Gent's Guide Director Tapped for Stage Adaptation of Anastasia Musical

By Adam Hetrick
02 Jun 2014

Poster art for the original film.
Poster art for the original film.

A stage musical of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's animated feature "Anastasia" will receive a New York City developmental lab under the direction of Tony Award nominee Darko Tresnjak, according to an Equity casting notice.

Tresnjak (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) will helm the late July-early August reading of Anastasia, which has a book by Tony Award winner Terrence McNally (Ragtime, Mothers and Sons). The developmental lab will have musical direction by Tom Murray. 

The stage production, which incorporates characters not seen in the film, is based on the 1997 animated musical film. It incorporates a mix of songs from the film and new numbers. The film songs have been extensively revised and rewritten for the stage.

Stage Entertainment, which is producing the Broadway debut of Ahrens and Flaherty's Rocky, is shepherding the stage musical.



A 2012 reading featured Kelli Barrett in the title role with Angela Lansbury, who voiced Dowager Empress Marie in the film, repeating her performance.

The film adaptation featured Meg Ryan voicing Anastasia when she wasn't singing, and Broadway's Liz Callaway (Baby, Miss Saigon) sang the songs. "Journey to the Past" was Oscar-nominated for Best Original Song. The song was also Golden Globe Award-nominated, as was "Once Upon a December."

In addition to the Best Song Academy Award nomination, the picture was Oscar-nommed for Best Music — Original Musical or Comedy Score (naming Ahrens, Flaherty and David Newman).