Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Broadway Buzz: Anastasia The Musical

If you haven't at least heard of the 1997 cartoon musical Anastasia, you're probably lying. In fact, you can probably already hear the melancholy notes of "Once Upon a December" floating around in your head right now. In case you need a slight reminder, here is a clip from the film people like to mistake for a Disney movie.

Hopefully that jogged your memory. With beautiful songs and Disneyesque artwork, I enjoyed the film as a child. However, I started to find it just a tad disturbing when I was around thirteen. The main villain in the film is a ghost who sends demons after the heroine... not exactly something a child finds appealing. When I first watched the film I was so intrigued by the story of the missing princess that I did some research. Needless to say, I was disappointed by the results and the blatant fairy-tale of the movie. Basing a story off of a murdered Russian royal family might not have been the brightest idea.

I haven't watched the film for several years, but recently I've been keeping up with the development of a stage adaptation that is set to premiere on Broadway this coming spring. With more songs to add to the originals, Anastasia is my top anticipated Broadway shows of 2017. Here's the short trailer released with Christy Altomare's lovely vocals in the background (she plays Anya, the main character).

Isn't it just lovely? Add that to the fact that they've done away with the creepy ghost from hell storyline and instead added in a conflicted Russian soldier trying to track down Anya, and I'm so excited. The story is my favorite elements of the original, with my least favorite removed and some new ones I'm excited about. Not to mention Gleb, the Russian soldier, is going to be played by the one and only Ramin Karimloo, famous for recreating the character of The Phantom of the Opera and originating the role of Jean-Val-Jean in the 2012 Broadway revival of Les Miserables. He also happens to be one of my favorite performers. Here are a few photos so you can see a bit of my thrill.

Dmitri and Anya chilling. 
 Look at the beautiful set in the background!

I'm psyched to see "Once Upon a December" performed on stage. I hope it is brilliant. 

This guy will be played by Ramin on Broadway. (These photos are from the Off-Broadway production at the Hartford Stage). 
Right about now I'm wishing I had more in my pockets so that I can catch a bus and get a ticket for this show because I know it's going to beautiful! There's still time before the show opens, so I guess now's the time to start saving. 

What do you think of the idea as Anastasia as a Broadway show? And do you have any thoughts on the plot changes?


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