Get excited, we’ve got the inside scoop on the brand new “Anastasia” musical
Have you heard? Anastasia is jumping from the screen to stage and we can’t stop shouting about it from the rooftops. It feels like we’ve been waiting our whole life for something like this — or, at least the last 20 years. The animated classic was released in theaters back in 1997, and we insatiately fell in love with the spunky, strong Anya, her story, and her songs.
Raise your hand if for the last two decades you’ve been belting out “Journey to the Past.” ?
But now, for Anya’s big move to the stage, she’s getting a little bit of an update — but don’t freak out! She’s still going to belt out “Journey to the Past.” However, a few things have changed.
HelloGiggles recently caught up with Anastasia’s lyricist, Lynn Ahrens, over email. Lynn not only wrote the songs for the new musical, but she also wrote the songs for the 1997 movie. If there’s anyone who knows Anastasia’s story and music, it’s Lynn. She’s here to reassure us that everything about the new musical will live up to our our wildest Anastasia dreams.
"There are a whole lot of brand new [songs in the musical], plus gorgeous dance and musical sequences. We used 5 of our favorite songs from the original movie. (Including 'Journey to the Past,' which took us to the Oscars.) Each of these songs is used in a different way now — either majorly rewritten or in a different place in the show. All in all, it’s a new score which uses a handful of songs from the movie."
And one of these brand new songs? Swoon-worthy Dmitry finally gets a song — something that was missing from the animated movie.
"We always intended to write songs for the character of Dmitry, but the movie didn’t seem to have a place for them," Lynn writes. "Now that we have the wonderful Derek Klena playing Dmitry, we’ve been inspired to write some great solos for him, as well as a beautiful duet. Derek is one of those young actors who has it all — voice, acting chops, charm, wit. And he’s not too bad-looking. We lucked out.
Lynn also knows the reason why audiences have latched on to the story of Anya for 20 years.
"It’s a powerful story and touches on all kinds of themes that connect with our hearts. We want to believe there is someone out there who will love us, a place where we belong, a chance for hope and happiness. That’s the story of Anastasia, and it’s universal."
The new musical begins previews on March 23rd, with an opening slated for April 24th. But where’s our girl headed after that? It’s hard not to think about a return back to the big screen. Anastasia, the movie turned musical, turned movie-musical anyone??
"I actually do think it has all the elements of a great movie musical," Lynn continues. "And the show even has a gorgeous, cinematic look. Let’s do it!"