Anastasia, the new musical from Tony-winning Ragtime, Once On This Island and Rocky songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, completes its journey from screen to stage in a Hartford Stage production directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak (A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder). Choreography is by Peggy Hickey.
Anastasia officially opens May 27 after previews that began May 13. The musical, which continues through June 19, will arrive on Broadway at a Shubert theatre-to-be-announced during the 2016-17 Broadway season.
The 1997 animated musical used the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia as its inspiration, earning the duo Oscar nominations for Best Original Song (“Journey to the Past”) and for Best Music: Original Musical or Comedy Score. Ahrens and Flaherty have aligned themselves with their Tony-winning Ragtime collaborator, playwright Terrence McNally, to bring what the writers see as an all-new musical to the stage.
The musical, which incorporates characters not seen in the film, promises a mix of songs from the film and new numbers. The film songs have been extensively revised and rewritten for the stage.
The cast features Christy Altomare (Mamma Mia!) in the title role opposite Derek Klena (Bridges of Madison County) as Dmitry.
The ensemble features Lauren Blackman, James Brown III, Max Clayton, Janet Dickinson, Constantine Germanacos, Rayanne Gonzales, Ken Krugman, Kevin Ligon, Alida Michal, Shina Ann Morris, Kevin Munhall, Molly Rushing, Johnny Stellard and Samantha Sturm, plus swing performers Maxwell Carmel, Katherine McLellan and Riley Briggs.
According to Hartford Stage, “Anastasia is the romantic and rousing story of one brave young woman attempting to discover the mystery of her past while finding a place for herself in the rapidly changing world of a new century. With a rich and sweeping musical score that evokes the opulence of Russian aristocracy and the energy of Paris street life, Anastasia is the ultimate journey of a woman caught between the pull of the past and the promise of the future.”
The musical has costume design by Linda Cho, set design by Alexander Dodge, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Peter Hylenski, orchestrations by Doug Besterman, music direction by Thomas Murray, video and projection design by Aaron Rhyne, wig and hair design by Charles G. LaPointe, dance arrangements by David Chase and fight choreography by Jeff Barry. Casting is by Craig Burns of Telsey + Co.
Stage Entertainment USA ( Sister Act, Rocky) and Tom Kirdahy (It’s Only A Play, The Visit) are producing the production.
(Updated May 27)