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Review: ‘Anastasia’ is an amazing Broadway musical

Actress Christy Altomare backstage at the Broadhurst Theatre

Actress Christy Altomare backstage at the Broadhurst Theatre with Kidsday reporters Zachary Arrastia and Alexandra Sekavec. Credit: Nancy McAward

“Anastasia,” a new Broadway musical, is a play inspired by the 1956 movie, the 1997 Disney animated movie and the real history about Anastasia, a Russian princess.

The play has a dramatic scene that shows the Russian Revolution and how the royal family went down. A few years after the incident, a rumor arises that the princess Anastasia survived the attack. Two poor men, Dmitry and Vlad, take this opportunity to set up the “biggest con in history” as they try to find an actress to play the missing Anastasia. But things don’t go the way the men expect. To be awed and inspired by the singing, dancing, acting, set and storyline, you too will have to see this musical, at the Broadhurst Theatre.

“Anastasia” is a good play for all ages. Anastasia changes from a child to a teenager very quickly, so kids might not understand what happened, or why Anastasia suddenly turns into a 16-year-old. Before you go to the play with someone under 10, you may want to explain this time change. We thought that the ending could be a bit difficult to understand, as well. Kids under 9 may not understand what happens to Anya at the conclusion of the story.

After this wonderful show, we were invited to go backstage, and Bonnie Panson, the production stage manager, showed us behind-the-scenes magic. We saw how the rotating stage works and that props are stored above the stage. We then had an opportunity to interview the star of the show, Anya herself, Christy Altomare.

Christy was very enthusiastic and kind as we asked her our questions. We wondered what other hobbies she has besides acting. “I actually play guitar, I write songs and I sing them,” was Christy’s response. She shared that she posts some of her songs on iTunes, so you should go and check them out. Other hobbies she has are making bracelets and speaking French. She elaborated on why speaking French was a hobby by saying, “What inspired me [to learn French] was that half of the show is set in Paris, so my boyfriend took me to Paris right before we started rehearsals, and I fell in love with the French language.”

We also asked her what she wanted to do next, after “Anastasia.” She said, “I want to be part of a role that hasn’t been written yet.” This means that she wants to be the first incarnation of a character so she can make and shape it to be her own. She is the first actress to play Anya on Broadway, so she helped mold the character shown in this production of “Anastasia” and probably will influence it for the years to come. Christy also said her favorite part about performing is “getting paid to do the thing I love.”

Christy advised us, “If what you do makes you the happiest, if it’s something that brings you so much joy, then that’s what you should do [in life].” Christy told us how as a young student she did not like going to school, but she worked hard and got good grades. She said her greatest joy came in her after-school singing activities. She says her least favorite part about acting is her most challenging — she needs to keep herself in shape and stick to a healthy regimen. Then she knows that she can enjoy her favorite part about acting, which is singing.

In conclusion, “Anastasia” was a great play with a strong plot, amazing songs, vibrant scenery and interesting characters. We would rate this play 5 out of 5 smiles. We think that we should all take Christy’s advice: “We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all deserve love and respect, even if we are having a bad day.” The star of “Anastasia,” Christy Altomare, will continue to awe and inspire young boys and girls around the country, both on stage and offstage. See “Anastasia” at the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 44th St. or learn more at

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