DENVER (CBS4) – “Anastasia” is a new musical based on the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nokolaevna of Russia. The legend is that the young Grand Duchess may have escaped the execution of her family, and reappeared years later not remembering her origin story.
The Broadway musical version of “Anastasia” is based on the 1997 animated film, in which an amnesiac orphan named Anya teams up with two con men to try to find some trace of her family.
“Anastasia” is playing at the Buell Theatre at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts from Aug. 7-18.
The musical production is lush and lavish, a nod to the extravagance of Imperial Russia, before the revolution.
The show requires some quick change theatrical magic to help one actress change from the “Czarina Alexandra” to a down-trodden Soviet citizen within two minutes.
“If I’m putting the dress on, it’s usually pooled down on the floor, so it’s easy to step into, and then through the zippers, hooks, and magnets, it all comes together,” said Lucy Horton, who plays “Czarina Alexandra.”
The whole story revolves around a tiny prop, a small music box.
“Anastasia later, older, opens it without any difficulty at all, and then it brings her back to when I sang to her as a little girl,” said Joy Franz, who plays the “Dowager Empress.”
The story is sweet, and taps into a mystery that captivated the world for decades, did Anastasia survive the deaths of her family?
“It’s about love, hope, and family. It’s about believing in oneself, and to follow your dreams. It’s a beautiful show. It’s for the whole family,” Franz told CBS4.