Wednesday, September 21, 2022

REVIEW: ANASTASIA at Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theatre Through September 25, 2022

ChiIL Mama’s ChiIL Picks List


Anastasia is recommended for ages 7 and older

Run Time is approx. 2 hours and 25 minutes with an intermission.

“Captivating, beautifully staged and emotionally vital. ANASTASIA hits the sweet spot!”



By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

History, mystery, royals, revolution, and romance...

Something old... something new. As a critic for the past 14 years and a lifelong theatre lover, I can attest that it's exciting to see a new musical. As a mother and a history buff, it's even more fun to see all the young kids in the audience making memories, watching a fierce survivor of a princess as a role model, and engaging with a live production at the CIBC Theatre, a lavish, historical venue. Early exposure to theatre increases empathy in children and who knows what those experiences might spark for the future. Anastasia is only in Chicago for a few short days, so don't miss this!

Anastasia has been a long time coming. Here at ChiIL Mama, we first wrote about the Broadway touring production in May of 2018, when it was slated to open in Chicago in March of 2019. Three years later we can attest that some shows are worth the wait, and in Anastasia's own words. "It's never too late. I'm here now."

We loved the lavish costumes, poignant score, and clever use of projections to transport the audience across the ocean and back in time to the fall of the Russian Empire and onward to 1920's Paris. 

Veronica Stern was a joy to see as Anya, well complimented by Willem Butler as Dmitry. We also enjoyed the performances of Ben Edquist as Gleb and Gerri Weagraff as Dowager Empress. There was a well deserved standing ovation on opening night. Kudos to the entire cast and crew for bringing soaring vocals, delightful dance numbers, and stellar storytelling to life on stage. The touring production may be a scaled down version of the Broadway hit, in production values, but it's well worth a look. 

From the devastating violence of war to the exiled expats reliving their glory days, the musical, Anastasia gives audiences a timeless and timely tale for the ages. Whether sweeping the streets in rags or attending the ballet and bravely facing the Dowager Empress, Anya excels. Was she the last of the Romanovs or a royally talented rogue, scamming her way out of Russia and into royalty? Where did she disappear to? Was the iconic music box a con or a concrete clue to authenticity? Did Anya and Dimitry both choose love over money, forgoing both the reward and a lineage with luxury? The Anastasia story raises more questions than it answers, in this delightfully complex mystery. Regardless of the realism, we were completely captivated by this riches to rags tale.

Fast forward to 2022. One hundred years later, Russia is once again at war in the region. Refugees and the impoverished still struggle to find food, water, and basic needs. Love blooms amid the wreckage of revolutions. And tenacious, smart survivors are always in fashion. Don't miss this. Recommended. 3 out of 4 stars ★★★

Anastasia played to sold out audiences on Broadway for more than 3 years before expanding it’s global “Fanastasia” community with productions on tour across North America and in Japan, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Globally, the show has been performed more than 2,500 times and sold 3.4 million tickets. Additionally, the show has garnered more than 15 major international awards, including Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and Best New Musical in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 

Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce that ANASTASIA is now playing at Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theatre (18 W. Monroe St.) through September 25, 2022. Ticket prices range from $27.00 to $118.00 with a select number of premium tickets available. Individual tickets are available at Tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing

From the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime and inspired by the beloved films, ANASTASIA is the new Broadway musical that’s “one of the most gorgeous shows in years!” (New York Observer). This dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family. 


A sweeping adventure, romance and historical epic that piles discovery upon discovery.

Its fine craftsmanship will satisfy musical theater fans.”



Veronica Stern leads the show as ANYA, joined by Willem Butler as DMITRY, Ben Edquist as GLEB, and Gerri Weagraff as DOWAGER EMPRESS. The tour also features Bryan Seastrom (VLAD), Madeline Raube (COUNTESS LILY), Leela Chopra (LITTLE ANASTASIA), Alexandrya Salazar (LITTLE ANASTASIA), Thalia Attalah (ENSEMBLE), Lance Timothy Barker (SWING/DANCE CAPTAIN), Zachary Bigelow (ENSEMBLE), William Aaron Bishop (ENSEMBLE), Louis Brogna, (ENSEMBLE), Amin Fuson (ENSEMBLE), Rebecca Hartman (SWING), Kaitlyn Jackson (ENSEMBLE), Brooklyn Libao (ENSEMBLE), Alec Lloyd (SWING), Victoria Madden (ENSEMBLE/ASST. DANCE CAPTAIN), Billy McGavin (ENSEMBLE), Lathan A. Roberts (ENSEMBLE), Amy Smith (SWING), Sarah Statler (ENSEMBLE), Lauren Teyke (ENSEMBLE), Aidan Ziegler-Hansen (SWING)


Fantastical, intelligent, well-crafted, and exhilarating,

ANASTASIA deserves a coronation!"



ANASTASIA features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally, a lush, new score by the Tony Award® -winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics), and tour direction by Sarah Hartman based on original direction by Tony Award®-winning director Darko Tresnjak.

The creative team also includes Peggy Hickey (Original Choreographer), Bill Burns (Choreographer), Alexander Dodge (Set Design), Linda Cho (Costume Design), Donald Holder (Lighting Design), Peter Hylenski (Sound Design), Aaron Rhyne (Projection Design), Charles G. LaPointe (Hair/Wig Design), Joe Dulude II (Makeup Design), Tom Murray (Music Supervision), Jeremy Lyons (Music Direction), Doug Besterman (Orchestrations), David Chase (Dance Arranger), and casting by Jason Styres, CSA.

“An irresistible and sumptuous fairy tale!”


ANASTASIA began performances on Broadway in March 2017 at the Broadhurst Theatre with critics exclaiming “Ahrens and Flaherty have chosen the right moments to musicalize, and their score here sounds complete and full — one of the season’s strongest! (NBC)” and “Smartly adapted by Terrence McNally, Anastasia is a sweeping adventure, romance and historical epic whose fine craftsmanship will satisfy musical-theater fans (Time Out)”.

The original Broadway cast recording is available at, and iTunes. The 75-minute album includes the Academy Award-nominated favorite “Journey to the Past” alongside new numbers from the show such as “In My Dreams,” “Still” and “My Petersburg.”

Connect with ANASTASIA online at:

Twitter: @AnastasiaBway   ⬧   Facebook: AnastasiaBway  ⬧   Instagram: @AnastasiaBway




Performances are on Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m. (with a Wednesday matinee at 2:00 p.m. on September 21), Saturday, September 24 at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m., and the final performance is on Sunday, September 25 at 2:00 p.m.

COVID-19  PROTOCOL: Masks are recommended for all audience members.


Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 22 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theatre District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at the Auditorium Theatre.

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