Anastasia (musical)
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Anastasia Musical
MusicStephen Flaherty
LyricsLynn Ahrens
BookTerrence McNally
by Susan Gauthier
Bruce Graham
Bob Tzudiker
Noni White
PremiereMay 27, 2016: Hartford Stage, Hartford
Productions2016 Hartford (tryout)
2017 Broadway
2018 Madrid
2018 North America Tour
2018 Stuttgart
2019 The Hague
2020 Japan Tour
AwardsConnecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical

Anastasia is a musical with music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and a book by Terrence McNally. Based on the 1997 film of the same name, the musical adapts the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, who could have escaped the execution of her family. Years later, an amnesiac orphan named Anya hopes to find some trace of her family by siding with two con men who wish to take advantage of her likeness to the Grand Duchess.

The show premiered on Broadway in April 2017 and was nominated for the Drama Desk award for Best Musical, among other award nominations.


A reading was held in 2012, featuring Kelli Barret as Anya (Anastasia), Aaron Tveit as Dmitry, Patrick Page as Vladimir and Angela Lansbury as the Empress Maria. A workshop was held on June 12, 2015, in New York City workshop, and included Elena Shaddow as Anya, Ramin Karimloo as Gleb Vaganov, a new role, and Douglas Sills as Vlad.[1]

The original stage production of Anastasia premiered at Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut on May 13, 2016 (previews), with direction by Darko Tresnjak and choreography by Peggy Hickey, and starring Christy Altomare and Derek Klena as Anya and Dmitry, respectively.[2]

Director Tresnjak explained: "We've kept, I think, six songs from the movie, but there are 16 new numbers. We've kept the best parts of the animated movie, but it really is a new musical."[1] The musical also adds characters not in the film.[3] Additionally, Act 1 is set in Russia and Act 2 in Paris, "which was everything modern Soviet Russia was not: free, expressive, creative, no barriers," according to McNally.[4]

The musical also omits the supernatural elements from the original film, including the character of Rasputin and his musical number "In the Dark of the Night", and introduces instead a new villain called Gleb, a general for the Bolsheviks who receives orders to kill Anya.



The musical opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre on March 23, 2017, in previews, officially on April 24, 2017, featuring most of the original Hartford principal cast.[3][5][6]

The production was met with mixed reviews by critics, citing uneven subplots and an overly long running time as primary issues.[7] The show closed on March 31, 2019 after 808 regular and 34 preview performances.[8][9]


The first European production opened on October 3, 2018 (officially on October 10, 2018) at the Coliseum Theatre in Madrid, Spain, starring Jana Gómez as Anya, Íñigo Etayo as Dmitry, Carlos Salgado as Gleb, Javier Navares as Vlad, Silvia Luchetti as Countess Lily, and Angels Jiménez as Dowager Empress.[10][11][12]

North America tour

A North America tour began on October 9, 2018 (officially on October 12, 2018) at the Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady, New York. The role of Anya is played by Lila Coogan.[13][14]


A German production ran from November 15, 2018 to October 13, 2019 at the Stage Palladium Theater in Stuttgart, with Judith Caspari as Anya and Milan van Waardenburg as Dmitry (later replaced by Thomas Hohler).[15]

The Hague

A Dutch production officially opened on September 22nd, 2019 at the AFAS Circustheater in The Hague, The Netherlands.[16] Tessa Sunniva van Tol plays the role of Anya with Milan van Waardenburg as Dmitry transferring from the German production to the Dutch production, which made him the first actor to play the role of Dmitry in two different countries and languages. Other principal roles are being played by René van Kooten, Gerrie van der Klei, Ellen Evers and Ad Knippels.[17][18]

Mexico City

A Mexican production was expected to open in late 2019 at the Teatro Telcel in Mexico City, but it has been postponed indefinitely.[19][20]


A Japanese production was expected to open in beginning of March 2020, It will feature Wakana Aoi and Haruka Kinoshita as Anya, Naoto Kaiho, Hiroki Aiba and Akiyoshi Utsumi as Dmitry, Koji Yamamoto, Yoshikuni Dochin (from CHEMISTRY) and Yusuke Tohyama as Gleb, Kenya Osumi and Zen Ishikawa as Vlad, Hikaru Asami, Marcia and Keiko Horiuchi as Countess Lily and Rei Asami as Dowager Empress Maria.

It was also announced in October 2019 that the all-female Takarazuka Revue will be performing Anastasia from June to August 2020, and that the Broadway creative team will be writing a new song for Cosmos Troupe top star Suzuho Makaze.[21]



In 1906[22]St. Petersburg, Russia, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna comforts her youngest granddaughter 7 year-old Princess Anastasia, who is saddened by the fact that her grandmother is moving to Paris, France. Before leaving, the Dowager Empress gives Anastasia a music box as a parting gift ("Prologue: Once Upon a December"). Eleven years later in 1917, 17 year-old Anastasia is attending a ball with her family when the Bolsheviks invade the palace. As the Romanovs attempt to escape, Anastasia tries to retrieve her music box only to be shot and presumed dead along with the rest of her family ("The Last Dance of the Romanovs").

Act I

Another ten years later in 1927, Gleb Vaganov, a general for the Bolsheviks who now controls Russia, announces to the gloomy Russians that the now-poor Saint Petersburg has been renamed Leningrad, and he promises a bright and peaceful future. The Russians protest this change but are uplifted by a rumor that Anastasia may have survived the Bolshevik attacks. Two wanted con men, the handsome young Dmitry and an ex-member of the Imperial Court named Vlad Popov, hear the rumors and brainstorm "the biggest con in history": they will groom a naive girl to become Anastasia in order to extract money from the Dowager Empress ("A Rumor in St. Petersburg").

Dmitry and Vlad hold unsuccessful auditions for the scheme at the theater in the abandoned Yusupov Palace. Just as they are about to give up hope of finding a suitable impostor, a street sweeper named Anya walks in to ask Dmitry about paperwork to get tickets for Paris. Dmitry and Vlad become fascinated as Anya explains that she doesn't remember who she is due to her amnesia and has very few memories of her past ("In My Dreams"). Amazed by her memory loss and resemblance to Anastasia, they select Anya as their impostor.

At the capital, government workers sort through rumors and reports for any that require further action. Three bitter actresses report Anya, Dmitry, and Vlad's plot to Gleb, but he dismisses them and files a case for Anya ("The Rumors Never End"). Back at the palace, Vlad and Dmitry groom a feisty Anya to become Anastasia through history, dining, and dancing lessons ("Learn to Do It").

Gleb orders to arrest Anya and she is brought to his office in the Nevsky Prospect. The general interrogates the girl and warns her about the consequences of pretending to be Anastasia. He tries to convince her that Anastasia is really dead. He reveals that his father was the one who shot the Romanovs and, as a boy, he heard the gunshots and their screams. However, Gleb notices that Anya has the "Romanov eyes" and realizes that Anya could indeed be Anastasia. As he harbors feelings for her, he lets her off with a warning ("The Neva Flows").

Anya reunites with Dmitry and they are teased and attacked by his old con partners, whom they must fight off ("The Neva Flows Reprise"). Impressed by Anya's fighting skills, Dmitry opens up to her for the first time and tells her about his childhood in the streets of St. Petersburg and how he had to take care of himself as an orphan ("My Petersburg"). Dmitry begins to trust her enough to show her a music box that he's failed to open, unaware it is the memento that was given to Anastasia by the Dowager Empress. Anya easily winds and opens the box and begins to vaguely remember her past, including an imperial ball many years earlier ("Once Upon a December"). After this episode, Anya is more resolute than ever in her desire to get to Paris, but Dmitry tells her that they don't have enough money to buy the train tickets. Then she gives him her most prized possession, a diamond that was found sewn to her dress when she was discovered years ago ("A Secret She Kept").

At the train station, Count Ipolitov recognizes Anya as Anastasia and kisses her hand. As they board the train to Paris, Count Ipolitov leads everyone in a prayer of farewell to Russia ("Stay, I Pray You"). During the train ride, Anya, Dmitry, and Vlad reflect on what they hope to accomplish in Paris: Anya hoping to discover that she is actually Anastasia, Dmitry's desire for the money, and Vlad hoping to win back Countess Lily Malevsky-Malevitch ("Sophie" in the 1997 animated film), the Dowager Empress's lady-in-waiting with whom he had an affair ("We'll Go From There"). Count Ipolitov is fatally shot by the police for illegally boarding the train. The police officers then go after Anya, Dmitry, and Vlad since they are wanted criminals in Russia, but they all jump off the train, narrowly avoiding capture.

As they travel across Russia by foot, Gleb receives orders to follow Anya and kill her if she is the real Anastasia ("Traveling Sequence"). Gleb agrees to the task, but he realizes that he is in love with Anya and questions his heart ("Still"). Anya, Vlad, and Dmitry finally arrive in France, and as they travel to Paris, Anya summons the courage to continue on with the hope that she will finally discover who she is ("Journey to the Past").

Act II

Anya, Vlad, and Dmitry arrive in Paris and are swept up by the sights and sounds of the city ("Paris Holds the Key (to Your Heart)"). When Vlad and Dmitry go off on their own, Anya visits the Pont Alexandre III bridge, named after Anastasia's grandfather and she feels a strong connection to it ("Crossing a Bridge").

Now a bitter, elderly woman, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna reads the letters of various Anastasia impersonators and, heartbroken, gives up hope of finding Anastasia ("Close the Door"). As Gleb arrives in Paris, Lily parties at the Neva Club, where rich and noble Russians reminisce about the old Russia ("Land of Yesterday"). Lily is reunited with Vlad, with whom she is angry for stealing her jewelry when they were lovers. The two rekindle their scandalous romance and Vlad convinces her to let Anya meet the Dowager Empress at the ballet the next week ("The Countess and the Common Man"). However, Vlad accidentally drops the ballet tickets and Gleb, overhearing their plans, picks up their tickets ("Land of Yesterday" Reprise).

At the hotel, Anya has a nightmare about the execution of the Romanovs ("A Nightmare"). Dmitry comforts her and recounts a story of how he bowed to Anastasia at a parade as a young boy. Anya vividly remembers this, and the two realize that Anya is indeed the Grand Duchess Anastasia ("In a Crowd of Thousands").

At the ballet, Vlad suspects that Anya and Dmitry are falling in love and is heartbroken that the two can never be together ("Meant to Be"). During the performance of "Swan Lake", Anya sees the Dowager Empress and remembers her. The Dowager Empress also sees Anya and recognizes her, but clings to denial. Dmitry and Gleb (who is conflicted about whether or not to shoot Anya) reflect on their romantic feelings ("Quartet at the Ballet").

After the ballet, Lily also recognizes Anya as Anastasia and immediately takes her to the Dowager Empress. Dmitry is anxious about the meeting and realizes that he is in love with Anya, but knows he must let her go to her family ("Everything to Win"). Anya leaves the meeting enraged, having learned from the Dowager Empress that Vlad and Dmitry intended to use her in their scheme for money. As she storms off, Dmitry waits for the Dowager Empress. Marie coldly dismisses him, but Dmitry disrespectfully stops her. He begs her to see Anya, but she refuses again.

Back at their hotel, Anya starts her packing but she is interrupted by the Dowager Empress, who impressed by Dmitry's courage, has come to give her an opportunity. Anya is shocked by the Dowager Empress's cruelty, asserting that she isn't the nana that Anya remembered. The Dowager Empress angrily questions Anya about her past and the Romanov family, but Anya compels her to reflect on the person she has become over last two decades. Anya suddenly remembers the night that the Dowager Empress left her for Paris. When Anya produces the music box and sings the lullaby, the Dowager Empress finally realizes that Anya really is Anastasia and the two embrace, now reunited after twenty years ("Once Upon a December Reprise").

A press conference is held the next morning, where Vlad and Lily try to fend off the hungry reporters ("The Press Conference"). Before appearing in public, The Dowager Empress tells Anya that Dmitry did not take the reward after all and reveals her respect for him. Anya expresses misgivings about her future life as a princess and the Dowager Empress insists that no matter what she chooses, they'll always be together. Anya runs off to think; she realizes that she is in love with Dmitry, and decides that she must go after him ("Everything to Win Reprise"). As she turns to leave, Anya sees that Gleb has slipped in and locked them in the room. She realizes why he is there and Gleb says that he must kill her to complete his father's mission. Anya now clearly remembers the day her family was killed and, without fear, taunts him to kill her so that she can be with her family. Overcome with emotion and not willing to bear the shame of his father, Gleb is unable to kill Anya ("Still/The Neva Flows Reprise"). Anya comforts Gleb and they call a truce.

Vlad, Lily, and the palace staff search for Anya and the Dowager Empress is joyful, knowing that Anya is now where she belongs. She and Gleb announce to their people that the rumors of Anastasia will now cease; the reward for finding her will be donated to charity. Anya discovers Dmitry at Pont Alexandre III, where they embrace. The couple leaves Paris as the spirits of the Romanovs celebrate the life that Anya and Dmitry will have together ("Finale").

Musical numbers

Titles of songs which appeared in the original 1997 animated film are in bold.
Renamed from the Hartford production (#)
Not featured in the cast recordings (+)[23]
Replaced by a reprise of "Paris Holds the Key (To Your Heart)" in the US tour and international productions (?)

Characters and casts

Character Reading[24]
Hartford Stage[26]
U.S. Tour[29]
Anya / Princess Anastasia Kelli Barrett Elena Shaddow Christy Altomare Lila Coogan
Dmitry Aaron Tveit Mark Evans Derek Klena Stephen Brower
Gleb Vaganov Aaron Lazar Ramin Karimloo Manoel Felciano Ramin Karimloo Jason Michael Evans
Vlad Popov Patrick Page Douglas Sills John Bolton Edward Staudenmayer
Countess Lily Malevsky-Malevitch Julie Halston Joanna Glushak Caroline O'Connor Tari Kelly
Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna Angela Lansbury Mary Beth Peil Joy Franz

Notable Broadway cast replacements

  • Max von Essen replaced Ramin Karimloo as "Gleb" on December 5, 2017.
  • Zach Adkins replaced Derek Klena as "Dmitry" on March 27, 2018.
  • Vicki Lewis replaced Caroline O'Connor as "Countess Lily Malevsky-Malevitch" on March 27, 2018.
  • Judy Kaye replaced Mary Beth Peil as the "Dowager Empress" on September 28, 2018.
  • Cody Simpson replaced Zach Adkins as "Dmitry" on November 29, 2018.
  • Constantine Germanacos replaced Max von Essen as "Gleb" on December 18, 2018.
  • Penny Fuller replaced Judy Kaye as the "Dowager Empress" on January 7, 2019.[30]

Critical response

The Broadway production was met with mixed to positive reviews. The Hollywood Reporter reviewer, David Rooney, wrote "The seamlessness and storytelling economy of that opening sequence is quite impressive, deftly handling the ambiguity surrounding Anastasia's fate, while her family is murdered by revolutionaries. But the long first act gets bogged down, and while Ahrens and Flaherty certainly know how to craft a narrative-driven song, the music is more often serviceable than inspired. McNally's book dutifully follows the Disney-princess model...The second act picks up considerably with the 1927 move to Paris..."[22]

Ben Brantley, reviewing for The New York Times, wrote: "The show in which she [Christy Altomare] appears trembles nonstop with internal conflicts during its drawn-out two-and-a-half hours. Part of the source of its malaise may be detected in a conspicuous credit below the title in the program that reads, "Inspired by the 20th Century Fox motion pictures"....'Anastasia' may well tap into the dewy-eyed demographic that made 'Wicked' such an indestructible favorite of female adolescents. Those without such nostalgic insulation are likely to find this 'Anastasia' a chore...bloody periods of history, like the Russian Revolution, do not naturally lend themselves to perky song and dance." [31]

Awards and honors

2016 Hartford Stage production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2016 Connecticut Critics Circle Award[32][33] Outstanding Production of a Musical Won
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical Christy Altomare Won
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical John Bolton Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Caroline O'Connor Nominated
Mary Beth Peil Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Darko Tresnjak Won
Outstanding Choreography Peggy Hickey Won
Outstanding Scenic Design Alexander Dodge Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design Linda Cho Won
Outstanding Lighting Design Donald Holder Nominated
Outstanding Sound Design Brian Ronan Nominated
Outstanding Projection Design Aaron Rhyne Won

2017 Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2017 Tony Award[34] Best Featured Actress in a Musical Mary Beth Peil Nominated
Best Costume Design in a Musical Linda Cho Nominated
Drama Desk Awards[35] Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Christy Altomare Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Mary Beth Peil Nominated
Outstanding Book of a Musical Terrence McNally Nominated
Outstanding Music Stephen Flaherty Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical Linda Cho Nominated
Outstanding Orchestrations Doug Besterman Nominated
Outstanding Projection Design Aaron Rhyne Won
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical Peter Hylenski Nominated
Drama League Award[36] Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical Nominated
Distinguished Performance Award Caroline O'Connor Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award[37] Outstanding New Broadway Musical Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Christy Altomare Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical John Bolton Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Caroline O'Connor Nominated
Mary Beth Peil Nominated
Outstanding Book of a Musical Terrence McNally Nominated
Outstanding New Score Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Darko Tresnjak Nominated
Outstanding Set Design Alexander Dodge Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design Linda Cho Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design Donald Holder Nominated
Outstanding Projection Design Aaron Rhyne Won
Outstanding Orchestrations Doug Besterman Nominated
Theatre World Award Outstanding Broadway Debut Performance Christy Altomare Honoree
Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography[38] Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show John Bolton Nominated


  1. ^ a b c Viagas, Robert (1 March 2016). "Tony-Winning Director Says Ahrens and Flaherty's Stage Anastasia Will Be a Whole "New Musical"". Playbill. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ "Anastasia". Hartford Stage. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ a b Hetrick, Adam. "Broadway-Bound Anastasia Begins Previews After Delay", Playbill, May 13, 2016
  4. ^ Buchwald, Linda. " 'Anastasia,' All Grown Up With Somewhere to Go" American Theatre, June 3, 2016
  5. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Cast and Theatre Set for Broadway's 'Anastasia' " Playbill, June 28, 2016
  6. ^ Hetrick, Adam. " 'Anastasia' Begins Broadway Previews March 23" Playbill, March 23, 2017
  7. ^ "Broadway World - Critics Roundup". Broadway World. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ BWW News Desk. "ANASTASIA To Play Final Broadway Performance March 31" Broadway World, February 5, 2019
  9. ^ Paulson, Michael (2019-02-05). "'Anastasia ' Musical to Close on Broadway on March 31". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "Anastasia will make European debut in Madrid". Broadway World. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "Presentación de Anastasia in Madrid". Broadway World. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Silvia Luchetti será la Condesa Lily en Anastasia". Broadway World. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "Anastasia will launch 30-city national tour in October". Playbill. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ Hetrick, Adam (July 12, 2019). "Anastasia National Tour Reveals Full Slate of Engagements Into Summer 2020, Including Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta". Playbill.
  15. ^ "Das Broadway musical Anastasia ab November 2018 in Stuttgart". Eventim. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ "Broadway musical Anastasia naar Afas Circustheater in Scheveningen". Stage Entertainment. 8 September 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ Anastasia
  18. ^ "Anastasia in première in Circustheater Scheveningen". 22 September 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ "Anastasia abre convocatoria para musical en México". Retrieved .
  20. ^ "OCESA pospone la producción de Anastasia". Retrieved .
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b Rooney, David. "'Anastasia': Theater Review" Hollywood Reporter, April 24, 2017
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Exclusive: Crawford, Barrett, Halston, Page Join Tveit, Lansbury, Lazar in ANASTASIA Reading!". BroadwayWorld. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Cast and Creative"
  26. ^ Viagas, Robert (9 March 2016). "Cast Announced for Ahrens and Flaherty's Stage Anastasia". Playbill. Retrieved 2016.
  27. ^ Hetrick, Adam (October 6, 2016). "Mary Beth Peil Returns for Broadway's Anastasia". Playbill.
  28. ^ "Have You Heard 'Anastasia' Has Found Its Full Broadway Cast", January 11, 2017
  29. ^ "Anastasia Announces Complete Casting for First National Tour". Retrieved .
  30. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy (2018-12-06). "Anastasia Announces New Casting: Constantine Germanacos as Gleb & Penny Fuller as the Dowager Empress". Retrieved .
  31. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Review: 'Anastasia,' a Russian Princess With an Identity Crisis" "The New York Times", April 24, 2017
  32. ^ "CT Critics Announce Award Nominations
  33. ^ "Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, June 14, 2016
  34. ^ "The 2017 Tony Awards - And the Nominees Are... Complete List! NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 and HELLO, DOLLY! Lead Pack". 2017-05-02. Retrieved .
  35. ^ "2017 Drama Desk Award Nominations Announced | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved .
  36. ^ "Breaking: DEAR EVAN HANSEN, GREAT COMET & More Earn Drama League Awards Nominations; Check Out the Full List!". 2017-04-19. Retrieved .
  37. ^ "Outer Critics Circle Nominations Announced: Hello, Dolly!, Anastasia, Groundhog Day and More!". 2017-04-25. Retrieved .
  38. ^ "Great Comet, Bandstand and More Take Home 2017 Chita Rivera Awards". 2017-09-11. Retrieved .

External links

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