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‘Anastasia’ Broadway: Journey To The Past

After moving to a new city (Boston), I was eager to explore and dive into local events. When I started searching, imagine my surprise when I saw the Anastasia Broadway musical was touring by me. I recently had an Anastasia film phase so I immediately decided I had to go. The original set of tickets were sold out, but I was lucky to find tickets on a reseller website, and they were fairly cheap compared to what I expected. I had no idea what to expect when it came to the show itself.


What is Anastasia on Broadway about? 

The story is based on the animated movie in a lot of ways. It follows the legend of Anastasia, a Grand Duchess who could have escaped the execution of her family. Years later, Anya, an orphan with amnesia, sides with two con men to hopefully get more answers to who she is. The men, meanwhile, intend to use her likeness to Anastasia to receive a large prize for her safe return to her grandmother.

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Anastasia film vs. Broadway show

I will say that the core story of Anastasia Broadway is very much the same. The love story is still there. Anya is just as sassy. Most of the characters are unchanged. However, the littlest change is that Anya doesn’t have the puppy dog companion. I simply add that up to the animation wanting to lean into the animated theme of girl with animal companion and the Broadway version finding it unnecessary to driving the plot.

There is one larger change though: the villain. In the animated film, Grigori Rasputin takes on the role of villain to the story. He hates the Romanovs more than anything and wants to see their demise. Rasputin is a magical villain and uses sorcery to get his way. When he attempts to kill the Romanovs, Anastasia’s grandmother is there. The stakes are high in their attempt to escape. Rasputin dies trying to kill them, but he is in limbo because Anastasia survived. He can’t pass on until he kills her too. This lets the audience know that Anya is inherently Anastasia from early on. But the villain is a lot less realistic because of the center on magic.

In the musical, the villain is technically communism, but it’s centered specifically in the General Gleb Vaganov. He is dedicated to the new rulers and gets tasked with killing Anastasia so there are no issues with the current rulers. The main driving part of his character is that his father was one of the men who killed the Romanovs. His father died of shame and Gleb tries to convince himself that his father did the right thing, and, at the central part of the musical, he’s put in the same position as his father.

Overall, I personally didn’t mind the change in villain. It was grounded in reality and had a complex character challenging what he knew about the world, which led to an interesting conflict.

My experience seeing Anastasia Broadway on tour in Boston

The last musical I had seen was The Lightning Thief: A Percy Jackson Musical right before the start of the pandemic. In my opinion, there’s nothing like live theatre, and I was excited to be back in that world. It quickly became a countdown to the musical. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait particularly long. 

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The night of, I got myself ready in a fancy outfit that made me feel good about myself. If you’re planning for a musical, it might help to have a reference for what to wear. While there’s no need to wear something excessively fancy, I personally find wearing something a bit nicer than I’d normally wear puts me in the spirit and gets me excited because that was part of my tradition when I’d see shows as a kid with my mom.

I made sure to leave my house kind of early because parking and traffic in Boston is absolutely crazy. We got to Citizens Bank Opera House a bit early, which I was quickly thankful for with the long line for security at the door. When I got inside, there was the typical merchandise booth across from a smaller bar with snacks and a drink themed off the musical. At other locations I’ve been, snacks and merch are commonplace, but having a themed drink was a really cool touch, and, apparently, it is a norm for the location.


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My seats were pretty easy to locate and the ushers were super helpful to my party and everyone around us. I scanned the playbill for a while and enjoyed the beauty of the location, and the show started about ten minutes after I found my seat. 

Boston Opera House/ CREDIT: Alexis Cosio

In a goal to avoid immense spoilers for the musical, I’ll keep it brief. The music had the classic songs you would remember from the movie, but also had several additions that still haven’t left my head over a month later. It was beautiful to watch, nostalgic in the best ways, and the blocking was fun. The actors did an amazing job in their roles and it was so easy to feel connected to the characters they were portraying on the stage. I loved it so much that I’d definitely watch it again if I had the chance to.

Shows like Anastasia currently on Broadway 

Sadly, this musical isn’t currently on Broadway. However, if you want to see a current Broadway show that’s similar, here’s what I’d recommend!


Another animated classic. It follows the story of street rat Aladdin who finally gets a chance to get everything he’s ever dreamed of. 

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Come From Away

Like Anastasia, this story about 9/11 follows life after tragedy. 


Into the Woods

This story also follows a long list of fairy tales and includes a dozen different twists.


The Lion King

Another animated classic. It follows Simba, next in line to the throne, and includes tragic death of royalty as well.


Regardless of what you choose to see coming up, choose something that really gets you excited. Keep an eye on ticket prices, too. They’re not always as expensive as you’d imagine, and there’s nothing like live theatre.

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