After a 2 1/2 year delay, ‘Anastasia: The New Broadway Musical’ finally takes to the Louisville stage

PNC Broadway in Louisville stages "Anastasia" this week and weekend after the performance was postponed indefinitely by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 12:18 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A 100-year-old story is getting new life from PNC Broadway in Louisville – a mere two and a half years after it was supposed to debut at the Kentucky Center.

“I love the opportunity to bring Broadway-quality style shows to cities that can’t get to actual Broadway in New York City,” said Gerri Weagraff, a performer.

Weagraff is preparing to transform into the Dowager Empress in “Anastasia: The New Broadway Musical” for a Louisville audience.

“It has an appeal to people who are interested in history; it has an appeal to young children who love to see a story of a brave, determined, independent young woman,” Weagraff said.

The musical is inspired by the animated film “Anastasia” from the 1990s. It includes five songs straight from the movie, plus the production comes with its own film effects: a digital projection screen serves as the backdrop.

“It has a movie-like quality,” said Weagraff. “It makes people feel like they’re in the middle of the Royal Palace. You feel like you’re riding on a train; you see clouds going by. At one point the audience feels like they’re zooming up an elevator in the Eiffel Tower with fireworks going off. It is really jaw-dropping.”

For PNC Broadway in Louisville, the true joy comes from welcoming the show at all. “Anastasia” was originally set for spring 2020 and canceled because of the pandemic.

“It’s certainly going to be worth the wait,” said Leslie Broecker, PNC Broadway in Louisville’s president.

It’s the last remaining postponed PNC Broadway show to finally see its opening night, possibly closing the curtain on a difficult era.

“Oh, theater is way back,” said Broecker. “It’s super exciting to get this one to playoff.”

The show runs through Aug. 7 with both matinee and evening performances. To buy tickets click here.

See the full press release from PNC Broadway in Louisville below.

AT LAST!

ANASTASIA OPENS TONIGHT AT THE KENTUCKY CENTER

Louisville, KY - PNC Broadway in Louisville announces the opening of ANASTASIA tonight (Tuesday, August 2) at the Kentucky Center. Tickets are available by calling 502-584-7777 or online at kentuckyperformingarts.org.

From the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime and inspired by the beloved films, ANASTASIA is the new Broadway musical that’s “one of the most gorgeous shows in years!” (New York Observer). This dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.

The cast includes Kyla Stone as Anya, Sam McLellan as Dmitry, Brandon Delgado as Gleb, Gerri Weagraff as Dowager Empress, Bryan Seastrom as Vlad, Madeline Raube as Countess Lily and Taya Diggs and Marley Sophia as Little Anastasia. The ensemble includes Mikayla Agrella, Lance Timothy Barker, William Aaron Bishop, Harrison Drake, Thomas Henke, Dakota Hoar, Veronica Rae Jiao, Evin Johnson, Ceron Jones, Madeline Kendall, Lizzy Marie Legregin, Victoria Madden, Christian McQueen, Elizabeth Ritacco, Taylor Stanger, Sarah Statler and Lauren Teyke.

ANASTASIA features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally, a lush, new score by the Tony Award® -winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics), and tour direction by Sarah Hartman based on original direction by Tony Award®-winning director Darko Tresnjak.

The creative team also includes Peggy Hickey (Original Choreographer), Bill Burns (Choreographer), Alexander Dodge (Set Design), Linda Cho (Costume Design), Donald Holder (Lighting Design), Peter Hylenski (Sound Design), Aaron Rhyne (Projection Design), Charles G. LaPointe (Hair/Wig Design), Joe Dulude II (Makeup Design), Tom Murray (Music Supervision), Jeremy Lyons (Music Direction), Doug Besterman (Orchestrations), David Chase (Dance Arranger), and casting by Jason Styres, CSA.

ANASTASIA began performances on Broadway in March 2017 at the Broadhurst Theatre with critics exclaiming “Ahrens and Flaherty have chosen the right moments to musicalize, and their score here sounds complete and full — one of the season’s strongest! (NBC)” and “Smartly adapted by Terrence McNally, Anastasia is a sweeping adventure, romance and historical epic whose fine craftsmanship will satisfy musical-theater fans (Time Out)”.

The show played to sold out audiences on Broadway for more than 3 years before expanding it’s global “Fanastasia” community with productions on tour across North America and in Japan, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Globally, the show has been performed more than 2,500 times and sold 3.4 million tickets. Additionally, the show has garnered more than 15 major international awards, including Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and Best New Musical in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

The original Broadway cast recording is available at BroadwayRecords.com, Amazon.com and iTunes. The 75-minute album includes the Academy Award-nominated favorite “Journey to the Past” alongside new numbers from the show such as “In My Dreams,” “Still” and “My Petersburg.”

ANASTASIA will play the Kentucky Center August 2-7 for 8 performances. Tickets are on sale and available now by calling 502-584-7777, or online at kentuckyperformingarts.org and ticketmaster.com. Groups of 10 or more may call 513-369-4363. The performance schedule will be Tuesday-Thursday evening at 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday evening at 8 pm, Saturday matinee at 2 pm, Sunday matinee at 1 pm and Sunday evening at 6:30 pm. ANASTASIA is part of the 2021/2022 PNC Broadway in Louisville Series.

Connect with ANASTASIA online at: www.anastasiathemusical.com

Twitter: @AnastasiaBway

Facebook: AnastasiaBway

Instagram: @AnastasiaBway

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Louisville Theatrical Association

The Louisville Theatrical Association, founded in 1938, is a civic, not-for-profit organization with a volunteer Board of Directors. LTA’s mission is to sustain the Broadway Series as a dynamic and primary source of performing arts entertainment; to maintain the series as a resource to enhance the quality of other arts activities in the Louisville area; to assist in the preservation of historic theatre properties; and to extend community participation in the arts through programs of education. LTA is a member of the Fund for the Arts.

Broadway Across America (BAA) is part of the John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com, The Broadway Channel, BroadwayBox.com and Group Sales Box Office. Led by 15-time Tony-winning theater producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 48 markets with over 450,000 subscribers. Presentations include Disney’s The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, The Phantom of the Opera and Hamilton. Current and past productions include Ain’t Too Proud, Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Mean Girls, Moulin Rouge! and To Kill A Mockingbird.

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