Details: More information can be found at https://www.anastasiabroadway.com/ and http://www.playbill.com/production/anastasia-broadhurst-theatre-2016-2017
Anastasia is one of the most Disney stories I’ve ever seen that was not made by Disney. This musical is based on the animated movie of the same name. However, there have been changes made to the story and new songs have been added. I’ve never seen the movie, but I did enjoy the musical.
Anastasia takes place in Russia during the Russian Revolution in 1917. The Romanov royal family is almost entirely wiped out in an uprising. Unknown to all is that Anastasia, the youngest daughter of the Romanov family, has survived with amnesia and no memory of who she really is. Ten years after the violent uprising, Anastasia joins up with some con men who seek to travel to Paris in order to trick the Dowager Empress and supposed last survivor of the Romanov family into giving them the Romanov fortune. Now the three must find a way to Paris and a way to the Dowager Empress and her fortune.
After reading the above summary, it’s easy to see how this could be a convoluted story. However, the show does a great job of telling it in a way that is easily comprehensible and entertaining.
The music here is really good and about what you’d expect from a Disney princess movie. I enjoyed the melodies as well as the singers’ performances. The surprising performance that stood out to me the most was that of Ramin Karimloo, who plays Gleb.
In the animated movie, there was this kind of Russian wizard named Rasputin who tries to capture Anastasia. They took all that nonsense out and replace it with Gleb, an officer in the new Russian government who also seeks to catch Anastasia in order to execute her and truly end the Romanov family. I am glad they added this character because Karimloo and Gleb have some of the best performances in the show. Also because a Russian wizard is a dumb idea. Karimloo’s voice and performance is loosely reminiscent of Javert from Les Miserables. He’s very good. All the singers are very good.
Overall, this was a great show that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. It’s got some dance numbers sprinkled in, but the primary attraction for me was the music and the talented cast of singers. This is a show anyone can enjoy, especially families with small children.