasia the Musical” is a magical production of the playwright Terrence McNally which beautifully tweaked the story of the beloved animated Disney movie and the 1956 Anatole Litvak’s film featuring Ingrid Bergman. The Tony Award-winner playwright perfectly weaves the story by using the facts of Anastasia’s life and her legend to spin a compelling and entertaining yarn. It is all set back in 1917 when Tsar Nicholas II was imprisoned along with his wife Alexandra and their five children. All of them were imprisoned and later executed by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. However, rumors persisted that the youngest daughter, the Grand Duchess Anastasia, somehow survived. Over time, many women claimed to be Anastasia, though none of their claims were ever proven.
Like the films before it, this fascinating piece of history is where the story of Anastasia the Musical revolves around. Although some of the loved facets of the movies — especially the animated film — are not in the musical, it is equally as magical. The evil Rasputin isn’t in the musical, but he is replaced by a dedicated Bolshevik watchdog, Gleb.
The musical’s opening starts in 1906 with a touching scene between 5-year-old Anastasia and her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, being unfortunately separated trying to flee. We are then taken moments later into seeing the family’s fate and the Bolsheviks’ rise to power — all presented in a visually stunning and powerful sequence.
Fast forward to 1927, we are presented with a pair of opportunists, Dmitry and Vlad, trying to plot a scheme to find a girl, teach her to be Anastasia, and introduce her to the Dowager Empress in Paris, and collect the publicized reward for Anastasia’s return. They found a young street sweeper with amnesia named Anya who bears a striking resemblance to Anastasia and has no memory of her past. The two instantly believe they’ve found the right girl for their scheme. However, as they try to coach her into acting like the lost grand duchess, they begin to believe that they have found the real Anastasia — and begin a journey that changes all their lives.
The entire ensemble was supremely talented. Not only did they take us to various locations and times, displayed in “The Last Dance of the Romanovs” or “Paris Holds the Key (To Your Heart).” I should also mention that the quick changes that every actor was required to make was incredibly impressive. It truly helped move the story from scene to scene seamlessly, as well as the incredible scene animations that take us from Petersburg where explosions are occurring, to a train, to Paris at the ballet!
Anastasia is a beautiful musical enjoyed by audience members of all ages!BWW Review: ANASTASIA at Times Union Center For The Performing Arts
“Anastasia” delivers a beautiful score and memorable songs that evoke pre-revolutionary Russia and the jazz age of Paris, all with a modern flair.” – Mary Damiano, ‘Palm Beach Daily News’
“… now the secret can be told: Anastasia is the richest and fullest family show to hit Broadway in years!” – Adam Feldman, “Time Out Theater”
“Anastasia” is more scaled-down and intimate than Disney’s stage musicals. As directed by Darko Tresnjak (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”), it looks elegant, moves seamlessly and makes unusually great use of background digital projections.” – Matt Windman, ‘AMNY Newsletter’
With its opulent settings, dazzling costumes, and a soaring score including the song favorites from the hit animated film, “Journey to the Past” and “Once Upon a December,” ANASTASIA is a spectacular new musical about discovering who you are and defining who you’re meant to be.