“Anastasia” stuns at Evansville Old National Events Plaza


Photo by Abby Sink

Abby Sink, a staff writer, holds her program for “Anastasia” at the Old National Events Plaza Nov. 11. Sink watched the live performance of “Anastasia” by the Broadway national tour.

Abby Sink, Staff Writer

The silence of the theater echoes as a man stands on stage left. Hope fills his eyes, but the somberness of his stature reveals his lack of confidence. To his right, a trio stands preparing to flee to Paris, France. 

“Anastasia” performed Nov. 11 at the Old National Events Plaza in Evansville, IN was a breathtaking performance. This rendition of the musical was part of the Broadway national tour that is currently traveling across the United States. 

Set in the 1920s, the musical “Anastasia” follows Anya, a young woman in St. Petersburg with no memory of her childhood. She comes across two con men, Vlad Popov and Dimitri, and gets pulled into their scheme. 

While their intention is to get rich by searching for the lost princess Anastasia, Anya hopes for nothing more than a familial connection and an answer to her haunting dreams of a past she can’t piece together. The trio must be careful in their pursuit through Paris as a soviet officer, Gleb, is hot on their case in an effort to silence their rebellious efforts. 

“Anastasia” is my all-time favorite musical. From the first time hearing the soundtrack upon its release in 2016, I’ve been hooked by its beautiful and heart-wrenching tale. This national tour adaptation of the musical did not disappoint. 

Led by Kyla Stone in the role of Anya, the cast was simply incredible and embodied their roles exquisitely. Anya’s stubbornness and grace were portrayed by Stone with complete ease, and the way she revisits the character’s past through her vocal solos was breathtaking. 

While still embodying the key elements of Anya, Stone’s spin on the vocals made her performance stellar. My particular favorite vocal moments appeared in her rendition of “Journey to the Past” and “Once Upon a December”.

My personal favorite performances of the main cast, however, were Bryan Seastrom as Count Vlad Popov and Madeline Raube as Countess Lily Malevsky-Malevitch. Their comedic timing individually was unmatched, but when put together, these two have a chemistry that quite honestly steals the show. I spent the entirety of “The Countess and the Common Man” giggling at their performance, which was welcome amongst the tension of the final act. 

A notable ensemble member of the production was Christian McQueen, who plays Count Ipolitov. McQueen led the somber and enchanting rendition of “Stay, I Pray You,” rendering the theatre silent. The hall was so quiet one could’ve heard a pin drop.

“Anastasia” is intriguing as I went in half-expecting the goofy, non-threatening nature of the 1997 animated film. I left the theater having witnessed a hauntingly beautiful story about love, family and both the dangers and hope of going against the status quo.

“Anastasia” has been my favorite production for years, and if you ever get the chance, I highly recommend you go to see the Broadway rendition performed live. If not for the plot, then for the music that could bring tears to the eyes of anyone who experiences it. 

Watching the live performance of “Anastasia” on the national tour was an experience I will cherish for years to come.

The remaining times, dates and locations of the tour can be found here.