The West Milford High School drama club invites you to take a “journey to the past” with their upcoming production of Anastasia! It features music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, with a book by the late Broadway giant Terrence McNally. The musical is based on the tale of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, youngest daughter of the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, who was rumored to be alive despite the murder of her family by Bolsheviks in July 1918.
Although rumors of the real Grand Duchess’ survival have long been disproven, McNally’s musical adaptation tells a different story: one of hope, found family and romance. Our amnesiac ingenue, Anya, yearns to travel to Paris, where she believes she will unearth her past as the royal orphan Anastasia. When two con-men meet Anya by chance, they offer to help her, scheming to profit off of Anya’s wish to be reunited with her family.
The drama club students at West Milford are more than prepared to bring this poignant story to life. Last year, they were recognized by the Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey for their outstanding performance of Into the Woods.
“It provides that rush of adrenaline when you know people are coming to watch you,” says senior Mia Grizutti, who plans on continuing her theatre studies in college next year.
In recent years, performances that would typically occur in-person went virtual in accordance with New Jersey’s COVID-19 precautions. Under the direction of Heather Burns, Anastasia marks a return to the stage, and in turn, a return to normalcy. Junior Jason Pritchett is excited for a live, maskless performance this year, saying, “A live performance, you feel the emotion. It’s right there, it’s live, it’s raw.”
Tickets for Anastasia at West Milford High School are available online at wmtps.seatyourself.biz. The show dates are as follows:
March 10 at 7:00 p.m., March 11 at 7:00 p.m., March 12 at 7:00 p.m., March 13 at 2:00 p.m.
For more information, visit the WMHS Theatre Arts page on Facebook or @wmhs_theatre on Twitter.
Junior Jason Pritchett is excited for a live, maskless performance this year, saying, “A live performance, you feel the emotion. It’s right there, it’s live, it’s raw.”