The animated film, Anastasia, was one of my favorite films as a kid. When I found out it was being made into a musical, I was beyond excited. I just had to see Anastasia on Broadway! And for Mother’s Day, I was surprised with tickets to the show. Of course, I went with my favorite girl (my daughter). It was the perfect mommy and me date.
This princess doesn’t need saving…
What I always loved about Anastasia is her character. She was smart, strong and didn’t need saving like your typical princess. She suffered a tragedy and was left to take care of herself. These things toughened her up but humbled her as well.
The musical is simply magical. As I watched I got all the feels from these songs from my childhood! I would definitely see it again. If you loved the film, you will love the musical. Everything from the settings, sparkling costumes, and music including songs from the animated film, “Journey to the Past” and “Once Upon a December,” Anastasia is truly magical.
Anastasia the Musical
Anastasia the musical is inspired by the animated film and takes us back in time to see how the Russian Empire changed during the 1920s. It’s the sad story of a royal family being executed in order to establish a new government. All but one member of the royal family were murdered- Anastasia. During this period, many aristocrats fled to Paris for a better life.
“Anya” was played by Christy Altomare who I must say is one small girl with a great big voice! She gave an amazing performance that received a standing ovation at the end of the show. The rest of the cast is super talented. Vicki Lewis (Countess Lily) also steals the show with her energized (and hilarious) performances.
Anastasia suffers amnesia for many years and is forced to live a life of poverty, working as a street sweeper. She remembers bits and pieces of her past and knows she is supposed to meet someone in Paris. She sets out to discover the mystery of her past and has help from two men looking for a good payday. When they realize they have indeed found the lost princess, everything changes. The friendship formed between the three and their journey to get her back to her grandmother is quite magical.
Is the musical exactly like the animated film? Not quite, but almost. Instead of a zombified villain, there is a Soviet officer who is determined to silence Anastasia. He warns her that being Anastasia could cost her her life and that if told, he would have to do his job and execute her. But “Anya” listens to her heart and takes the risk in solving her mystery; discovering who she truly is.
Differences from the Animated Film, Anastasia
- Anastasia’s hair- In the film, it’s an auburn color and it’s short. She also wears a baker boy style hat. In the musical, her hair is long and blonde and no hat 🙁
- Her connection to her past- in the film, she has a necklace but in the musical, she has a diamond that was sewn into her undergarments.
- Where she stayed after she was found- In the film, she stays in an orphanage and in the musical, she talks about staying at a hospital.
- No furry friend. In the film, “Anya” has a little dog but in the musical, she does not 🙁
- The villain- in the film, Rasputin is a zombie type character who is out to finish his revenge on the Romanov family. He has a little sidekick bat (Bartok) who is super cute and funny. In the musical, there is a Soviet officer named Gleb whose father was a comrade that helped execute the Romanov family. He has a soft spot for “Anya” and warns her that he would have to finish the task if asked to.
- Additional songs- Fan favorites, “Once Upon a December” and “Journey to the Past” are included in the musical along with over a dozen new songs. The music is just beautiful and perfect for Anastasia. “Land of Yesterday,” a swinging jazz number performed by Countess Lily at the Neva Club in Paris was one of our favorites. Countess Lily is also a lot of fun and very different from Sophie, the lady in waiting from the film.
Take a journey to the past!
I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you but I’m sure you have an idea of how it ends. You’ll just have to go see for yourself but I’m willing to bet you’ll love it 🙂
(photo taken and edited by my daughter 🙂