Anastasia Musical Review: The Classic Tale Premieres at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre

Anastasia Musical Review

Anastasia debuted in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre last night. The musical, which is the latest to hit the iconic Fox stage as part of the Regions Bank Broadway in Atlanta’s 2022/2023 season, is inspired by the beloved 1997 film of the same name.

Being a huge fan of the animated feature, I have been waiting for this one to come through Atlanta since it first debuted on Broadway in 2017. So did it live up to my expectations? It hits that nostalgia button hard! While there are some notable changes from the film to the stage, your favorite songs from the movie stay front and center with “Once Upon a December” and “Journey to the Past”.

The musical is lead by a talented cast that includes Veronica Stern as Anya, Willem Butler as Dmitry, Ben Edquist as Gleb, Gerri Weagraff as Dowager Empress, Bryan Seastrom as Vlad, Madeline Raube as Countess Lily and Leela Chopra, and Alexandrya Salazar as Little Anastasia. And the ensemble as a whole delivers a beautiful performance.

Anastasia Musical
Photo Credit: Evan Zimmerman

The Story of Anastasia

For those unfamiliar with the story, Anastasia transports us back through time to the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. We follow Anya, a young and independent woman who is determined to figure out who she is. Despite not remembering her childhood, she knows that something is awaiting her in Paris and that she’ll unlock the truth of her past if she can just get to France.

With the help of conman and an ex-aristocrat, who have motivations of their own, Anya finds herself on an epic adventure to find her family, home, and love. Anya faces all of this while also being pursued by a Soviet officer, who must either kill her or bring her back to Russia to face the consequences.

Anastasia Musical
Photo Credit: Evan Zimmerman

A Few of the Differences Between the Anastasia Musical and the 1997 Animated Film

While the Don Bluth and Gary Goldman-directed film from the late 90s tells a heartfelt story that feels almost like a Disneyfied fairytale, Broadway’s Anastasia tells a very different story. The musical takes a deeper dive into Russian history. 

Audiences experience Anya’s story within the madness of the revolution. The story opens in the early 1900s when the Romanov Dynasty is still in power. The Russian Revolution arrives in 1917 and brings a brutal end to the family’s reign. We then rejoin Anya in 1927, post-revolution.

While fans of the film might remember the Christopher Lloyd-voice Rasputin as the movie’s villain, we meet a different villain in the stage musical. Bolshevik officer Gleb is a more historically accurate bad guy for the tale, bringing a different tone to the story. We venture away from the fairytale-esque feel of the movie into a colder sense of Russian reality of the early 1900s.

Among some of the other notable differences from the film, the musical offers some additional new songs, more time in Paris (the entire second act), and a deeper backstory for Dmitry.

Anastasia Musical
Photo Credit: Evan Zimmerman

Anastasia Musical in Atlanta

Anastasia is playing in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre now through December 11, 2022. Tickets are available at the Fox Theatre box office (660 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308), by visiting their website here or by calling (855)-285-8499. Group orders of 10 or more may be placed by calling the Fox Theatre at (855)-285-8499.

If you check out the musical, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!