By Neus Forner
★ ★ ★ ★
Still today, Anastasia is one of my favorite animated films. I love the feel of the film, the beautiful and thoughtful songs and the relationships between characters. Not to mention the impressive dresses our main character, Anastasia, wears throughout the movie. What made me especially connected to this film is the mystery behind it, the possibility that the famous story of the lost Russian princess was actually true. So obviously, as the true fan I am, when I heard it was being made into a broadway musical I immediately bought the tickets for my closest tour stop.
There are currently only two European countries hosting this musical, one in Spain, the one I attended, and one in Germany. This musical is also confirmed to be coming to London. The story is almost the same as the original movie, except for one slight change in the plot. In the original movie, the main villain has dark magical powers. To make the story more realistic they changed this magical aspect by introducing a Russian soldier under the orders of the communist leader Stalin who is trying to eradicate any sign of the Zhar empire. I really enjoyed this new villain and how his character develops throughout the play. It definitely makes the story much more real and accurate.
The cast of this musical was fantastic. The actress playing Anastasia in Spain, Jana Gómez left me speechless. Her sweet yet powerful voice entranced everyone during each and every musical number. Her acting was not the best part of the show, but still, her as a whole left me empty-hearted every time she left the stage. Her presence was compelling and the scenes with her were extremely dynamic.
The star of the show for me was the actor who played Dimitry, Íñigo Etayo. He was definitely my favorite performance during the whole show. He was intense, funny and witty. His acting and singing were impeccable. His perfect rendition of Dimitry was seen in pretty much all aspects. With the funny retorts and his charisma, he made Dimitry part of himself, and it was wonderful. I loved all of his songs, especially those with Jana, Anya. the chemistry between them was so strong it was almost palpable. My favorite song they shared together was without a doubt “Entre Aquel Gentío” (which is the Spanish translation for “In a Crowd of Thousands”). In this song, Anya finally realizes she is Princess Anastasia. Their feelings came through the songs perfectly.
All of the musical numbers were marvelous. I found that the choreography and how the dancers executed the moves coordinated perfectly with the music and the scenery. Besides singing the iconic 1997 movie songs like “Once Upon a December” and “Journey to the Past”, they include a few new songs that gave this production a fresh air.
Since I am a fashion fan, the costumes in this musical were what I was mostly looking forward to, and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. During the first half of the play, the costumes were focused more on the cold Russian workdays. Since in the show we travel through various years and various countries, we are able to see lots of diversity in terms of costume designing. The Paris flapper dress is super fun and suited her perfectly, but my absolute favorite is the navy blue fitted dress that marks her entrance into the royal world. The glitter, the high white gloves, every little detail makes this dress regal like no other.
Overall, this musical was a wonderful experience. It is emotional and funny and the songs and full of emotions and catchy. Everyone will enjoy this delicate musical, especially those who love the movie. I am truly in awe with the wonderful cast, the costume design, the music, and the scenery. Every part of this musical makes this experience a true journey to the past.,