Musical lovers and the many fans of the 1997 historical epic film ‘Anastasia” released by 20th Century Fox got their first glimpse of promotional art work for the upcoming Broadway adaptation of the film on August 23, 2016. The promo art shows Anastasia a. k. a. Anya dancing down a bridge that separates the Kremlin and the Eiffel Tower. The new stage production opens at the Broadhurst Theater on April 24, 2017.
The story line is an imaginative retelling of the last days of the Russian empire with all the glamour, pathos, but little of historical accuracy. Anya is an amnesiac Anastasia who becomes separated from her sister Marie. One should note that this very unrealistic version of the last days of the Tzar in Russia was actually accepted as fact by a large number of film viewers.
Anya and a puppy named Pooka first venture to Saint Petersburg and eventually to Paris. Anya collects Dimitry and Vladimir as street-wise guides to her sister while escaping the clutches of Rasputin, communists, and Bartok, Rasputin’s evil minion. Dimitry and Anya eventually elope.
Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, composer and lyricist for the film version, added two new songs to the much beloved repertoire for the Broadway adaptation. Darko Tresnjak is directing the production. Terrence McNally adapted the film script to the stage. Peggy Hickey is responsible for choreography. All of the people involved in the development of the stage adaptation of Anastasia are Tony Award winners. This fact could explain the premiere sellout at the Hartford Stage.
Christy Altomare stars as Anya. Derek Klena plays Dimitry.
Fans have been clamoring for a live film version of the original movie but no studio has been up to the task. Expectations are high for a long run for the stage adaptation based on the score alone. The film almost tripled its production budget in sales.
The still shots from the premiere also showed Altomare singing, a duet by Dimitry and Anya in Russia, and Anya’s first venture into Paris society as a rather underdressed waif.
All expectations are that Anastasia: The New Musical will be the biggest thing to hit Broadway in 2017. Odds makers are already making predictions for Tony Awards for the score and possibly for the lead.