Don’t worry, the Anastasia we know and love isn’t changing when she jumps from screen to stage
If you’re a child of the late ’90s, more than likely you can belt out all the words to “Journey to the Past” as if you were born signing the song. The animated classic Anastasia was huge staple of our childhood, and now, it’s coming back into our lives in an even bigger way.
Later this month, the new musical Anastasia will open on Broadway, and we’re trying so hard to contain our excitement. However, it’s hard not to be a little bit worried, too — will this new Anya live up to the strong, spunky, lost princess we grew up with?
If you’re nervous, don’t be! The musical Anastasia is, at its core, still a story we know and love, all about the girl we know and love. As lyricist Lynn Ahrens explained to HelloGiggles, the creative team behind the musical set out to make “something more romantic, more realistic, more grounded in history, with more complex characters.”
Lynn is exactly who you want to talk to if you’re looking to discuss a more ~grown up~ Anastasia. She, along with her writing parter Stephen Flaherty, actually wrote the songs for the 1997 movie. Just like us, Lynn has been living (and singing) about Anastasia for the last 20 years. Now, as Anya starts on her new journey across the stage, Lynn chatted with HelloGiggles over email about this brand new version of the feisty (lost) princess.
"Ever since we wrote the score for the animated feature in 1997, I always hoped we’d have a chance to do our own version for the stage, but it seemed like it would never happen," Lynn writes. "Twenty years later, this is literally a dream come true."
It’s our dream come true, too! A new Anastasia has been on our wish-list forever, and according to Lynn the musical was “like starting from scratch.”
"We knew the original movie so well, but suddenly [Stephen Flaherty and I] found ourselves wanting to write a whole new version."
It’s a new version, but it very much pulls from the original animated story. As for Anya, she’s still “tough, vulnerable, funny –someone who can walk halfway across Russia and never give up until she finds where she belongs and what she’s made of.”
"It became very clear that Christy Altomare was our Anya," Lynn continues. "She’s created an unforgettable character, and wait till you hear her sing. When we did our out-of-town [run] in Hartford, [Connecticut last year], one young woman told me, 'I grew up on the movie, but the musical has grown up for me.' And that's exactly what we wanted to do."
And that’s exactly what we want to hear. Anastasia begins previews on March 23rd, with an official opening on April 24th. You can snag tickets here, and see you in St. Petersburg.