I didn’t grow up with movie Anastasia. The first time my family watched I was a teenager and grounded (!), so I missed out; I’m not sure I watched it until I was an adult. My little sisters did grow up with it. And one of them (L) went on a Northeast trip in 2016 or 2017 and saw the/one of the original Broadway casts, and she came back head over heels for Derek Klena. I, of course, already loved Ramin Karimloo from the Phantom, and I wish I’d just splurged and immediately gone to NYC just for that. I’d 0nly heard bits and pieces from youtube, but I think more of my sisters listened to the whole thing.
For my 30th I bought tickets when it came to Louisville in 2020. Literally the week before my date (I think they’d done a few performances), our state shut down. It got delayed and delayed and then cancelled. I was dreading driving downtown (I’d only driven twice maybe in my life), so I wasn’t super disappointed (and this is why I miss out on stuff). But my sisters saw it was coming back this year (I’m not sure if this would be the cast that was traveling in 2020 or not), so all of us sisters and my sister-in-law bought tickets. We all dressed up, some buying dresses especially for the event, and I on a budget and because I’m me, made mine, finishing it the evening of and running late to meet the sister I was riding with. Classic.
So, as I mentioned I wasn’t familiar with the Broadway version, my sisters said it didn’t have Rasputin and that it was attempting to be more realistic (although yes, the magic part was unreal, but there was something unnatural/supernatural about what it took to kill the real Rasputin). L also thought that the replacement bad guy (Gleb) had a lot more singing because of Karimloo. So, yes, while they didn’t literally reenact the murders (thank the stars above), it was artistically displayed with dancing, shots, and the Red Army. I was holding back tears.
I couldn’t remember if it had “Back to December.” It did and several other songs from the movie as well. My sisters didn’t think that Anya (at least some of us thought she had better voice than the original Broadway singer) and Dmitry (no Derek Klena) had much chemistry, but she sure did with Gleb (Ben Edquist). But then, wow, he kind of stole the show. My sister-in-law ventured to say he might be better than Ramin Karimloo, I don’t know about that but I think I preferred his voice. And oh, he knew he was good, he was sending kisses to the audience at the end! For him alone this is worth going to!
We had so much fun, and we are hoping to do more events like this together in the future. It’s just so fun to dress up and go places (when I’m not driving).