The Broadway musical Anastasia is based off the popular 20th Century Fox animated movie released in 1997 of the same name. It was recently brought to the theatrical stage, making its official Broadway debut in April of 2017.

The musical closely follows the plot of the animated movie, making some plot changes to remove the magical aspect and adding more musical numbers. The show follows a young lady named Anya who lives in St. Petersburg during the Russian revolution.  

Poster for Anastasia the Musical. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Anya encounters two con men, the young and handsome Dmitry and ex-Imperial Court member Vlad, who have heard the rumours of the possible surviving of the grand duchess Anastasia and that the Dowager Empress Maria was willing to play a large amount of money to whoever finds her granddaughter.

Anya naively gets involved in the “biggest con in history” because she believes she will find he answers she’s looking for in Paris, France where Dmitry and Vlad are off to. The plan goes astray as all great plans do and becomes a journey that digs into her past and helps Anya and Dmitry learn about who they are.

Both the film and stage adaptation are based off the story of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of Imperial Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas the Second. In July of 1918, the Russian royal family was murdered by a mob but rumours were spread that the Duchess Anastasia may have survived.

These rumors circulated for decades because Anastasia’s body never being found until 2007, which lead to a shut down in rumours. Due to the possibility of the duchess’s survival, many women tried to pass of as Anastasia, just like in the musical.

Although the film adaptation included spells, potion and evil warlocks such as Rasputin, the Broadway musical is altered to remove the fantastical aspect such as replacing Rasputin with a new antagonist named Gleb.

The musical keeps a couple of the iconic songs such as ‘Once Upon A December’ and ‘Journey to the Past’ then also adds other extraordinary musical numbers such as ‘Crowd of Thousands’ and ‘My Petersburg’.

The musical has received much praise so far for its running nine month run. Stars of the show have even made appearances during BroadwayCon, an annual convention in New York City that is dedicated to Broadway show fanatics.

 In 2017, Anastasia received two Tony award nominations which was very miraculous considering the official Broadway opening was on April 24th and the Tonys cut-off date was April 27th, making it a close call. Even though the show didn’t win awards, there is still a chance for this year’s Tony award.

Anastasia has been growing a lot lately, appearing in multiple YouTube ads and having a performance during the annual a Thanksgiving Day Parade. With its large success in the states, Anastasia will be taking on Europe, starting in Madrid, Spain.

This European debut has recently been announced as of January, 2018 therefore casting and such is yet to be announced. Plans to take to show to other countries are in discussion.

As for now the musical only belongs to the Broadway stage, to anyone who looks up the original cast album on Spotify and to all Anastasia fanatics.

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