Anastasia (NYC)
Closed 2h 30m
Anastasia (NYC)
83

Anastasia (NYC) NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(2043 Reviews)
Positive
90%
Mixed
8%
Negative
2%
Members say
Enchanting, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Great staging

About the Show

Inspired by the Anastasia legend and two movies—including the 1997 animated film—this new musical is the romantic, adventure-filled story of a brave young woman attempting to uncover her past.

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Member Reviews (2043)

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70
Beautiful to behold, Long, Strong singing, Wildly uneven tone, Muddled script

See it if you love old-fashioned musicals. Lavish costumes, sets, special effects. Well staged and acted/sung. But script doesn't work/some weak songs

Don't see it if you want content as gd as production values. Romance is forced. Villain's scenes the worst. Still, I was entertained (I went as a guest).

86
Great staging, Great book, Enchanting, Vivid, Forgetful songs

See it if You want to see a visually stunning piece of work, lush, grand and beautiful to look at. Great story. Nice to listen to but forgotten quick.

Don't see it if You're going to be super critical. It's a nice show. It's not going to be a classic but it's much better than the reviews led me to believe.

Critic Reviews (53)

The New York Times
April 24th, 2017

"The amnesiac title character of 'Anastasia' isn’t alone in suffering a serious identity crisis. The postcard-scenic show that bears her name has its own troubling case of multiple personality disorder...The show in which she appears trembles nonstop with internal conflicts during its drawn-out two-and-a-half hours...The cartoon version from 1997 is very fondly remembered by people who saw it as tweens...Those without such nostalgic insulation are likely to find this 'Anastasia' a chore."
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Time Out New York
April 24th, 2017

"The happiest surprise is how consistently good the musical turns out to be. Smartly adapted by Terrence McNally from the 1997 animated film...with Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens impressively expanding their score...'Anastasia' is a sweeping adventure, romance and historical epic whose fine craftsmanship will satisfy musical-theater fans beyond the show’s ideal audience of teenage girls...'Anastasia' is the richest and fullest family show to hit Broadway in years."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
April 24th, 2017

"There’s something soothing (in the wrong way) about the team’s ability to follow all the templates of normal musical-making even while writing about something so abnormal...A score of singular characterlessness. McNally’s book, its structural improvements notwithstanding, is similarly bland...Tresnjak’s tonally schizophrenic staging only makes things worse...It bewilders me that in making stage musicals from animated movies, adapters seem to think they can remain outside history."
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New Yorker
April 25th, 2017

"In Tresnjak’s production, everything is incredibly overblown, from the screensaver-like cityscape projections to the score, by Flaherty and Ahrens, who never met a pop ballad that they couldn’t top off with a sweeping high note...Historical license doesn’t quite cover the liberties taken, and in this riches-to-rags-to-riches tale there’s a great deal of romantic nostalgia for imperial Russia...If you bring a small child, you might get some thorny questions about the October Revolution."
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 24th, 2017

"The show as a whole is a tad bland, though it’s beautifully staged...There's a workmanlike feel to the musical's construction. Lack of nuance in the writing makes the three leads, while vocally strong, quite vanilla...But Tresnjak elevates the material...It's kitschy, old-fashioned entertainment given a relatively sophisticated presentation, and you have to acknowledge its success when you hear the target demographic swoon on cue."
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Entertainment Weekly
April 24th, 2017

"A fidget-inducing, two-and-a-half-hour Broadway musical, with a production not nearly animated enough to warrant that running time...Peil and her gregarious lady-in-waiting, Countess Lily prove to be the most dynamic performers of the bunch. Altomare and Klena fall flat, lacking the charisma needed to fill the slog...Fans of the film will find some joy in the score...Director Tresnjak caters to his young audience with a healthy—perhaps too healthy—dose of superfluous ensemble sequences."
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Variety
April 24th, 2017

"A sumptuous fairy tale of a musical that should please the kids, satisfy the sentimental and comfort those who thought the old templates for musical comedy were passé. The broad strokes of the familiar—a romantic young couple, a villain in hot pursuit, comic supporting characters—can still be irresistible when combined with taste, craftsmanship and a willing suspension of disbelief. Director Tresnjak, together with much of that first-class design team, weave an enchanting spell."
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The Wall Street Journal
April 25th, 2017

“The musical’s various elements are so finely fitted and its cast so accomplished that all comparison is quickly left behind. It is intelligent, well-crafted, often exhilarating…A great deal of the credit must go to the book by McNally…Altomare is wondrous as Anya…Her voice is luminous and powerful and clear…In the expansion of their film score, Mr. Flaherty and Ms. Ahrens have created something much more coherent and comprehensive while keeping its highlights.”
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Deadline
April 24th, 2017

“Tresnjak and choreographer Hickey have built a solid machine to make a lugubrious story pass by swiftly, if not always gracefully. They have in Altomare a near-perfect heroine whose only flaw is her flawlessness; as Anstasia, she seems too blandly resilient for anything more complex than a cartoon character’s reinvention...She’s lovely. A similar quality—or, rather, lack of distinguishing qualities—applies to the two men vying for her…‘Anastasia’ is surprisingly mild.”
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The Washington Post
April 24th, 2017

"It’s just dull...The show has few illuminating ideas of its own: At various times, the musical interludes remind you of better moments in 'My Fair Lady,' 'Fiddler on the Roof' and 'Les Miz.' Not even my daughter, who loved the movie version as a child, fell for the tortured make-believe mechanics of this 'Anastasia.'"
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Chicago Tribune
April 24th, 2017

"Works quite delightfully when the star is center stage, and struggles mightily when she is off in the wings, where the charming Christy Altomare spends far too long...A clunky start...Tresnjak forges some potent later scenes...This is not a musical that wants to start a revolution. To say the least. But once McNally's book finds its feet, and the physical production gets out of the way of the several gorgeous, old-school ballads therein, 'Anastasia' has its moments of credible emancipation."
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New York Daily News
April 24th, 2017

"The show, despite being filled with some very good songs and performances, suffers from its own identity crisis. It’s got a split personality and is torn between whether it’s serious drama or frothy musical comedy...Darko Tresnjak’s staging boasts momentum and atmosphere...While the show’s tone is muddy, Altomare has a bright, clear voice and shines in the lead role. Anya may or may not be a princess, but the actress playing her is a royal treat."
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AM New York
April 24th, 2017

"An uneven but well-meaning and mostly pleasant new Broadway musical...The highlights of the score are the pretty power ballads from the film...Too much time is filled with drawn-out scenes and new songs (also by Ahrens and Flaherty) that are not as memorable...As directed by Tresnjak, it looks elegant, moves seamlessly and makes unusually great use of background digital projections. Christy Altomare is smashing as Anya, with powerhouse vocals full of spark and sensitive yearning."
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Theatermania
April 24th, 2017

"Undeniably entertaining, but also relevant to the magical thinking that seems to have overtaken so much of the world...There are plenty of great performances in 'Anastasia'...Sporting a bright and clear voice, Altomare is amiable as Anya, but not nearly enough of a presence to sustain this central role...In moments, 'Anastasia' seems to transcend its cartoonish origins and become something one might not expect from the title: a serious Broadway musical."
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BroadwayWorld
April 26th, 2017

“No, that's not some forgotten Golden Age musical floating effervescently across the Broadhurst stage, but ‘Anastasia’ sure has the old-fashioned romantic feel of one…Director Darko Tresnjak's charming production is played on designer Alexander Dodge's simple unit set that frames storybook projections by Aaron Rhyne…While the story may be told in broad strokes, ‘Anastasia's’ attractively traditional score, good humor and winning performances make it a family-friendly delight.”
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Lighting & Sound America
April 25th, 2017

“‘Anastasia' is mostly interested in platitudes and rose-colored romance…It's tough to care about a cast of characters that includes a leading lady with no fixed identity, a pair of grifters, and a bitter old recluse; nevertheless, the principals do their best to put over the improbable plot…If you're in the mood for this kind of colorful Barbara Cartland nonsense, 'Anastasia' goes down pretty easily, although Tresnjak's direction never really isolates the juicy melodrama at the show's heart.”
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Talkin' Broadway
April 24th, 2017

"For all these smart changes, this 'Anastasia' fails to completely escape the influence of its cartoony forebear...Everything is technically proficient. It's just also too vanilla to linger long in your mind, or at all in your heart. At least Tresnjak's staging is slick, handsome, and fast-moving...To do justice to Anastasia's story, there must be genuine risks, genuine losses, and genuine feelings that go beyond surface-level, cookie-cutter emotions and their matching songs."
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Broadway News
April 24th, 2017

"The integration of style, form and content is forced and contrived. Sumptuous production values and a fine cast cannot, in the end, overcome the drawbacks of the production...It is, in fact, all over the place — and what a lot of places there are to be all over! Here I am speaking not only of geography but also of influences...Tresnjak is a director whose body of work deserves admiration, but he hasn’t managed to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts of this musical."
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CurtainUp
April 30th, 2017

"If this sounds more calculated for a long, multiple ticket-selling life than genuinely heart-touching, you're right. In fairness, Altomare is a fine Anya. Though she lacks real superstar charisma, she has a lovely soprano...The most successful aspect of this production comes from the knockout production values...But while I love the way sophisticated stagecraft can enhance a show, scenery is intended to support the story and performers, rather than be the scene-stealing star."
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Front Row Center
April 28th, 2017

"A perfectly crafted Broadway musical fairy tale that is going to run forever. Family-friendly, romantic, glittery, great sets and costumes, and songs the audience already knows and loves…I was dazed and confused by the enthusiasm all around me...But I guess my ability to delude myself about what’s real and what’s fantasy is in pretty short supply these days. I just can’t pretend that what’s actually happened, you know, real people getting murdered, didn’t happen and it’s all OK.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
May 15th, 2017

"The splashy and animated postcard-like musical is pretty enough...It’s a real-life fairy tale crafted into a dreamy romantic musical directed with flair...Starts out thoroughly enchanting us with the lovely and engaging memory song, 'Once Upon a December'...I only wish the rest of the show brought forth similar and stronger attachments and memories, more than what this pretty, but slightly dull musical is able to conjure."
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Exeunt Magazine
April 25th, 2017

“The likable Broadway cast and well-crafted new tunes created for the stage musical cannot cure this projection-heavy production of its unimaginative staging and digitally dependent look…The book lightly dusts the ‘politics’ of Russia and its Soviet past into the happenings but it’s an awkward fit…Klena can be a bit wooden. He needs the right director to pull a multi-faceted performance out of him...Altomare is darling but she’s given little to work with."
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Broadway Blog
April 29th, 2017

"As hollow as a set of Russian nesting dolls...One would hope that 'Anastasia' reached the epic proportions of its source material. But under the anachronistic and often over-stylized direction of Darko Tresnjak, her journey is about as interesting as a bowl of beet borscht...Christy Altomare does her best to carry the production, but the weight of its inadequacies is too heavy for her slight frame."
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C
April 24th, 2017

“While this new version is a tad too overstuffed, both in terms of Flaherty and Ahrens’ score and McNally’s too-complex-for-tweens book, the result is still the kind of satisfying, family-friendly fare of which Broadway is always in too short supply...Tresnjak has directed the show with a very steady hand, rarely allowing the pace to lag over 2-and-a-half hours or the focus to go too far astray...If you have a young daughter, you’ll probably be rushin’ to catch this Russian-themed extravaganza."
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DC Theatre Scene
April 24th, 2017

"'Anastasia' winds up promoting nostalgia for the last reign of the Romanovs, those elegantly attired autocrats who sponsored pogroms against the Jews...If the songs don’t offer the same power or allure as their scores for 'Ragtime,' they are a clever and melodic enough accompaniment for what is the real strength of this production–its beautiful design and its wonderful cast...How the plot plays out will surprise no one, but there are some palpable delights along the way."
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Times Square Chronicles
April 28th, 2017

"Gloriously brought to life...Director Tresnjak weaves a truly enchanting spell thanks in part to his casting of Christy Altomare. With her pure singing voice, appealing stage presence and strong acting choices, Altomare has that illusive 'it factor' that makes you care about her...This score is tuneful and scrumptious...It also helps when you have incredibly powerful vocals from Altomare, Karimloo and Klena. Terrence McNally’s book keeps us on the edge of our seats and weaves a romantic air."
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The Wrap
April 24th, 2017

"A muddled, pro-Czarist Russia musical for the Trump era...It’s a show that pays homage to the kleptocracy that was the Romanovs of Russia. How could our president not be thrilled?...Terrence McNally’s book goes through so many contortions on the subject of Anastasia...Christy Altomare and Derek Klena display pretty singing voices, and otherwise show as much depth as the animated-film characters their roles are based on."
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W
April 28th, 2017

"An old-fashioned book musical with a ravishing score, expressive, illuminating lyrics, significant talent, remarkable visuals, war, deception, and love...‘Anastasia’ might be considered a primer for well-conceived musicals. Numbers organically elaborate on dialogue. Comic relief appears after quiet intensity. Past and present occupy the stage with cohesive luster...Altomare is grave and radiant. We’re with her every step of the way. Warm vocals wonder and soar."
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Cultural Weekly
May 1st, 2017

"It may go over with the 'Wicked'-'Annie'-'Matilda' tween-girl crowd, but this live cartoon is not for adults...Tresnjak’s broadly played production is like one of those combination rides and shows at Disney World...Echoes of greater musicals abound...The competent cast led by Altomare and Klena earn their paychecks but rarely rise above the stale script. Only Caroline O’Connor as a buffoonish countess and Mary Beth Peil as the stern Empress create an original impression."
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Theater In The Now
May 7th, 2017

"The stage adaptation is an uneven mash-up of the animated film as well as the 1956 film of the same name...The integration of the two plot lines was not nearly as polished or seamless as it needed to be...Overall, the new tunes are quite good, though the historical ones felt a touch out of the world...A visual triumph...Come for the music, stay for Aaron Rhyne’s breathtaking projection design...This production is a technological game changer. But it’s not perfect."
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Newsday
April 24th, 2017

"More power ballads have been added to the pretty but dispiritingly predictable story of Anastasia...Tony-winning director Darko Tresnjak keeps everything moving attractively along. But there is little he can do with a vapid story that has absolutely no context for a revolution that, in this version of history, only turns out paupers and bureaucratic puppets...Christy Altomare is strong as Anya."
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The Stage (UK)
April 25th, 2017

“Bland family entertainment…The period flavor stops with Ahrens and Flaherty's score, which has typically lush, swirling melodies but could come from any one of the pop operas of the last 25 years…Mostly the show coasts on its anodyne, and sometimes cloying charm. This is embodied in the weakly portrayed central relationship between Christy Altomare's title character and Derek Klena as her suitor, though they both at least sing their roles well.”
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Daily Beast
April 24th, 2017

"Lushly orchestrated, gently delightful musical...'Anastasia' the musical chooses its own alternative facts, and does so with gorgeously sweeping music by Stephen Flaherty, courtly, crisp choreography by Peggy Hickey, grand designs by Alexander Dodge...The story, non-fatally, doesn’t have much story...Difficult questions about Russia and its past and future are raised and soon forgotten, with shrugs of shoulders and sighs. The performances are shining."
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Towleroad
April 25th, 2017

“The intermittent pleasures of this bright, historical fairy tale are difficult to deny outright, even for those in deep denial about their own tiara-tinged aspirations…For a Russian epic spanning 30 years, Tresnjak’s staging is mercifully simple and deftly executed…But it’s a bold and appealing score, which includes new songs written for the stage, that makes 'Anastasia' float, showcasing the powerful voices of its cast and weaving memorable moments into a standard fairy tale.”
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Cabaret Scenes
May 1st, 2017

“While Terrence McNally’s adaptation from the 1997 release unravels somewhat unevenly with gaps of uncertainty, the show proves enchanting to a young audience…Flaherty and Ahrens add numerous new songs, many unmemorable…Tresnjak’s directing flows…An ebullient cast led by Christie Altomare, who sparkles as Anya/Anastasia and Derek Klena as her supportive love interest carry this light family musical drama to its happily-ever-after ending. "
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T
April 25th, 2017

"The disappointing first act catered to the younger fans at the expense of the story, but the second act was enchanting, taking a far more adult approach, a treat for young and old alike...The projections, which often evoke travel, get more creative once the maps go away, enhancing Alexander Dodge’s cleverly functional set...Director Darko Tresnjak can’t save the dreary sentimentality of the first act but really opens things up in the vastly more entertaining second act."
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M
April 29th, 2017

"It’s an oft-told story, but the book, the score, and the imaginative staging by director Darko Tresnjak of an appealing cast tell it with infectious enthusiasm...Probably most spectacular of all is the set design, which utilizes to jaw-dropping effect the gigantic, eye-popping projections of Rhyne...An exemplar of entertainment that tries hard and successfully to give its Broadway audience its money’s worth. It may not elevate the art form, but it certainly keeps it happily afloat."
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TheaterScene.com
May 1st, 2017

"One of the most extravagantly beautiful physical productions you’ll ever see. A masterpiece? Far from it. But 'Anastasia' might be called breathtakingly competent...If the storytelling falls short of inspired, it’s consummately professional, and never dull...Lovers of well-structured, romantic musicals, and audiences hungry for a visual pampering, are likely to have a wonderful time."
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Out Magazine
May 1st, 2017

"I thought the first half of 'Anastasia' came off a bit like a theme park musical...Lavishly produced, with lovely sets, projections, and costumes, but is bogged down by bland material and leads...Act Two, fortunately, is dramatically stronger, and even has some cute comic relief thanks to Caroline O’Connor and John Bolton...An old-school entertainment that girls seem to adore. But I’m not Russian to see it again."
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W
April 29th, 2017

"A musical with true romantic sweep...Christy Altomare plays Anya with soaring vocals and an appealing vulnerability, but her sweetness would work better if it were studded with toughness from the beginning...Yet the production is strong enough to survive a mostly milquetoast Anastasia. It has exotic locales, funny secondary characters, incredible dresses, and some heart-flutteringly romantic moments. Plus it has all the ear-worm songs."
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StageZine
April 27th, 2017

"Two standout performances, high-tech sets and projections, plus gorgeous costumes make this 'Anastasia' momentous, if nothing else...All this is good and well if it wasn't for the rambling book by Terrence McNally and the bland score by Flaherty and Ahrens, which make the show seem interminable. Too many unremarkable songs stretch the evening as fillers and minimize the depth of the narrative. This is where director Tresnjak should have stepped in and tightened the proceedings."
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Village Voice
May 9th, 2017

“The pity is that there's much charm in the new version: Several of the songs by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are inventive, as are some of Peggy Hickey's choreography and the projections…The cast, too, is jewel-laden…Mary Beth Peil, an empress of our stage, makes an excellent dowager empress. But the focus wanders unsteadily, as if everyone involved were faintly aware that this myth was no longer recyclable."
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The Huffington Post
April 24th, 2017

"It doesn’t live up to the hype. Nevertheless, there’s a lot to like...There’s plenty to marvel at in both acts; costumes, scenery, and lighting stand out as constants worthy of acclaim and notice. The play overall, though, feels uneven. Just because you can placate an audience with a familiar, beloved story with music that’ll bring them back to another era doesn’t necessarily mean the narrative can support a two and a half hour show."
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Show Showdown
May 14th, 2017

"The musical doesn't quite nail the landing. But it zips along amiably enough, features sturdy and committed performances from its large and uniformly buff cast, has lots of fluid scene changes, and boasts some genuinely beautiful costumes. It's not really all that funny or deep, but it does a lot of what big splashy, classic Broadway musicals do well....It's shiny and pretty and consistently engaging, and the audience really seemed to have a great time watching it."
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Film Festival Traveler
May 1st, 2017

"The musical is a hodgepodge that never decides on a direct course but instead meanders, hoping to keep both kids and parents happy...McNally’s rambling book precariously balances outright fantasy and historical drama...Despite the silliness, director Tresnjak’s staging is filled with handsome trappings...The show is longer than it needs to be: at least 20 minutes could be cut...Overlong, not tuneful enough, too derivative...But for those who just want a pretty package, it will do nicely."
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LI Herald
May 2nd, 2017

"Most of the music is forgettable and, like so many musicals, the show goes on too long...Despite her beautiful singing voice, Altomare has little charisma...The highlights of the production are the regal bearing and presence of Peil and the comic relief provided by Bolton and Countess Lily (O’Connor), 'Anastasia' is pretty to look at, bright and cheery even when invoking the ghosts of Anastasia’s dead family who appear several times...'Anastasia' isn’t unique and memorable."
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Live Theatre UK
April 26th, 2017

“There are few pleasures greater in a theatre-going life than encountering a glorious new musical about which you know nothing. So it is with ‘Anastasia,’ a complete triumph on Broadway. The score is as lush and lavish as the spectacular sets and costumes, and the cast has no weak spots. Utterly superb singing of utterly beautiful music, some of which is blissfully funny. The kind of theatre that will make youngsters love theatre for life.”
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Z
April 25th, 2017

“Despite the changes from the animated film ‘Anastasia,’ I left the theatre satisfied and happy. With such a strong leading female character, ‘Anastasia’ empowers women to follow their heart’s desires and not think twice about it. The character was a role model for my generation, and I hope for many more to come.”
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SusanGranger.com
April 27th, 2017

"Unless you’re an impressionable tween, you’ll probably come out singing the sumptuous scenery–because that’s the most impressive aspect of the show...The immense set is stunning...Unfortunately, Flaherty’s insipid music and Ahrens's serviceable lyrics are almost immediately forgettable, as is McNally’s dutiful libretto. So director Darko Tresnjak and choreographer Hickey visually dazzle, ingeniously moving the cast like swirling, sparkling Swarovski crystals."
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T
May 9th, 2017

"The weakness of this show is its less than stellar book and a score that is ho-hum...The production is opulent; every aspect of the production will take your breath away...Darko Tresnjak’s direction and concept is brilliant. He has his production team create wonderful effects...Most of the performers are also terrific...If so much was right with 'Anastasia,' why wasn’t I totally enchanted? But the real problem for me was that I never became emotionally involved in the show."
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WNBC
April 24th, 2017

"The 1997 beloved animated movie has been transformed into a magical new stage musical with a much-improved book by McNally, added songs from the film's composers, and a star-making performance by actress Christy Altomare...Modifications elevate the stakes at play, but also age the piece's target consumer...It may have taken 20 years for 'Anastasia' to make its way from the screen to the stage, but this journey to the past has proven to be well worth the wait."
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H
April 24th, 2017

"Dozens of small fixes have made it a much sharper show...It speaks and sings now with a stronger voice...Tresjnak's staging is reminiscent of classic operettas...McNally scripts some neat melodramatic showdowns...What matters most is that 'Anastasia' has found its truest self. It is assured, it is lyrical, it is melodic, it is beautiful, it is dashing, it is moving and it is charming. It has no need for snark, irony or talking bats. It is off on a great adventure."
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Paste Magazine
April 24th, 2017

“The show sparkles with the magic of imperial Russia through mesmerizing visuals, glittering gowns and emotional performances…A well-rounded and established fairy tale…Altomare stars as Anya, a role to which she brings all the heart, vulnerability and strength required…'Anastasia' as a whole thrives off of a familiar tale set to well-loved music...Of course there are minor setbacks; the constant repetition of the themes of hope and learning from the past tend to wear after a while."
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