First Thoughts on the Anastasia Broadway Cast Album
So I grew up watching Don Bluth’s Anastasia, like a lot of people, and it’s now definitely one of my favourite movies of all time. I’m also a huge theatre geek, so when I first heard whispers about an Anastasia broadway musical, I was VERY excited. Sadly, I haven’t watched the show because I live in Manchester, England (I read the plot online and I am VERY disappointed that Rasputin isn’t the antagonist), but I pre-ordered the cast recording asap (I don’t think it has every single song on it, though) and they’ve recently released it onto soundcloud here and I have opinions that I want to share lmao. Also, these are just my FIRST thoughts, after hearing the album ONCE - in my experience, I tend to grow more attached to songs the more I listen to them, so these definitely aren’t my final opinions on this soundtrack.
Prologue / Once Upon A December - This very first song actually made me cry because of the nostalgia XD and also Mary Beth Peil has an AMAZING voice.
A Rumor In St. Petersburg - I also really like this song, including the additions they made to it. Not much else to say really.
In My Dreams - I got chills listening to this song; it’s so beautiful, I can’t wait to learn it.
Learn To Do It - Admittedly, I personally prefer the faster pace and more upbeat original version of this song, however this new version saved itself with the part where Anya flips her shit and has a go at the boys. Amazing.
The Neva Flows - So this is the antagonist’s (Gleb) first song, and uh…it’s pretty good, I guess, especially during the crescendo. They’re definitely trying to create a more humane “villain”, showing how he’s been affected by what he witnessed as a child. Still would’ve preferred In the Dark of the Night, though…
My Petersburg - I like the energy of the song, very upbeat, I love the ending buildup. And I’ve always loved how adaptations of films delve deeper into the characters’ backstories a bit (like Shrek the Musical)
Once Upon A December - Beautiful. I’ll probably always prefer the original, due to nostalgia, but Christy Altomare did a really good job capturing Anya’s emotions in this more vulnerable moment. They were right to not mess with this song too much.
Stay, I Pray You - I have no idea who tf Count Ipolitov is but this is a very emotional choral song, and has a beautifully melancholic melody. I love how Anastasia ends it.
We’ll Go From There - Awh, this song is so cute! I’m glad they gave Vlad (ha that rhymes) a song about Sophie- sorry, I mean Lily. Nevermind all three of the gang are singing it….I like it! It’s a good, quick way to show their feelings (which are mainly anxiety) at this point.
Still - Um why the fuck is Gleb in love with Anya. I HATE that. Haven’t they met, like, twice at this point? I’ve only read the wikipedia page for the plot so maybe I’m wrong. But still….fuck this subplot. So yeah this song is ok I guess, I think I’m just too stubborn about my dislike for the changed story lmao. I also quite like the whole….idea? of this song, how it ends with “but still…” like, it doesn’t need t explain what comes after the “still”, it just needs to show his hesitation/inner conflict.
Journey To The Past - I’m not bothered by the fact that they moved this song to this point in the story, it still fits well actually, and like with OUAD, they smartly didn’t change it much. And like with OUAD, I’ll always prefer the original, but this version is also amazing.
Paris Holds The Key (To Your Heart) - It’s a great chorus number, and definitely a good one to start off act 2 with. Again, I prefer the original, although I like how Anastasia has a solo in this one too.
Crossing A Bridge - I love this song, tbh I’ve realised I think I just love any added Anya moment now lmao. I’d love to see this live, to see the image of her on the bridge singing this.
Closing/Close The Door - (the wikipedia says “Closing” and the soundcloud name says “Close”). Like the Anya moments, I will lap up ANY added Dowager Empress moments, too! Her tired, hopeless emotions were shown a little bit in the original film, but I love how this explores them further. So low-spirited and heart-wrenching.
Land of Yesterday - Another thing this musical explores more in-depth is Russia in general, the state of it, its people, and this song is really cool. Lily’s voice is amazing!!!! (Caroline O’Connor)
The Countess and the Common Man - Awh Vlad and Lily have a love duet!! Fuck yeah! This is what I signed up for!! It’s funny, flirty, and all-round lovely.
In a Crowd of Thousands - I don’t mind that the story of how Dmitry and Anya’s pasts were linked has changed, because the new one they made up is presented so beautifully in this song. I absolutely LOVE Altomare’s voice in this, possibly more than in the other songs, and omg when she realises!! When she realises!! You’re like oh shit ! It’s her and they both know it now!! It’s also a nice development to Anya and Dmitry’s relationship.
Meant to Be - This was also in the original film, and I think it’s done wonderfully here. ‘Nuff said.
Quartet at the Ballet - The Swan Lake music gives me huge Barbie nostalgia! And then it blends so seamlessly in and out of the OUAD tune…ahh I love it. I like how it shows all these inner thoughts of these different characters, like We’ll Go From There. The ending with the overlapping solos is beautiful omg.
Everything to Win - This is a good song, but not one of my favourites or anything, it’s nice to see Dmitry’s conflict. The ending is sweet (or I guess bittersweet).
Once Upon A December (Reprise) - I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying!!!!
The Press Conference - Yet another good chorus number; I love the typewriter sound effects. And Vlad & Lily’s parts are quite funny (it’s funny when he spells out his name, for some reason. And her high notes at the end..DAMN GIRL). I’m slightly feeling like they’re being kind of lazy with the use of the OUAD tune, however.
Everything to Win (Reprise) - Nice!! Good! I like it!
Still / The Neva Flows (Reprise) - Can Gleb just shut the fuck up already. Yes, I’m still salty. (although admittedly this is a good song - I especially love Anya’s fierceness in it).
Finale - I’m not surprised they decided to end on Once Upon A December, and this is exactly what you’d expect from a musical finale, tbh.
In conclusion - I love the musical’s soundtrack, yet I’m still iffy on the whole villain thing. Feel free to reply or reblog with your own thoughts, it’ll be fun to discuss!