Darko Tresnjak '98 Directs Anastasia on Broadway
April 20, 2017
Alumnus Darko Tresnjak ’98 directs Anastasia on Broadway, which began previews on March 23 at the Broadhurst Theater.
The new musical draws inspiration from the 1997 animated film about the missing daughter of the last Russian Czar, but it features 16 new songs from the show’s songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, as well as a new antagonist. The previous villain, Rasputin, and his albino bat sidekick companion have been cast aside and replaced by a Soviet general who is seeking the lost Romanov daughter in 1927 post-revolution Bolshevik Russia.
“The Russian Revolution is one of the greatest political upheavals of the 20th century, and to pretend it didn’t happen, or just happened a long time ago didn’t seem enough,” said the musical’s book writer, Terrence McNally.
The story follows Anastasia, or Anya, from Russia to Paris in the 1920s on her journey to find love, family, and home.
“I think about it as a contemporary romance,” said Tresnjak in a video interview. “Nothing takes more time than developing, directing, and nurturing a musical premiere. But at the end of the day, hopefully it’s really beautiful and it reaches many, many people.”
Tresnjak won the 2014 Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder starring Jefferson Mays, and a 2015 Obie Award for The Killer starring Michael Shannon. Favorite productions include The Ghosts of Versailles with Patti LuPone and Patricia Racette at Los Angeles Opera; The Merchant of Venice with F. Murray Abraham at TFANA and RSC; Titus Andronicus with John Vickery at the Stratford Festival; The Skin of Our Teeth with Marian Seldes and Kristine Nielsen at WTF; and The Women with Kate Baldwin at the Old Globe. Tresnjak is the Artistic Director of Hartford Stage.
Anastasia is currently running at the Broadhurst Theatre. Tickets are available here.