A serious hit! Broadway’s got a bright new star, and its name is Anastasia! Inspired by the beloved films, Anastasia takes you on a magical journey from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young Anya sets out to discover the mystery of her past, find love, and re-discover her long lost family.
“A monster hit! I loved it even more the second time.” The New York Times
“A SERIOUS HIT! Broadway’s got a bright new star – its name is Anastasia.” – NBC
“A big, wonderful Broadway musical with plenty of charms to thrill the audience.” – NY1
A young, amnesiac Anya is un-wittingly coerced into joining the biggest con in Eastern Europe, to travel to Paris and play the part of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna long lost granddaughter. But things do not start off as easily as they planned, the handsome Dmitry and his socialite business partner Vlad must now whisk Anya through Mother Russia and across Europe to Paris, while being pursued by the indomitable General Gelb and his army of Bolsheviks, all while schooling Anya in history, dancing, and etiquette, without letting her in on the con. As they reach France, they realize all is not as they had hoped, the Dowager Empress has heard reports and rumors about various impersonators and has given up hope of ever finding Anastasia. What will happen when Anya presents herself as her long lost granddaughter, and what of the young love that is starting to grow between her and the handsome Dimitry?
The musical is based on the 1997 animated musical drama alternate history film starring the voices of Meg Ryan, John Cusack, and Kelsey Grammer. The film was based on the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia and shares the plot of the 1956 film of the same name, which itself was, in turn, based on the 1954 play of the same name by Marcelle Maurett. The 1997 film added in the magical Grigori Rasputin as the main antagonist. However, this new 2017 musical omits the supernatural elements from the 1997 film, including the character of Rasputin and his musical number, and introduces a new villain called Gelb, a general for the Bolsheviks who receives orders to kill Anya.
Anastasia premiered off-Broadway at the Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut, where it won 6 Connecticut Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical, Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Costume Design and Outstanding Projection Design. A year later it moved onto Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre in April 2017, winning a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Projection Design, and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Projection Design from a total of 38 nominations! The show has spawned multiple productions worldwide.
The stage production is written by four-time Tony award winner Terrence McNally, directed by Tony award winning Darko Tresnjak, Anastasia’s music and lyrics were written by Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, they kept six songs from the movie, and added in 16 new numbers to combine with the choreography from MTV award winning Peggy Hickey and the astonishing scenery created by Alexander Dodge, and the costume design by the Tony award winning Linda Cho.
Review of Anastasia by Adam Feldman at the Broadhurst Theatre for TimeOut NY.
“As Anastasia piles discovery upon discovery, the happiest surprise is how consistently good the musical turns out to be. Smartly adapted by Terrence McNally from the 1997 animated film and the 1956 Ingrid Bergman movie-with Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens impressively expanding their score from the former-Anastasia is a sweeping adventure, romance and historical epic whose fine craftsmanship will satisfy musical-theater fans beyond the show’s ideal audience of teenage girls. (When I saw it, a second-act kiss was greeted with deafening shrieks of approval.)”