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"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"'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." Full Review
“‘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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
See it if you want to see a visually opulent, traditionally structured musical. There are a few show-stopping performances, but in general it's bland.
Don't see it if you are looking for cutting edge excitement or new ideas. The only NEW thing is the set design/video walls which is the best I've ever seen!
See it if you are familiar with the film and are looking for something a family show that is enchanting but has substance and flushed out characters.
Don't see it if you have a deep connection to the film and aren't open to a new adaptation of it.
See it if you're wistful for the animated film; you want to see a pretty, colorful 2-dimensional film turned into a pretty, colorful 1D stage musical.
Don't see it if you expect a fully cogent book, memorable score (except the film's well-known songs), fleshed-out characters or compelling performances.
See it if you're looking for a mindless and beautiful night at the theater, swept up in a familiar story that doesn't require intellectual engagement.
Don't see it if you're not in the mood for a sickly sweet heterosexual romance or if you'd prefer a more original/untraditional night at the theater.
Also the lighting/projection work is stunningly gorgeous.
See it if you like historical musicals with great costumes, good cast, and fine music
Don't see it if if the cold bothers you shame on Broadhurst for making us sit there freezing and doing nothing about audience discomfort
See it if Enjoy the animated movie story of Anastasia and don’t mind a few tweaks to it; enjoy energetic and charismatic casts; and want to have fun
Don't see it if You want to see actors at the top of their game (besides Ramin who always is), dislike plot holes, or the resolution typical of Disney films
See it if want to enter another world of pretend in the best way. Everything about this show is magical!
Don't see it if you want a factually based story of Russian czars and their relatives.
See it if You loved the movie and want a lovely night of childhood nostalgia. Also Ramin Karimloo has the voice of an angel. See it just for him
Don't see it if You don't want to see a more realistic adaptation of the movie where Rasputin and Bartok have been replaced with Soviet officials
See it if you enjoy reliable family friendly Disney musicals and aren't expecting much more than an onstage version of the film.
Don't see it if you're expecting more than a couple of memorable songs or you have a problem with most of the sets consisting of skillful projections.
See it if you want to see a fairytale come to life on stage w/ great singing, staging & costumes. This show had romance, comedy & heart felt moments.
Don't see it if you don’t like fairytales or if you prefer more of serious or thought provoking stories.
See it if a night out at any ole show is what you're looking for. When they say it's based on an animated movie, and not on HISTORY, they ain't lyin'.
Don't see it if historical accuracy rocks your world. This is a disney-esque video-projection visual-effects production, w/beautiful music, & ok singing.
See it if you want to see a lovely show that really is a bit enchanting.
Don't see it if you don’t love musical theater. you won’t be able to fully appreciate the performances & presentation of this show.
See it if You love "princess"-type stories or any of the Disney shows. You want to be entertained but not challenged much.
Don't see it if You prefer intense, thought-provoking stories with unhappy or unclear endings. You have trouble sitting through low-action moments.
See it if you loved the animated film but want to see a better version of it. Or want a sweeping & romantic show with a talented cast.
Don't see it if you're an old bore & only want the reality of what happened to these characters. Or want to see HAMILTON. Or both.
See it if you want to see a great stage and show. One of the best uses of a Video Wall in any production. Show was really enjoyable, highly recommend.
Don't see it if you don't like broadway. Plain and simple, was a fun show. Singers sometimes sung over each other, and no real powerful songs, but was great
See it if Great set with wonderful vocals by Christy Altomare & Derek Klena. Journey to the past is a highlight in otherwise paint by numbers story.
Don't see it if Cartoon to stage adaptations don't do it for you
See it if Act I's sound-the-same big belting ballads delivered center stage are to your liking. Action picks up in Act II.
Don't see it if you don't have patience for the monotony of Act I or are easily bored or older than 16. Act I sets up the simple story & takes a long time.