Anastasia Musical Sets World Premiere
One of the most beloved animated movie musicals of all time is finally headed to the stage! While you are currently able to find revolutionary Russia on stage on Broadway in the new musical Doctor Zhivago, a brand new musical charting that same history will soon make its way to the stage not far from New York. The beloved Anastasia, which follows a young girl at the turn of a new century in Russia, captured the hearts of audiences on the screen over a decade ago. Now, it will work to capture those hearts again as it heads to the stage in a world premiere production. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that Anastasia will receive a world premiere next spring in the United States!
Hartford Stage has proudly announced they will be home to the world premiere of the stage musical version of Anastasia. The production is set to hit the stage next spring running May 12, 2016 through June 12, 2016. The stage musical will receive music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Pictured Right) with a book by Tony Award winner Terrance McNally. The production will be directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak, who also serves as the Artistic Director for Hartford Stages. The production has been in the works for the past two years and is set to receive a reading this June in New York City. The musical reportedly will include songs from the film as well as brand new songs written for the stage. The book has also received extensive revisions for the stage.
Ahrens, Flaherty, McNally and Tresnjak have been at work on the stage adaptation of the movie for the past two years. According to notes, the musical received a reading in 2012 with Kelli Barrett (Currently appearing in Dr. Zhivago & Pictured Left) in the title role. Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury, who voiced the Dowager Empress Marie in the film, also repeated her performance in that reading. The musical is reportedly set to receive another reading this June in New York City. While at this time there is no current scheduled life of Anastasia beyond Hartford Stages, many are hoping for a Broadway bow of the production sometime in the near future.
Anastasia is a 1997 animated movie musical produced by Fox Animation Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Upon release, the movie received positive reviews from critics and brought in over $139 million dollars worldwide. The movie includes the voices of many well know stars such as Kirsten Dunst as young Anastasia, Meg Ryan as adult Anastasia, John Cusack as Dimitri, Kelsey Grammer as Vladimir Vanya Voinitsky Vasilovich, Christopher Lloyd as Rasputin, Hank Azaria as Bartok, Angela Lansbury as Dowager Empress Marie, Bernadette Peters as Sophie Stanislovskievna Somorkov-Smirnoff, Andrea Martin as Phlegmenkoff and Rick Hones as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Many of the leads had doubles for their character’s singing voices. The movie was also nominated for two Oscars for Best Original Song for “Journey to the Past and for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score. It is the most profitable film from Fox Animation Studios to date.
According to Hartford Stages, the stage adaptation of Anastasia follows the romantic and rousing story of a brave young women who works to discover her past while finding a place in the changing world in a new century. The musical will be the ultimate journey of a woman caught between the pull of the past and the promise of the future.
I am so excited to hear that Anastasia will finally head to the stage next year in a long-awaited musical adaptation! This beloved movie musical is one that many have called for a stage adaptation of for years now. While many think the film belongs to Disney, it does not. As mentioned above, the animated movie musical as a product of Fox Animation Studios and is their most profitable to date. The music of Anastasia’s film is one that practically calls for it to be on the stage. That is because it was written by Tony Award winners Aherns and Flaherty. The mounting of Anastasia at Hartford Stages might also seem like your typical regional theatre debut but I believe it is more than that. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love And Murder played here before hitting Broadway in 2014 and winning over critics. Gentleman’s Guide (Pictured Above Left) went on to win many awards across New York including the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical. That musical was helmed by Darko Tresnjak who will also helm Anastasia. Could this be the first step in bringing Anastasia to Broadway? I would not doubt it. I would also love to see Kelli Barrett reprise her role (From the 2012 reading) and star as Anastasia. I was lucky enough to recently see her in Doctor Zhivago on Broadway and she is simply extraordinary. She is a brilliant actress and has an incredible voice that would be perfectly fitting for this production. I think she might also have the whole Russian culture down by now!
Luner on Theatre will keep you up to date on Anastasia‘s journey to the stage over the next year! We’re hoping to bring you a look at the New York City summer reading if casting becomes public as well as the coverage that will come with the Hartford Stage run! At this time, there is no official website or social media directly related to the Anastasia stage musical. For more information, visit Hartford Stage’s Official Website, Facebook Page or Twitter. And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!