I’m back to work today after a week off for spring break and I may or may not have been super down about it last night… In any case, I’m back today to talk about the Broadway musical – Anastasia! So Anastasia was one of my favorite movies as a kid and I was going to add it to my post I recently did about movies I loved, but I knew I was going to see the Broadway show so I thought I’d save my thoughts on the movie til now.
I loved the movie when I was a kid and if you don’t know what it’s about I’ll give you a brief synopsis. The animated, musical movie was about Anastasia (obviously) the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas in Russia. Her whole family is killed but she escapes and in her escape she is injured and has amnesia so she has no idea that she is a princess. Years later, she is a smart young woman just getting by on the streets of St. Petersburg and has a strong desire to get to Paris. She can’t remember her childhood but all she knows is she’s supposed to get to Paris and that someone is waiting for her there. She gets help from two men – Dimitri & Vlad – who partly think she could be the long lost princess Anastasia who is rumored to still be alive – but mostly they want to help her play the part so they can collect the reward money from her grandmother for finding her long lost granddaughter.
When I try to explain the movie to people who have never seen it it makes me laugh because the premise definitely doesn’t sound like a kids movie! Anyway, when I heard last year that they were making it into a Broadway musical I had to see it! It just opened a few weeks ago so I got in early!
The Broadway show had the same premise as the animated movie, with some changes. This whole story is based on historical events for real. Tsar Nicholas and his family (he really did have a daughter named Anastasia) were killed when the Bolsheviks overthrew and murdered the Tsar and his family, putting an end to imperial Russia. Now the animated movie took a more supernatural take on the story since it was a kids movie. Rasputin, the bad guy, was more like a sorcerer and he killed the whole Romanov family and upon learning Anastasia was still alive he tries to kill her too. Rasputin was a real person with ties to the Romanovs, but he was nowhere to be found in the Broadway show. Instead they took a more historical/political approach and focused on the Bolsheviks and the rise of communism that pushed out the royal family. I understand taking this approach with the Broadway show because the sorcerer idea with Rasputin is a bit kiddy-ish and I’m sure might be hard to pull off on stage. Making the story more historical and political is a little closer to the true story and is more adult.
Despite the changes to the story, I still really enjoyed the play and thought it was amazingly well done! The actors were superb, the sets were beautiful, and the songs – especially the ones I remember from the animated movie like “Journey to the Past”, “Once Upon a December”, and “Learn to Do It” were so good. And Anastasia & Dimitri are still everything!
I had a really great day in the city, walking around, eating, and seeing Anastasia. I made a short video of my day so if you want to follow along then click below!
Also, side note – during the musical when Anastasia was learning her family tree I heard her mention her maternal grandmother from Saxe-Coburg and then she mentioned her great-grandmother Queen Victoria. In my head I was like “omg Victoria!” because I know Prince Albert is from Saxe-Coburg. I looked it up and her maternal grandmother was one of the daughters of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert – Princess Alice. Worlds collide! No wonder they called Queen Victoria “the grandmother of Europe”.
To make a long story short, I really enjoyed the musical and my day in the city! Now I want to watch the movie again! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post(s) on what I wore for my day in the city & my review on my lunch (spoiler it was so good!).