Broadway Review: Anastasia

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Official Blurb: Inspired by the beloved films, the romantic and adventure-filled new musical Anastasia comes to Broadway.From the Tony Award®-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.Anastasia features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally and a lush, new score by Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics). Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak directs.

My take: This is a classic old school family musical and within its traditional roots it shines very brightly. Even though it is based on a children’s movie, I don’t think it’s a children’s show. I think it’s a family show and many of the parts are actually very adult. I feel a lot of the changes, like the addition of the character of Gleb and the enhanced historical context make it more adult and add a depth to the story. The character of Gleb also highlights the cultural and historical significance that led to the events unfolding. Obviously the songs that came from the musical are great, I particularly like Journey to the Past, but the new ones, although none of them hold a candle to the single quality of Jurney or Once upon a December, keep the show running  and add sufficient back story. My favorite thing had to be the cast and the costumes. Christy Altomare who plays Anastasia has a spectacular voice and she brings you in so beautifully. She is a force to be reckoned with! I also loved Derek’s singing voice, and the comedic relief of John Bolton and Caroline O’Connor is just spectacular. Those two actually steal the show. Given the fact that I love his singing voice I would have liked to see Ramin more on stage, he takes his moments and is wonderful in them. The costumes, especially the ones in Early Russia and Paris, are just so wonderful. The blue ballet dress is to die for. However it is a shame that the two big numbers that Anastasia has are in the drab Russia costume and not her showstopper ones (but alas it is part of the story.) In this link from the Today show you can see her perform and see the costume.

Disclaimer: I actually invested in this show, so I might be a bit biased, but then i never put my money on things i don’t feel strongly about so that should give you some indication. But as I always say there is nothing perfect and of course there are certain things in this show that i might not fully agree with. What would i have changed: I think the length is too long (i am a bit spoilt by the 2 hour no intermission musicals!) a shorter length might have kept it more snappy. And as much as girls might swoon for Derek, Both me and my friend were in agreement that there was a little bit of chemistry missing between them. They are both individually amazing in their roles, it’s just there is some spark missing (it might just me be but there was a bit more chemistry with Gleb, the horror!)

Media:  Some videos from the show:

My pics:

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