This nostalgic musical will bring your childhood fantasies to life

There’s a fairly new musical in town, and it’s taking over all my playlists. Seriously, I can’t get these songs out of my head. Anastasia the musical ran its first show on Broadway in April 2017. It was inspired by the children’s movie Anastasia from the ‘90s.

 

I was obsessed with the movie Anastasia when I was a child (and I obviously still am). Glittering gowns, catchy music, mystical story, and a strong female lead… I mean, who wouldn’t be??? If you had a similar childhood obsession, this musical will give you that sweet deja vu feeling that Anastasia herself experiences.

Anastasia (the movie) is a historically-inspired fairytale about the lost princess of the Romanov dynasty, taking place right after the Russian Revolution. The story imagines what could’ve happened to the real Anastasia with dream-like music and a fairytale twist, with the villain Rasputin and the charming young conman Dimitri, our Anastasia’s love interest. Ten years after the Romanov family was killed during the Revolution, there are still rumors that the missing princess Anastasia survived. Dimitri and his partner Vlad intend to find a girl to play the part of Anastasia and take her to her grandmother in Paris to get the reward money, but they stumble upon the real Anastasia, who has lost her memory and grown up in an orphanage by the name of Anya. Meanwhile, the sorcerer Rasputin is trying to kill Anastasia throughout the story to finish what he started and end the Romanov bloodline.

 The Broadway musical changes up the story a little bit, replacing Rasputin’s character with the more realistic Bolshevik general Gleb. The music itself is largely taken from the movie, but they’ve added new songs that are just as amazing as our childhood favorites "Journey to the Past" and "Once Upon a December". While some songs are incredibly catchy and heart-warming, some of the songs are hauntingly beautiful, complementing the tone of the story. "In My Dreams" is a song about when Anya was first found after the palace was stormed from her perspective. "In a Crowd of Thousands" describes when Dimitri and Anastasia first encountered one another in the cutest duet ever.

The scenery is very innovative and all-around incredible. The stage depicts many different setting from the poverty-stricken streets of St. Petersburg to the glamorous city of Paris in realistic, creative ways (like a moving train cart!!!). The show is visually stunning with chilling mood lighting and symbolic blocking, not to mention the most beautiful costumes I have ever seen.

Here's a video to give you a visual and auditory preview!

But the star of the show is no doubt Anya herself. She is a feisty, stubborn young woman who has lost everything but maintains her fiery perseverance throughout the story. She is an inspiring heroine who ultimately rescues herself in a display of untouchable courage and strong will.

If you get the chance to see this musical, I highly recommend. But if you can’t and you’re just a theatre dork or history nerd like me, you should definitely give the soundtrack a listen and of course watch the movie if you haven’t seen it already.