Based on the film of the same name , the musical adapts the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia , who could have escaped the execution of her family. Years later, an amnesiac orphan named Anya hopes to find some trace of her family by siding with two con men who wish to take advantage of her likeness to the Grand Duchess. After completing a pre-Broadway run in Hartford, Connecticut , the show premiered on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre in April , and since then it has spawned multiple productions worldwide. The original stage production of Anastasia premiered at the Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut on May 13, previews. The musical also omits the supernatural elements from the original film, including the character of Rasputin and his musical number "In the Dark of the Night", and introduces instead a new villain called Gleb, a general for the Bolsheviks who receives orders to kill Anya. The musical opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre on March 23, , in previews, officially on April 24, , featuring most of the original Hartford principal cast. The production was met with mixed reviews by critics, citing uneven subplots and an overly long running time as primary issues. A Mexican production was expected to open in late at the Teatro Telcel in Mexico City , but it has been postponed indefinitely. The production took its final bow on March 27, having played 14 performances. An Osaka engagement was expected to follow at the Umeda Arts Theater from April 6 to 18, , but it was canceled because of the pandemic.
Ever since when we wrote the original score for the animated movie Anastasia , we often wished that one day someone would make it into a stage musical and take us along for the ride. All these years later, we got our wish. What we discovered was that writing the score for the stage version was freeing but also challenging. Most of all, since none of us were interested in doing a page-to-stage recreation of the movie, we had to rewrite the original material so it steered clear of anything that was too childish, and that it worked with a new concept and a new book by our dear friend and collaborator Terrence McNally. The freeing part was writing new songs. This music box lullaby will become a recurring motif about memory and identity throughout the show. LA : I love this delicate, crystalline accompaniment—like snowflakes falling—and the lyric, evoking wintry Russian images and the sense of a distant past.
In the mids, 20th Century Fox set out to produce an animated film musical based on the mystery surrounding the fate of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. Enlisted to write the score for the film were theatre songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty , who had recently made their Broadway debuts with the Tony-nominated musical Once on This Island. This is a song I wrote very quickly. We had different versions of songs for this moment. It was meant to be a traveling song that took her from that point all the way to this point. It worked beautifully with the animation, and really told the story of a young woman starting out on a journey. The idea of the character searching that was very much in that. Ahrens: What I like a lot about it is the lyric progression. People always say, life is full of choices, no one ever mentions fear. Or how the world can seem so vast….