Earlier this month my mom and I took a trip to NYC where we met up with two of my fellow Giddy Goats, Air and Gypsy (for the first time ever!!), where we came together to share our love of Broadway and some of our childhood nostalgia! Once we found out that Anastasia had made it’s way to Broadway we knew we all had to see it since we grew up watching the animated film back in 1997. Ever since the animated film was released I fell in love with the story of Anastasia and loved the songs, especially “Once Upon A December” and “A Rumor in St. Petersburg.” That being said, they made the Broadway musical slightly different from the animated movie. They decided not to include Rasputin or his funny sidekick, the lovable bat, Bartok. They did, however, add a new character, Gleb Vaganov (a dashing officer of the new post-Revolution regime), who took similar motives that Rasputin did. Also, they created so many new songs for this show which are great and a lot of fun, but also kept five fan favorites from the original which people who grew up with the movie could appreciate.
What is the Broadway version of Anastasia about? The Romanov royal family is killed off by the people of the Russian Revolution to start a new political regime. Except, the youngest Romanov daughter, Anastasia, is unaccounted for in the aftermath of the massacre, which causes rumors in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) that she may be still alive. This gives two con men, Dmitry and Vlad, the idea to pull off the biggest con in history and they hold auditions to try and find the perfect young lady to pretend to be Anastasia so they can collect on the Dowager Empress’s (Anastasia’s grandmother) reward money if she is found. Enter Anya, an orphan with amnesia, looking for Dmitry for exit papers so she can go to Paris. Once they find out she has memory loss they take advantage of that info by trying to convince her that she is the missing princess and convince her that if they start training her to be Anastasia it will start to jog her memory. Plus, they were going to Paris anyways because that’s where the Dowager Empress is so they’ll take her along with them, as well. They, however, are unaware that Gleb has been given orders to follow them to Paris and is on a mission of his own.
If they had decided to include Rasputin, it would have been really cool and interesting to see what they would’ve done with his character visually speaking since they had really cool special effects involved in the show! I understand why they cut him and Bartok out though, because Rasputin wasn’t really in the movie too much, just basically in the beginning and at the end. While Bartok narrated and moved the story along, so they would have somehow had to incorporate a flying bat around the stage/theatre. They could have made it work, but I actually liked the story changes they did make. I really liked the special effects, I thought they were really well done and definitely added to the show. I thought it was really awesome how they incorporated “ghostly” figures onto the sides of the walls that branched out into the audience while they had actors dancing on stage during “Once Upon A December” and that train scene was really cool too!
Some of my favorite new songs from the show include: “My Petersburg” sung by Dmitry where we find out more about his past and how he grew up on the streets (the first song from the show to get stuck in my head) and “In A Crowd Of Thousands” sung by both Dmitry and Anya, it’s a slow song and this is the song/scene where they both realize and it’s revealed that Anya actually is the missing Princess Anastasia!
I really enjoyed this show, it was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m glad I got to share the experience with my mom and two of my Giddy Goat friends!! These were some of my best memories and I will cherish them forever <3!
Anyways, I don’t think this show got the recognition it deserves and that’s a shame, but I would definitely recommend people go see it!! Even if you haven’t watched the movie, I think you’d still like it!
Okay, well I think that’s all I have for today! Have you watched the animated film? What did you think of it? Have you seen Anastasia on Broadway? What are some of your favorite Broadway shows? Let me know in the comments! Let’s discuss!