Dive into imperial Russia and the mysteries of the Romanov dynasty with Anastasia! Inspired by the 1956 film starring Ingrid Bergman, as well as the beloved 1997 animated movie featuring the voice of Meg Ryan, the screen-to-stage musical production reimagines the tragic end of Tsar Nicholas II’s family, questioning what would have happened if the ruler’s youngest daughter Anastasia had lived. An epic tale of history and adventure sprinkled with romance and the journey of self-discovery, Anastasia breathes life into the legend of the Grand Duchess’s survival.
The story opens with a flashback to early 20th century St. Petersburg: 7-year-old Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna is gifted a cherished music box by her grandmother, the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna, before the latter moves far away to Paris. Flash forward eleven years, to an imperial ball attended by Anastasia and the royal family: joy quickly gives way to horror as the lavish party is invaded by the Bolsheviks, and the fleeing royals are tragically massacred. Young Anastasia is struck by a bullet and the rebels abscond from the palace, leaving her and her family for dead.
Flash forward 10 more years to 1927: St. Petersburg is now called Leningrad, and its people are in despair over their pitiful living conditions, yet hang on to a glimmer of hope in the form of a rumor that Grand Duchess Anastasia managed to escape the Bolshevik attacks and is still alive. This gossip angers ambitious Bolshevik general Gleb Vaganov, charged with squelching the rumor and ensuring there has been a definitive end to the Romanov dynasty. Whispers of Anastasia’s survival spread far and wide, ultimately reaching the Dowager Empress in Paris, who offers a reward for her safe return.
News of the reward money finds its way to crafty conmen Dmitry and Vlad, who hatch a plan to find the perfect naïve young girl and mold her into a convincing Anastasia, so they can present the imposter to the Dowager Empress and claim the reward for themselves. Enter Anya, a young, amnesiac street sweeping peasant who bears a close physical resemblance to the renowned Anastasia. Vlad and Dmitry take her under their wing, convince her of her royal heritage, and set off for Paris to introduce her to the Dowager Empress, all the while under hot pursuit by general Gleb. From Russia all the way to France, an epic tale of self-discovery, romance, trickery and adventure ensues.
Will the Dowager Duchess be fooled into believing Anya is her long-lost granddaughter? Can Vlad and Dmitry recoup the reward money? And will Anya finally uncover the mysteries of her past? Book your tickets for Anastasia today and find out in person!
Historically speaking, Tsar Nicholas II was an avid photographer who enjoyed capturing his family on film, and Anastasia’s producers drew heavily from the archives of pictures he left behind in order to create a very authentic visual performance. From glistening royal regalia, replete with lavish fabrics and sparkly diadems, to the jewel-tone ball gowns so weighty and voluminous they require pulley systems to be lowered onto the actors, the musical pulls out all the visual stops. The show is a feast for the eyes, including highly diverse choreography consisting of everything from ballet to jazz to Russian folk dances, and ultra-high-definition 4K projection-filled sets which add distinctly cinematic elements to the show, hearkening back to its roots on the silver screen.
Music & Cast
Fans of the animated film will be happy to know that Anastasia the musical features all six of the movie’s beloved songs, like “Once Upon a December” and “Journey to the Past,” plus fresh new music unique to the Broadway experience. Composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens were behind the film’s original music and worked tirelessly to create sixteen new songs for the show which explain the musical’s plot and dig deeper into the characters’ psyches. From simplistic hummed folk songs to music box-inspired lullabies, jazzy rhythms of Paris in the 1920’s and turbulent Russian dance music, Anastasia’s soundtrack enriches the storyline and enlivens the audience.
Lila Coogan stars as Anya, and her captivatingly powerful vocals catapult her to the forefront throughout the show. Similarly, the robust voices of Stephen Brower as Dmitry, Edward Staudenmayer as Vlad and Jason Michael Evans as Gleb showcase these actors’ talents and leave spectators spellbound.
Lauded with 2 Tony Award nominations, 1 Drama Desk Award win, and a prize from the Outer Critics Circle, Anastasia continues to delight audiences and critics alike. The Huffington Post hails the story as “an iconic tale of empowerment… [a] triumphant celebration of courage, love and reconciliation,” while Time Out New York praises the story as “a sweeping adventure, romance and historical epic” full of discoveries at every turn.
Where To Watch
Anastasia made its debut with previews in Hartford, CT in 2016. After months of fine-tuning, the production premiered on Broadway in April 2017. With over 700 performances to date, the show is still running in New York at the Broadhurst Theatre. Thanks to its critical acclaim and night after night of sold-out shows, Anastasia has embarked on a national tour across the US – with upcoming performances in Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, California and beyond – and also made waves overseas in Madrid and Stuttgart. Audiences everywhere agree that Anastasia is a captivating musical that’s not to be missed, so don’t delay and book your tickets now with BroadwayToday!
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