So in the musical version of Anastasia, it’s never stated directly how she survived the assassination in the basement. So I came up with a theory using my vast historical knowledge on the topic (I’m a bit of a nerd)
So I was listening to In My Dreams and you know it starts with
“They said I was found, by the side of a road. There were tracks all around.”
Okay, well I’m going to assume tracks means tire tracks. After the actual assassination in the basement, they bodies were loaded onto trucks and taken in the woods to be disposed of. During that time, some of the people swore they saw hands move or heard people groan. So my theory is that Anastasia was alive when she was on the truck and was somehow able to get off of it, maybe falling along the way (where she could have sustained a head injury causing the amnesia) thus ending up by the side of a road, where there were tracks, left by the trucks.
I know it’s not 100% historical accurate nor do I believe this is applicable to the real Anastasia, but I think it works for the musical.
What do you guys think? Please let me know and feel free to add to it!
I saw Anastasia on Saturday, August 12 at the matinee and it was fantastic. I just have to say Christy Altomare=perfection and Derek Klena= perfection. I couldn’t believe at the beginning how Dmitry was like, “I bowed to someone once, I don’t know, I was young.” And I was like *gasp*..In A Crowd of Thousands. Ah! The Tsarina’s costume was absolutely stunning. The crowd was in awe when it came out. I cannot believe Linda Cho didn’t win costume design. Every costume especially Anya, Dowager Empress, and Tsarinas’ were beautiful. In My Dreams is such a sad, yet gorgeous song. Christy puts emotion into every song and you can tell she just loves playing Anastasia, she cried at curtain call and is just an angel. Learn to Do It is such a fun number and I loved when Anya got mad at Vlad and Dmitry; her mad face was everything. And her and Dmitry trying to dance was funny because Dmitry cannot dance, but every time he lifted her my heart soared because I’m a sucker for a good lift. Oh, yes, and why do we not talk about Derek’s dimples??? RAMIN KARIMLOO LIVE. HIS VOICE. OMG. Wow, every time he sang, I was just in awe. I used to not care for the Gleb songs on the cast album, but seeing it live definitely changed my mind. The Neva Flows was amazing.
MY PETERSBURG. MY PETERSBURG. I love Derek Klena, I love Dmitry, I love this song, and I love the set design so what is there not to love??? Ugh and the line, “But tonight, there’s a sky and quite a view” and him and Anya look out and it’s magical? And Derek hit the high note right in front of me and I probably ascended and went to heaven. It was the first song I fell in love with from the show. And Dmitry and this song give me, like, Jack Kelly vibes so I dig that. And every time, Derek ran his fingers through his hair, my life span extended. Once Upon A December is hauntingly beautiful and stunning live as I’m sure everyone can tell from the promo video. Wow, Stay I Pray You is just lovely. Anytime a Broadway show does something a capella, I’m just like major props. CONSTANTINE GERMANACOS. Can we please talk about his voice more? Damn, it is so pure and deep and makes the number. I love We’ll Go From There. Wow, the train is amazing, I was so excited to see it for longer than the one second it’s in the promo video, and it didn’t disappoint. Vlad, Dmitry, and Anya each went to their own part of the train to sing their part and I loved that. Omg, and their voices together are magnificent, and when Christy and Derek’s voices overlap it’s beautiful.
Ramin Karimloo killing it in Still, what else is new with this man’s voice? Journey to the Past, amazing. Love the line, “no one ever mentions fear,” because it’s true and shout out to Ahrens and Flaherty for the beautiful music and lyrics! And then when she hits the high note and the Eiffel Tower appears in the background with that gorgeous sky, it was beautiful. And I love Anya’s outfit and how her wig is so messy and untidy. And before she starts the song, Vlad and Dmitry are yelling “Anya! Come see this” and she’s just like no, I have to sing a song about how I finally made it to Paris, bye! And the music before the lyrics even start, you already get shivers.
Paris Holds the Key (To Your Heart) ! Everyone is so pretty and handsome. And Dmitry’s part is gorg, “paris holds the key to her fate.” Crossing A Bridge NEEDS more appreciation!!! I love this song, it is just so beautiful, and a lovely solo moment for Anya. Close the Door..oh this is why Mary Beth Peil got a Tony nomination, and I love her black gown! And when she sang it, Little Anastasia was at the door looking in and when she said ‘close the door”, Little Anastasia went away and it was wicked sad. Land of Yesterday- Caroline O’Connor has such a brassy Broadway voice and it was a very glitzy Broadway number and I loved how Vlad sneaked in and started dancing with the people. The Countess and the Common Man, the crowd loved, and I was like omg, Vlad and Lily are just the older Dmitry and Anastasia.
IN A CROWD OF A THOUSANDS. Um, relationship goals, I ship Dmitry and Anya so much. It was so cool how they showed Anya’s nightmare with her family standing above her. And then she screamed and Dmitry ran in and THE BICEPS ARE REAL PEOPLE. But, it was all just so romantic how they knew each other since they were kids and everything..ugh…I’m trying not to be a fangirl. And Christy and Derek’s chemistry is amazing and I really want to see them in Carrie now. I loved the Quartet at the Ballet, omg, not only are the ballet dancers so good, but when Derek and Ramin started singing together and then when Anya, Dowager Empress, Dmitry, and Gleb all sang together in the end and all sang, “ANNNNASSSSTASIIIAAAA.” And I loved Anya’s blue dress, it’s so stunning, and I loved Derek in a tux and just stared at him during the whole Quartet at the Ballet because who wouldn’t? And then Everything to Win!!!! Gah, he couldn’t even finish the line, he sings, “the only thing I lose is..” And then when Anastasia sang it, she couldn’t finish it either (although they do on the cast album). But, I thought that was great; it just showed how hard it was for them to lose each other.
The reunion between Anastasia and the Dowager Empress was great and was nice to see such an intimate scene with dialogue. Wow, Still/The Neva Flows (Reprise) was so intense. It’s the scene where Gleb tries to kill Anastasia, and it was so intense to watch, I was like holy crap, what is happening, ah, I’m loving it, though. Also loved when Dmitry is like, “Next time you see from a carriage, don’t wave, I don’t wanna see someone I know I cannot be with.” The line is something like that, but it’s so heart breaking, though. And the orchestra played a little of At The Beginning from the movie and I was like ah! because I love that song and was kinda sad they didn’t put it in the musical, but it was a nice addition for fans of the movie. And yes, Anya does stand on a stool to kiss Dmitry. It was so cute and unexpected. I LOVE how they ended up together though!
At the stage door, Christy Altomare, Derek Klena, Ramin Karimloo, John Bolton, Caroline O’Connor, and Zach Adkins all came out. It was really crowded though and it was after a matinee, but everyone was super nice and took pictures and signed so it was still definitely worth it. But, THIS show was amazing! If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thanks for reading.
So my trip to New York was three weeks ago and I am missing it so terribly bad. But that Thursday is what a theatre kid, like myself, was what dreams are made of. I saw Anastasia with the all original cast. The costumes, are just wowza! Christy gives a whole new light to Anya. John makes Vlad just as likeable, even more maybe, than in the movie. Derek? Dmitry was my first crush and he gave me a real person, OMG!! Now, Ramin, he was someone who inspired me to start acting back in 2011 and seeing him with his family just oh my. His mom came to the show I saw and he did stage door but, while my mom and I waited on our car he came out and his mom was waiting on him. Ladies and gentleman, it was not cold, but it was about to rain. So this sweetheart gave his mother his jacket just in case it began to rain, not only that, he carried her purse and his production bag all us performers have. John, I swear on my future grave, was out talking to us all until the last fan’s car came. CAROLINE STOLE THE SHOW!! When I did stage door, she was as entertaining as she was in the show, cracking jokes with all of us. Christy came out in six inch heels, the poor thing is so little. She even told me a story of her time in Carrie and how she got casted as Sophie, picking up I was a theatre kid, mostly because of the type of compliments I paid as compared to the usual “good show.” She told me never to give up because no matter who tells you no there will always be a yes around the corner. Derek, he is such a sweetie, his laugh is infectious and never until my dying day will I forget what happened when I asked him for a hug, his eyes lit up and he hugged me tight, a girls dream come true right? If you are ever in New York and have an option to see the show, do it! Don’t waste it on anything else. It is stunning, hilarious, emotional, and riveting, I am in love with the show, maybe a little more than the movie right now.
Maybe this season’s most overlooked show. Which is odd because it’s been two decades in the making.
Anastasia is not a perfect show. It’s not political enough (especially for this particular historical moment) and the stakes are a bit low and the direction is just serviceable but I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of my favourite new scores of the season with five fabulous performances at its centre.
I am an Ahrens and Flaherty fangirl, but I think it’s fair to say their mostly new score keeps pace with the classic ‘Journey to the Past’ and ‘Once Upon A December’ and they have chosen exactly the right moments to musicalise. 'Journey to the Past’ becomes the Act One closer which is the right place for it to not overshadow the rest of the show, and Christy Altomare nails it to the back wall of the intimate Broadhurst. Every solo she gets is a revelation; she plays an Anya who may be suffering from PTSD, quick to lash out, quick to panic, but always tender, always headstrong, a princess before even she realises it. The show wisely ages Anya up to a more sensible, world-weary, mid-twenties and the show benefits from a less naive Anya than the film.
Derek Klena is perfect prince material as Dmitry, his 'My Petersburg’ is driving and 'Everything to Win’ is such a wonderful choice, to focus on Dmitry’s mental state as the scene that the whole plot hinges on occurs offstage. John Bolton and Caroline O'Connor sparkle as the secondary couple and they wring every ounce of available comedy out of their fairly standard numbers. Bolton is especially tender is his relationship with Altomare’s Anya. The trio numbers, 'Learn to Do It’ and 'We’ll Go From There’ are some of the show’s most intoxicating moments. Mary Beth Peil is a beautifully dignified Dowager Empress until she isn’t, and the transformation is heartbreaking.
Now the missing link. The show’s new villain (mercifully replacing the film’s out of left field Rasputin) Gleb, played by a tortured Ramin Karimloo, has improved slightly since the Hartford run but not enough to bring up the overall quality of the show. Throughout, the stakes are too low, does anyone really ever think he’s going to kill Anya? The show suffers mightily from its unwillingness to confront Gleb’s politics in juxtaposition to that of the Dowager Empress’; a street urchin like Anya would almost certainly be slightly better off under a socialist system than the old imperial system and yet she never questions why someone like the Dowager should have so much while she has so little. The communists in the play are McCarthy-era cartoons, not fleshed out people who think their system is flawed but better. If we saw a Gleb who tried to win over Anya on that account and perhaps their having a more fleshed out flirtation, I think that could fix the show’s central problems.
The other main issue is the only serviceable direction and the sometimes ugly sets. There’s nothing innovative here, and with the Russian Great Comet dominating this season, it’s easy to see how lush without being naturalistic works wonderfully but this just ends up looking cheap. Maybe there is a classy way to do projections, I just don’t really think this is it. The staging does suffer from the static set. On the other hand, the costumes are worth the price of admission.
It must be noted that I’m always happy to see female-led musicals but the casting of this could have used some more diversity. It’s not as white as Bandstand, but that’s a very low bar. All in all, it’s worth seeing for a killer new Broadway score and some killer, unrewarded performances. I’m sure it’ll have a long life on Broadway, touring, and eventually in communities that I feel will be able to innovate on this almost-gem of a show.