The North American Tour of “Anastasia” | Talks at Google
They. Said, I was found by. The side of a. Road. They, were tracks all around it. Recently. Snowed. In the, darkness, and cold, with. The wind in. The trees a, girl. With, no name and. No. Memories. But. These. Rain. Against, two, window. Sheets. Upon, a bed. Terrifying. Nurses. Whispering. Overhead. Call. The child on, in. The child, I. Don't, know. Travel. Being the back roads, sleeping. Taking. What I needed. Working. When I could. It. Seems at. Night. But. I know we. All will, come, back. I. Dream. Of a city, beyond. All. Harris. A. Beautiful. River a. Bridge by, square. You. Don't know, what. It's like not, to know who, you are to. Have lived in. The shadows, and, traveled. This far. I've. Seen flashes, of fire her. Vehicle of. Screams, but. I still have this faith in, the truth my, dream. My. Heart, has so much. Don't. Be. Afraid, to go. That. Was awesome. So. Lila, the. Musical, is based on, two films, of the same name and of course the, legend of Anastasia what. Makes the stage adaptation different. From the previous incarnations um. I think definitely the, film that people are most familiar with would be the cartoon. From 1997. And, I think what. Really sets our show, apart from these two other. Adaptations. Of, this legend, was. That we really rooted it in reality. Everything. Is centered, around the fact that these people are in a. Incredibly. Difficult time to be alive, the, Russian Revolution was, brutal, it was cutthroat, and I think that, Terrence, and linens Steven really made sure that that reality. Is underneath everything, that we do even. Little things like there was a. Gleb, in. Anastasia's. Life it was like one of their guards sons. They. Used that name do. You know to loop, in some actual, history and I just think that. That is incredibly. Important. To our production, you. Play Anya I do. Tell. Us about her she. Is spunky. She, is so. Determined like, the most determined person, I think I've ever had the opportunity, to play, she. Is, also. Overwhelmingly. Compassionate. And I think that that is something I, learned. About her through our rehearsal process and, fell, in love with because, I do think, that compassion. Is something we should all lead, with and so. Being. Able to demonstrate. Such, compassion, on stage especially. For audience members it's just it's a privilege, and an honor a lot, of people who might not have seen the show think. Of Anastasia, as a princess, is, she a princess. She, is, and. I think. What's. Awesome about. Anya. / Anastasia, is that. She. Isn't, your stereotypical. Princess. She's. Definitely got a little bit more bite to her than I think most. Royalty. Usually, demonstrates, and I. Think. What I love is that it shows young women everywhere that, even, if you're not the stereotypical. Demographic. Of a princess, you can still be a princess if that's something you want to be when. Did you first come to learn about Anastasia, the. Original story the films, my. First experience, was the the, cartoon for sure and I was, obsessed with it so, and. How. Did you hear about the musical um. So, I, was. Graduating, college and, I, heard but they were making it a musical and I. Was, obviously excited, because I loved the, film and then I heard it was going to be a new story so that was really intriguing to me and um. Yeah. So that's when I like first heard, about the musical I've also been, blessed and have worked with lenay, Hearns and Stephen Flaherty before, so, I'm, I, was. Just excited, for them to have another project coming to Broadway that's. Awesome, tell. Us about the audition process and, finding. Out that you believe in the company on the first national, tour. The. Audition, process was. Insane. In like, the best way I. Was, really blessed. I kind of lucked into the audition I really. Didn't think I was even gonna be seen for anja I was kind of like I'll go for the standby that would be awesome but. I went in and I worked with Tom Murray on, the. Songs, that you'll hear me sing today in my dreams and journey. To the past and he was like alright I'm sending you along your way to Darko. And linen Stephen and um, it, was funny cuz Lennon Stephen had no idea that I was coming in so, when they saw me they we're. Like oh my god oh my god I got because I had worked, with them when I was 16, so they saw me the last time they saw me was when I was a teenager so they, were like oh my god you've grown up like, all these things and. It. Was almost like coming home for me like, seeing. Them and, it just made me realize like, if this is meant to be it's meant to be but at least I get to see when in Steven again and I get to work on material, that I love and. Yeah. It was really a coming home for me the. Show first premiered in Hartford. Connecticut in, 2016. And then, opened on Broadway in, March 2017. Now. The show was on tour across, North, America what. Has it been like to bring this show to cities.
Across The country it's. Overwhelmingly. Humbling. It's. Something. That I mean I grew up in New York so I have. Never really experienced, touring productions, or anything like that so. To, get to have the privilege to do that is really, incredible and also just to bring, a story, that so many people would not be able to see unless it were on the road is an. Incredible. Responsibility, and, um. Yeah. I just I've loved every minute of it and I love working, with my cast. And it's, just been it's been great what. Has been the reaction of audiences, across the country they. Love it we. Have the, best best, best, fans of this show they. Really, relate to Anya, or Dimitri or Gleb, and I think that that's what makes this. Production so awesome, to work on and so special and. Yeah. It's been it's, been really wonderful we've been very blessed what. Is different about your experience in New York we're traveling with this touring production, so. Different, I did. The, Broadway production I, was the understudy to Dimitri so I was in the ensemble for, a while I was, only there for about four months but it was my Broadway debut so. It was really exciting and, also, disillusioning. At the same time. But. It was it was a really special experience and, I was walking into a community, you know that had already been founded, like the. Relationships, had already been made the show is totally, set so they, really just plugged me in they were like here are your numbers here are your costumes, boom. You're in the show so, it's been awesome, to get to revisit. The role like have a couple months off have. An entire new energy, with his cast and, Sara. Hartman our resident directors amazing, and our stage manager and having. Just a clean slate when we go into rehearsals, no expectations, and, redoing. The whole thing has been really. Freeing. It's been an awesome experience. Lynn. Ahrens and, Steve Flaherty, wrote several new songs for this stage adaptation. Tell. Us about this new original music and what it has been like working with Aron's and clarity they have 19 new songs in the show only, five of the songs. In the show are from the original movie. But. The music fits in so beautifully like that song that you just heard Lila sing that sounds, like it's from the original, cartoon. Working. With them has been awesome it's a dream come true I mean you mentioned a ragtime but that. I, did, that show in high school which if, you've ever seen it I hope, you didn't see it at a high school. But. Still like nevertheless, the, music I never knew that theater, could tell such heavy. Emotional. Meaningful. Specific stories, I mean their, music is so specific and and so, storytelling.
Storytelling. Driven that. Working. With them has just been it I just feel like a little kid every time they're in the room I'm like they're, here, but. It's been so cool and and the music is glorious, and challenging. And and. Really exciting for the audience I think I. Think. If you come to see the show you're gonna walk, away with a lot of tunes stuck in your head, speaking. Of tunes that are gonna be stuck in our head oh god I, think it's time to hear my Petersburg. So. We just ran. Into some other Street rats and got. In a little fight and, she showed how. Aggressive. And feisty she can be which is which. Is cool too Dimitri but. Then she says that I have, it easy, and she, knows nothing about me so this is this that, leads into this song. I. Grew. Up on the, sly in. The. Gutters, in the streets of Petersburg. Just. A kid on the, fly. Getting. Good at getting by in Petersburg. I. Bartered. For up language stolen. From my bread learn. To take my chances, and use my, head Oh Russian, rat is clever clever, he. Ends, up dead. Boils. Down to there. Are some who, survive some. Who don't, some give up some, given me. I won't black and blue, welcome to my. Petersburg. Standing. Here you can see, from. The spires to the piers of Petersburg. I'd. Be down on that key. Selling. Stolen souvenirs. Of. And. Alleyways. Below, funny. When our city is, all you know, how, you. Hate it something. You love. That's. Where, I learned. My stuff in some rough. Company. There's, the boy growing. Up who. Was me, while I've been Oh. Can't. Go wearily. But I've learned from my father. What's ahead. Funny. How a boy. Funny, how a city tells. You when it's time to go. Boils. Down to there. Are some who, have walls, yet. To climb you and I on, the fly just. In time but tonight there. Is a sky and, quite. A few. Welcome. To. My. Peters. So. Question. For Jason and Steven, Anya. Is certainly the central character, in this production but. The men she comes into contact with play, significant, roles in this story can. You explain what each of these guys want from Anya and how, that plays out through the journey, I, think, for Gleb, she represents. Possibly, a sense of, normalcy. Potentially, in his life from the moment he meets her he is taken. By her he's entranced, by just her her. Her, demeanor her her, toughness, and you, know in the same sense as Dimitri galletas had a very hard childhood parents. Passing away traumatic, events things like that and, he's. So focused on the. Military and the regime right now the moment he meets her I think he.
Thinks Wow, my life has. A chance of being normal because he's feeling things he had never felt for anyone before so. For. Him. She represents, a conflict, of course once he finds out who she is or who she's pretending, to be because he has the civic duty to do. Away with her but his feelings from the moment he first saw her were very intense, so, he's constantly, teetering, back and forth throughout, the entirety of the show you, know his duty to his heart or his duty to his, countries. I think for Dmitri kind. Of similarly at, first he he, sees in on this opportunity and he, manipulates. Her or tries to, and. Me. And my care and my, my. Best friend Vlad he's the ex aristocrat, you're talking about we. Sort. Of you, know put. Sparkly things in our eyes and and try and make her princess. And we we, try and play it off and and manipulate, her to thinking that she could be the Grand Duchess Anastasia and, then. Once, we get to Paris once we get out of Russia and Dimitri's like achieved his goal there's. Still another, act of the show left and, he. Finds himself. With. Feelings. For this girl that he he didn't know that he had he thought that she was a prop to him a way to get out of Russia and now, he's really invested in her story. And she. Brings out of him this nobility, and this vulnerability, that we. Don't see in the first half of the show because. I think, it's really cool you're talking about you. Know she's not the typical princess, because, I think in a lot of typical princess. Movies. Or stories. The princess, is sort of susceptible, to whatever the the prince is doing and in, this it's sort of the opposite it's worse susceptible. To her actions and she. Changes us so, that's, really cool. Jason. Yes who, is Gleb. So Gleb is a young, up-and-coming, Soviet, officer. His. Father. Was actually one of the guards who carried out the masa Sassa nation on the Romanov family, and, then his father had a bit of a mental breakdown and took. His own life, so, Gleb. Aim, is to sort of avenge his father's, legacy. Is he a villain or is he misunderstood, hi. I. Would call him a hurdle. To the protagonist I wouldn't call him a villain, per, se even in the breath of the show I don't, think he could be considered a bad guy let alone myself considering, him one I would just call him an intense dude, I'm. Not pretty conflicted. What. Do you like about him I like. A lot about him I love his journey he. From. Where he starts, to where he ends it is such a, wondrous. Arc. For. For, a character who really doesn't have that much stage time, Gleb, does not exist in the animated film knew do. You know why the playwright, Terrence McNally chose to X Bartok's, Andres butan I, I. Assume. It's because what, Lila was saying at the beginning is that they're going for a. Fictionalized. Realism. For. This tale you know loosely, based in history and. Rasputin's. Died I believe. Ten, years, before this. The, bulk of the show takes place I think he died in either. 1918. Or 1919. So in. The movie he's portrayed as a ghost in the animated film so it would be a lot harder to pull off the realism, aspect, that they were going for if you have a ghost and his, his. That sidekick. Floating. Around stage, and, that's not to say that those aren't wonderful, wonderful characters, but they are meant for an animated, audience and whereas. This is meant for a, real audience I mean it's a show for all ages, but, it, might take you out of the realness of it all so they needed a new, protagonist. Who you could connect, with who wasn't a caricature. You, know like so many animated. Antagonists. Are so you. Needed a guy a real guy who was just bad. By association. For what he believed and what his uniform, said but might have a good heart Thank. You, Joey. You. Played the Dowager Empress what, are the Dowager Empress's, greatest. Qualities, and, what do you like about her well. She was very compassionate she. Had a great sense of humor. She. Was gregarious. She. Was smart and. She. Was also. Helping. People and. I. Think, those qualities, are wonderful. You. Have such a robust resume, into. The woods Guys, and Dolls, Pippin. Damn, Yankees The, Sound of Music you've. Performed in New York on, tour and television. And in films, what. Makes this experience with Anastacia special, oh my, gosh. This, show is the most glorious show, it, is, so full of, love. And home, and. Of. The, journey, of finding yourself, and. Also. Staying, true to your. Heart and to, keep following, your dreams I think, it's a very inspirational, story. For, everyone. When, we talk to people after. The show and we sign, autographs, they. Are inspired, by this show to.
Find Their truth and. The. Brave of. Anastasia. I mean. For, a young woman to, have, you. Know marched. Across. A Paris. To get to Russia and to. Follow. Her dreams. It's. Just, a thrilling, show it's so beautiful, the music the, lyrics, the. Lighting, the costumes. I mean. I think. It's a perfect, show. You. Have the opportunity, to, perform with two, very talented they're, young actresses, and this production tell. Us about working with the little Anastasia's, oh my gosh it's so exciting, Oh to see, their little faces every, night and get, to get a look into those eyes and they. Are so in the moment and that's. Another thing everyone. In this show is in the moment but. I'm gonna back to the girls oh my god these little girls I just want to squeeze. And. Take them home. Delilah, pelo, and, also. Addison. Valentino. Those, are the two young ladies that are getting, to play little, Anastasia, and so. When I sing that first. Song. In. The show, they. Just look, you right in the eyes and, you can't help but fall in love with him and I'm. Crazy. About them and I will always be, in their lives. Lila. Enjoy, tell. Us about the special relationship, between Anya, and her, grandmother and how that fuels the story. Yeah. So um. Like. Choice said Anastasia. Was the Dowager, Empress's, favorite. Granddaughter. And. So, in, her, youth Anastasia. Had a very, special, bond with her I believe. It's, because. They. Were very similar the, dowager's stubborn like Anastasia. But, the dowager's also overwhelmingly, compassionate. And they think that that's where Anastasia. Really got those. Qualities even. In her towards. The end of her life when, she could she would volunteer. At. Red, Cross and, nurse, and things like that so she was a very, compassionate. Girl and I do believe, it came from her grandmother. And. In. Terms, of Anya, Anya. Only. Wants her family in the, beginning of the show all she, wants is to know who. She is and where she belongs so she can be with her family, so when. She finally, gets. To meet someone. Who looks, like her talks like her acts like her in a world where not a lot of women were like that I think she immediately is like you have to be Who I am looking looking, for and I. Think. That that's what what. Draws them together is. Anya's. Drive to find her family and the, dowager's, drive to find. Her. Family as well in a different way well she's trying to find Anastasia. I mean, she. She. Put out rewards a huge. Amount of money and so, a lot of young women would, write from all over the countries, and. Saying. That they were Anastasia. And so, by the time I, actually, get, to meet. Anya. This. Young woman I still, don't I've gotten, to the point where I don't believe, she, exists. But. I will. Listen. To her what this one one. Time, more. And, by. That time I. Do. Accept. Her as. Anastasia.
Being. Part of a touring production is, a unique experience for performer, you. Are traveling, with and performing, with each other nearly every day, what. Makes this experience special. And what. Have you learned from each other I. Think. We all really loved each other which, you, know I think usually. Castes. Have love for each other but. I think when you're thrown into in, a touring, environment, I do really feel like we. Have to be family for one another we have to be able to rely, on each other when we're, in time of need or, anything. Like that and I just do feel an overwhelming, amount of love from every, company member, this. Musical is now playing across the globe there. Are now productions, in the US Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands, what, is this musical, and its message, such a worldwide appeal well. I think the, legend of Anastasia in and of itself this resurrection. Of a, girl, who lost her life so young is relatable. To anyone, anywhere, and. I. Mean I've I, have the privilege of knowing Hana. In Spain. And Judith. In Germany who play the. - Anya's in the, in, Germany. And Spain and I. Mean. We've talked about how it's just. This. Role is just such an incredible. Story. And character, - to relate to and I think that's why it. Does, well globally. I. Agree. It's really rare I think that a. Production. Does. What, what, this team has done done. To. Just. Put a bunch of productions, out there internationally. It doesn't usually do that it might go like West End Broadway, national, tour like one, after the other closing. And opening and this is like. Everyone's. Gonna love this and they do I don't know how they had that you, know know how but I think, also the animated, movie everyone, thinks of so fondly like and that's I get messages from people on Instagram like come to Australia, I'm like okay. The. Final question what, is the heart of this musical. Family. Bartok. Love. I'm. Gonna go with home no. Home, love family and. What. They said but I do think home love and family are all. Basically. The same thing well, yeah because. What this this, musical talks about is that you know she spends the whole show looking for her blood, family, but, what you know she, ends up finding throughout all these other people are that you, can also have a chosen, family, like, that's that's the beauty of life and love in the same way like you are born and you will love your parents forever but, you can also grow to love people who aren't your blood relatives you can meet people and grow to love them and have them be your home and have them be your family yeah. Absolutely. Awesome. Lastly. We'll. Have Lila, perform. Journey to the past. Heart. Don't, fail, me now. Courage. Don't, desert. Me don't. Turn, back, now, that were here. People. Always. Say. Life. Is full, of, choices. No one, ever. Mentions. Somewhere. Down, this, road I, know sir. Once. Awaiting years. Of dreams just, can't be, wrong. Arms. Will, open. Wide I'll, be, saved that, wanted, me home. There was once, a time I, must apply them, to. Love. Finally. I, will, never be complete. Until, I find. You. What. Step, at a time. One hope, there, and, another. Who. Knows where, they, throwed, Mako. Back, to, who, I. Was gone. To, find my. Future things. My heart, still. Need should, know. Yes. Let. Me, see outside. Let. This road, be, my. Lead. Me, to, my past. You. Have a few minutes open. For Q&A. From, the audience so, we'll. Move into that portion I like talk. Lila. Singing journey of the past alia sung that and when, the wards for it so how was it living. Up to that and for all of you how was it living up to a movie that people know. So well and loved so much there's.
Been. Three. Women from the United States that have gotten to sing journey to the past and bring, it to its its, some fame, so Liz Calloway Leia, Aliya, and. Chrissy, al Tamar so coming, after the three, of them is it's definitely, a little daunting, because, they're all amazing so I. Think. What. Really helped me was to really be. True to myself and to make the character and the part my own so, um I, saw. The Broadway show once and that, was Oh like, right when it opened so long before I was ever even, it. Was even on my radar that it was going to be a tour. And. I I, really, honestly, tried, to stay away from, the. Soundtrack or, the show or the. Movie. Just so I could make it my. Own, and. Now I kind, of want to go back and, see. It again now that I feel like I've figured, out my Anya, and that's, the other thing is our creative team was very, very. Adamant, and. Supportive, that we have, the privilege, to make it our own and that's not always the case so, a, lot of that also stems from the fact that our creatives were like yes. Do it differently do what you need to do to make it yours, so, I know whenever you're able to kind of take up residence, within a specific theater, like before you go on and perform you have very specific like routines, and regiments that you make sure you do throughout the day like when. You're on a traveling. Show I'm sure that throws a wrench in your plan every single day so like how do you create that sense of normalcy for yourself, before you go onstage. It's. Always a relief when we get to a. New, theater, to, see the set, then. It's like oh god, I'm home. And it's like because. Each theater, is so different and it's like a maze and. To. Find my way around I need. A guard. Or a guide, dog. Oh. My god. It's. Well. It's challenging. Traveling. From city, to city to tell, you the truth, but. Knowing. That we are a family, is a grounding. And doing. The show and telling, this amazing. Story and getting. To sing these beautiful. Songs. Look. At that, grounds. Me I agree. With you once once I'm on stage I feel fine, but the backstage, is always different the the dressers are always different. The. First night is a, small. Disaster, every night before the show I mean for, me at least yeah and we have not a lot of time to do a soundcheck and an orientation just. To you, know get. Our feet wet in the theatre and then and. Then it's time to do it but once I'm on stage it's fine but I think we all have our tricks for, how, we live on the road I have found that I love to do air BnB is instead, of live in hotel rooms because. Nothing. Is more soul-sucking to me than just living.
Eating, Breathing, all in the same room all day long so. That's, that's the one thing that I that. I do that really keeps me sane is have a kitchen or a family room it's so, yes kitchens. Are very important, yes that's very important, we don't always get them I travel. With a double burner. The. Only one I. Make. Food don't tell the hotels. Yes. Its grounding, to be able to make have normalcy. You, know being able to get up and make my breakfast, and, laundry. God I never thought I'd like doing long. Never. Thought doing laundry, would, be grounding. And feel so good that is crazy but. It's normal, routine. For. Me yes, and we all find our routines that work, for us whether that's going. To the gym whether that's writing whether that's going on a walk like we all have our own like joy was saying our own sense of normalcy but when we get to the theater that's, actually the one thing that is more, or less a constant shorter dressing rooms are different like there's little differences. Here or there but that stage there's always the same measurement sometimes. The backstage is different but when you were onstage performing. That's where you feel normal. Regardless, what city you're in regardless, what city or what. What stage, you're on it's, it's. Being out there that is that, is always the constant yeah, and the other thing I think that's I mean a lot, of us do is also we like a lot of us unpack, even, if we're only there for like a week we set up this our hotel, rooms and our dressing rooms or our Airbnb s to be like our space. It, can be really, difficult when, you like turn your nightstand, and there's not a picture of your boyfriend and your dog you know what I mean so, also. Making the space your own is really important, so even if that means a couple extra pounds in your suitcase I it, makes it makes a world of difference I traveled. To blankets, I was the blinky kid so how does it make me feel like home. Hi. So, my name is Kendrick I have a 19, year old sister who's. Always rude nipping on Broadway, she's. Gonna be a sophomore in LA at LMU and. What. Advice would you give to, to. Her, to. Make it maybe in be in your shoes well. Being in LA first and foremost I would tell her to start. Auditioning for the theaters there I spent a few years in LA and I. Worked, a lot with the kids in current musical theater programs I think, the best way to learn is to get out there and do it BFA programs are great colleges, are great but, you can't really understand, what goes into the daily life of being a working actor until. You're working at those professional, theaters so, my first advice would. Be learn, as much as you can at school but, also start. Going on auditions in town LA is a great theater community. And, yeah. Just start start, breaking the ice now that that would because, it's a great place to get, your start I also. Think talking, about the fact that this industry is hard so. Learning to tune out noise. Is really, really important, because. No matter how. How. Many people love you there's always gonna be it was at least one that doesn't art is subjective. It is not definitive. So, I, do think learning how to, manage. That early, on is really helpful and being. Patient because. Sometimes. You have to wait three years for, a job and it just ends up being a great one or is only definitive when it's Audra McDonald. Audra. Is the only one thing I can all agree joined Meryl yes, and. I would say just keep talking, your dreams alive she. Does it every day, she. At, this stage door every day joy. Is a five-minute conversation with, every, person waiting for an autograph to tell them to follow their dream. Thank. You so much for being here I'm seeing the show this again I'm very excited. With. A show so much about family but, while you're traveling in far from your families how do you keep that idea. Of family and home kind. Of with you and keep in touch with you if I'm going to keep that part. Of your life kind of going, while you're not in your physical homes I. Think. The show is honestly. What kind of keeps us grounded. And. And in, touch with our family I mean obviously we communicate, but then we all have like FaceTime, and you. Know I always. Skype with my boyfriend in the morning. You don't get to see my dog very often which is really. Crappy but, um you. Know I do think, that, what. We were saying about our caste being a family is very important, to that but, also the fact that we're doing the show about home love and family it just kind of makes you appreciate your, time with them more and, also we do get some layoffs so, we can go home to our family, and see, our pets oh my, god I miss my dog so much three of my four years have been on the road so, it really puts it. Shines, a light on the people who are really important, to you and what we all keep up with our families on FaceTime.
Or Skype or, whatsapp, like, what Lila was saying like they're the, the cast is a family there are maternal, figures, there are paternal, figures there are brothers and sisters there are kids I can't, tell you how wonderful it is they have two little girls it, just it raises. Like. The inner like I saw them just, holding hands skipping through the halls a couple days ago that's it, just raises the, morale of everybody, just having ranges of all ages and everyone. Is so kind and so dear so I mean now we have we have two families we have ones, we talked to on the phone and FaceTime and the one we get to be with every day plus, those little kids make you want to set a good example as, to how to be as an adult and that's what I mean is we're a family and we just want the best for each other and, our. Kids definitely, are the best. Thanks. Again for everyone for coming by and thanks so much to Lyla. Jason, Steven. And joy for, taking the time out to join us here at Google we, really appreciate it hearing, your, performances, and also learning more about the show and learning more about your experiences, as performers. On tour thanks, thank you so much come see ya you. You.