How the Musical “Anastasia” Changed My Life

Our Everly Mag Writing Leaders told us about a single piece of art that changed their life.  Whether it’s a song, book, television episode, YouTube video, or more, our leaders discussed why and how this piece of art made an impact.

This article was written by our writing leader KathrynGet to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!


On December 19th, my grandmother, mom; and I made our way to the Broadhurst Theatre. We were all excited, but I was absolutely buzzing with excitement to see my first live Broadway show. For a long time, I had listened to the soundtrack, but I had never imagined that I would be able to go see it! All that I could think of was the song “Quartet at the Ballet.” In the song, there is a line, “Can this be the evening? Can this be the place? Am I only dreaming looking at her face?” That perfectly described how I was feeling.

play musical anastasia theater theatre
Image via contributor Kathryn Hopkins

The curtain opened, and I was stunned. The music was magical, and the dancing took my breath away. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and I never wanted the show to end. By intermission, I was in a daze. When Anya sang “Journey to the Past” I was stunned! Her voice was so pretty, and she had so much passion for the song that I didn’t see the actress at all, I saw Anya. I didn’t want to check my phone, I didn’t want to use the restroom, I didn’t want to do anything except see the next act. After what seemed like an eternity, the second act started. I hadn’t thought it possible, but the second act was even better than the first! The costumes were gorgeous, the sets were beautiful, and the orchestra made everything come together beautifully! The actors were really stunning. One thing I remember thinking during the “Quartet at the Ballet” scene was “wow, how are those pointe shoes so silent?” It was incredible to watch! The cast summed up the entire ballet “Swan Lake” within this two-minute song, and I thought it was really graceful (they even got the fouette turns in)! I loved how songs from Swan Lake and the background music for “Once Upon a December” blended together!

After the show, my grandmother, mom and I walked outside to the stage door. There, I saw Christy Altomare (Anya), Derek Klena (Dimitri), and many others. I was really shy, so we didn’t go up close, but I did listen to some of what was said. One little girl said that she wanted to be on Broadway, and Christy Altomare said that she can’t wait to be on stage with her! That was so sweet that I almost cried. The little girl was beaming! Christy Altomare seemed so grateful to everyone that was there for supporting her, especially the kids. One thought that I had was thinking about how this was once Christy Altomare standing at the stage door, waiting to greet the cast. She dreamed of being up there, so she worked and made it on Broadway. That thought really inspired me to work toward my dream of being on Broadway.

broadway theatre theater play anastasia musical
Image via contributor Kathryn Hopkins

A little while later, we got back to the hotel. It was pretty late, but I was wide awake. How could I be expected to sleep after seeing something as amazing as “Anastasia?” Instead of falling asleep I looked up all things “Anastasia on Broadway.” I found the official Instagram page, cast member Instagram pages, fan pages on Instagram, and even some merchandise! One thing that made me very excited was finding the cast members’ Instagram pages because that told me a lot about each person. I noticed that all of them were very mindful of what they put up, and they made sure everything they posted was inspiring and appropriate for all members. This made me extremely happy because these actors were inspirational not only on stage, but in their personal lives, as well. Now, if I see a story on Christy Altomare (Anya)’s page, I watch it. Many times it is her in the dressing room with Nicole Scimeca (little Anya) and other cast members having fun! I always smile when I see their posts because all that is posted is so fun!

“Anastasia” changed my life in many ways. First, the  musical taught me that if I can dream it, I can do it. There is nothing too challenging for me. Another thing I learned is that I need to follow my dreams. Personally, I’ve always dreamed of starring in a West End musical (which is basically Broadway in London). I’ve always been scared to do this because I thought that it wouldn’t happen, and I would be disappointed. I also wasn’t sure if people would like me. Christy Altomare talking to that little girl proved me wrong, and showed me that just because theatre can be harsh, it doesn’t mean that all of it is. “Anastasia” was the perfect first live Broadway musical for me to see because it was an inspiring story the whole way through, and it made me think.

musical play girl in from of theatre theater
Image via contributor Kathryn Hopkins

    My mother says that she doesn’t think I stopped smiling after seeing “Anastasia” until I fell asleep. I disagree; I think I’m still smiling! I think it’s safe to say that I will be a “Fanastasia” for the rest of my life!


What’s a play or musical that changed your life?  Comment below!  

Get some inspiration like Kathryn and check out Christy Altomare’s Instagram page.

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