Canada’s Ballet Jörgen Takes Center Stage at Meadowvale Theatre

By Mark Chetcuti

An orphan wishes to discover the truth about her family heritage. She shares a likeness to the Russian Royal Grand Duchess named Anastasia. What to do?

Anastasia the musical premiered on Broadway on March 23, 2017. The plot follows Anya who survives an attack by Bolshevik revolutionaries who kill her parents.

The award winning musical explores the decadence of Russian royalty and illustrates it with magnificent costumes and ballet performances to advance the plot. This story inspired an animated movie from Disney and a 1956 movie rendition starring world famous actress Ingrid Bergman for which she won an Oscar. Anastasia has been rewritten by world-famous playwright Terrence McNally.

“It’s a wonderful mystery, fairy tale, romance,” says McNally. “It’s the most modern story I could think of. It is the search for identity, roots, family connection. What mysteries lie in our lineage?”

Solving Anya’s identity is central to the play and is emphasized by McNally with a new detective character named Gleb. Gleb is investigating the case while trying to determine whether Anastasia really is a royal, while the Bolshevik government wants to do away with any possible heirs to the throne.

Anya enlists the aid of a dashing con man, a lovable ex-aristocrat who makes her appear to be a con artist.

DNA tests proved Anastasia did not survive the Bolshevik Revolution. But, as stated by McNally “This story is bigger than that. I think that is what a fairy tale does. I don’t think we worry, ‘Was there really a Cinderella? Was there really a Snow White and the seven dwarfs?”’

A special performance of the magical fairy tale will take place at Meadowvale Theatre on Thursday March 29, beginning at 7:30. Tickets cost $44 per Adult, or $40 per Older Adult/Youth and can be purchased through the Culture Section of the Mississauga website at https://culture.mississauga.ca/event/meadowvale-theatre/anastasia or at the Meadowvale Box Office.

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