HARTFORD, CT — MARCH 9, 2016 — Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak announced today an electrifying cast of Broadway veterans for the premiere of the new musical Anastasia, which is inspired by the real life of Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov and the enduring mystery of her true identity. Anastasia plays May 12 through June 12.
Christy Altomare will play Anya and Derek Klena will play Dmitry, the coveted romantic leads in Anastasia. Altomare's credits include Mamma Mia on Broadway and Wendla in the national tour of Spring Awakening. Klena's credits include The Bridges of Madison County and Wicked on Broadway.
The role of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna will be played by Mary Beth Peil, who was nominated for a Tony Award for The King and I and who is well-known to TV audiences as Grams on “Dawson’s Creek" and as Jackie Florrick on “The Good Wife.”
Manoel Felciano, who was nominated for a Tony Award for Sweeney Todd, will play Gleb. John Bolton will play Vlad, opposite Caroline O'Connor, who will play Lily. Bolton's numerous Broadway credits include Spamalot and Curtains. O'Connor's many credits in Australia, the West End, and Broadway include A Christmas Story: The Musical, Chicago and the film Moulin Rouge. The role of Young Anya will be played by the Chicago native Nicole Scimeca, whose credits include Les Misérables and, on television, “The Wizard of Lies,” “Chicago Fire.”
Tresnjak says, "It has been a privilege to work with Lynn, Stephen, and Terrence over the past two years on Anastasia. I am thrilled that such a splendid company of actors and designers will join us in bringing to life this eagerly awaited world premiere."
The ensemble includes Lauren Blackman (Next Thing You Know); James Brown III (Rocky); Max Clayton (Gigi); Janet Dickinson (Bullets Over Broadway); Constantine Germanacos (Evita); Rayanne Gonzales (Hands on a Hardbody); Ken Krugman (The Visit); Kevin Ligon (On the Twentieth Century); Alida Michal (Wonderful Town); Shina Ann Morris (Cinderella); Kevin Munhall (Allegiance); Molly Rushing (Babes in Toyland); Johnny Stellard (Evita); and Samantha Sturm (On the Town). The swings will be Maxwell Carmel (New London Barn Playhouse company member); Katherine McLellan (Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals) and Riley Briggs (A Wonderful Life at Goodspeed Musicals).
The casting is by Telsey + Company/Craig Burns, CSA.
From the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, the new musical Anastasia is the romantic and rousing story of a brave young woman attempting to discover the mystery of her past while finding a place for herself in the rapidly changing world of a new century.
The new musical is inspired by the Twentieth Century Fox Motion Pictures.
Anastasia reunites the Tony Award-winning writers of the Broadway classic Ragtime: book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Tresnjak, Tony Award-winner for Best Direction of a Musical for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, will direct, and Peggy Hickey (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) will choreograph.
Other creative team members include Alexander Dodge, Set Design (Tony Award nomination for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder); Linda Cho, Costume Design (Tony Award for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder); Donald Holder, Lighting Design (Tony Award for The Lion King); Peter Hylenski, Sound Design (Tony Award nomination for After Midnight); and Aaron Rhyne, Projection Design (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder).
Also, the Music Director will be Tom Murray (Honeymoon in Vegas); Dramaturg, Elizabeth Williamson (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Associate Artistic Director at Hartford Stage); and Orchestrator, Doug Besterman (Tony Award for The Producers).
The Production Stage Manager is Bonnie Panson (Gigi).
In addition to Ragtime, for which they both received Tony Awards, Flaherty and Ahrens have written many of Broadway’s most popular musicals, including Once on This Island, Seussical, My Favorite Year, and most recently, Rocky. The songwriting team was nominated for two Academy Awards, for the score and for the song “Journey to the Past,” from the film Anastasia. That song and five others from the film will be included in the Broadway score, and 16 new songs will be premiered.
Four-time Tony Award-winner McNally will be writing the musical’s book. His many credits include Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, and most recently, Mothers and Sons, as well as the books for the musicals Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Full Monty and The Visit.
In 2014 Tresnjak earned the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Direction of a Musical for the Broadway production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which he premiered at Hartford Stage in 2012. Last year he won the OBIE Award for directing The Killer at Theatre for a New Audience. He most recently directed the sold-out, world premiere of Rear Window at Hartford Stage; The Ghosts of Versailles at LA Opera; the national tour of “Gentleman’s Guide”; and a critically-acclaimed production of Romeo & Juliet.
Hickey’s credits also include The Ghosts of Versailles at LA Opera; My Fair Lady with Kelli O’Hara, Kelsey Grammar and Brian Dennehy at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic; The King and I at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris; and the current national tour of “Gentleman’s Guide.”
The Presenting Sponsor for Anastasia is The John and Kelly Hartman Foundation.
The Production Sponsors are The Cheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation, The Saunders Foundation and The Katharine K. McLane & Henry R. McLane Charitable Trust. The Principal Sponsor is Radisson Hotel Hartford. Production support provided by Susan R. Block.
The 2015-16 Season is also sponsored by the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
Previews begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12
Opening Night: 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 27
Closes: 2 p.m. Sunday, June 12
Tickets & Performances
Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun at 7:30 p.m.—Fri, Sat at 8 p.m.—Sat, Sun at 2 p.m.
Wed matinees at 2 p.m. on May 25 and June 1 only
Weekly schedules vary. For details, visit www.hartfordstage.org.
Tickets for all shows start at $25. For group discounts (10 or more), contact Theresa MacNaughton at 860-520-7114.
For all other tickets, please call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit www.hartfordstage.org.
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Sunday Afternoon Discussion, May 22
Enjoy a lecture from artists and scholars connected with the production immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee. FREE
Tuesdays, May 24 & 31 and Wednesday, May 25
Join members of the cast and our Artistic staff for a free discussion, immediately following select 7:30 p.m. performances on Tuesday or the 2 p.m. Wednesday matinee. FREE
Open Captioned Performances, May 29, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. performances
For patrons who are deaf or have hearing loss. FREE with admission
Audio Described Performance, June 4, 2:00pm
For patrons who are blind or have low vision. FREE with admission