You heard it here first folks!!!
Calling all musical fans! What I am about to announce will surely blow your minds. Can you recall an animation from your childhood that you wish they would remake, revive or even do a musical version of it?
The 1960’s-1990’s were full of animated musical films, which we have all come to cherish and love. Beauty and the Beast, originally filmed in 1991, is set for a remake in 2017, The Jungle Book from 1967 was reminagined in May 2016 with incredible special effects, and more recently, the much loved Disney’s Aladdin just made its West End Debut in London.
But what of the children’s movies we dream about at night? What about the stories that meant so much to us…stories of hope, love, loss and the struggle to escape the darkness and become who you were meant to be?
Well today is the day I finally get to reveal to you all, that the 1997 Fox Animation Movie and children’s classic, Anastasia will step out onto the Broadway stage in Spring 2017. When I heard of this, my heart skipped a beat and I swam in the delight that my favourite childhood flick would transform into an even bigger passion of mine…a musical.
For those who are not familiar with the backstory of Anastasia, it follows the early life, disappearance and re-discovery of the Princess Anastasia of Russia. During the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks killed 18 members of the Romanov Dynasty. But what ever happened to the Tsar’s youngest daughter, who was rumoured to have escaped from their clutches…her whereabouts and her legacy to be forever lost.
Through the magical writings of Terrance McNally, the expertise of Bil Taylor & Tom Kirdahy and the directorial excellence of Darko Tresnjak, the story of Anastasia’s escape is finally being told through the medium of musical theatre.
The magical re-telling of this wonderful and mesmerising tale begins with Anya/Anastasia (played by the stunning Christy Altomare), an orphan left alone, after the destruction and terror of the revolution. Completely unaware of who she is and who her family was, she sets out to discover herself… A Journey To The Past, some may call it.
All she has in her possession is a necklace, given to her by someone she presumes once loved her…with the simple inscription, “Together in Paris.” So what is Anya to do? Why go to Paris of course? Wait, but how?
In her attempt to gain exit tickets, she stumbles across 2 charming con-men, Dmitry and Vlad, who have been secretly holding auditions for impersonators of the Princess Anastasia. Their reason for such a thing? Their aim is to return the lost princess to her grandmother, the Dowager Empress Maria (Broadway star Mary Beth Peil) and collect the substantial reward. Whether or not these auditionees are indeed Anastasia, is of no concern to them…as long as she can play the part.
Nevertheless, whenever they get their first glimpse of Anya, they are struck with amazement at her similarities to the princess. With Anya’s lack of memories and wishes to belong to a family, paired with Dmitry (Derek Klena) and Vlad’s (John Bolton) money-making scheme, it seems like a match made in Heaven.
However, as the story develops, a little thing called love gets in the way. After flying to Paris in pursuit of both family and fortune, they get to meet the bubbly, exciting acquaintance of the Empress, Countess Lily (played by the delightful and crowd pleasing Caroline O’Connor).
As the collective belief grows, that Anya truly is Anastasia, so does Dmitry’s love for her, despite the tense, comical and stubborn relationship she has with him. However, as love blossoms and hopes of an imminent reunion on the horizon…something emerges from the darkness; threatening to destroy it all. Gleb, a general of the Bolsheviks; who now control Russia, hears whispers that Anastasia is still alive, and subsequently the belief that the Romanov Dynasty was finished is no longer true.
In a race against time, our brave trio rush to get to the Empress, before Anya’s intended fate eventually catches up with her. Exciting? Heart-warming? Beautiful? It is set to be all of these, and much, much more.
With original songs from the movie, such as the spirit-raising, “A Rumour in St. Petersburg,” to the uplifting and cheerful, “Learn To Do It,” fond memories will all come flooding back to you. Again with numbers such as the heart melting, “Journey To The Past,” and the most famous of all, “Once Upon A December,” this show will not disappoint.
With an extended musical score, written by Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens, this musical will prove to be the best movie-to-stage adaption that has ever hit Broadway. Already winning awards for Outstanding Production, Director, Lead Actress, Choreography, Costume, Lighting and Projection Design at the Conneticut Critics Circle Awards 2016, I predict that it won’t be long until this show is being performed to audiences all over the globe.
I plan on getting my tickets as soon as I can, to see this spectacular show for myself. Have you got yours? If not…this is what you need to know:
Anastasia The Musical will be coming to the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway (235 W. 44th Street, New York City)
Previews begin March 23rd 2017, with the public opening night scheduled for April 24th 2017. Tickets start at $69 and can be purchased online via the official page, by clicking HERE
And if that’s not enough to curb your appetite until April 2017, have a look at the first official teaser trailer for the musical, by simply clicking HERE.
Until next time, my fairy followers:
The Entertainment Fairy xxx