Q & A off the Script with Stephen Brower with Anastasia The Musical
June 7, 2019
Senior Writer : Diana Brang Scott
JUNE 11 – 23 AT THE FISHER THEATER
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.
You may remember the 1997 animated film ANASTASIA starring the voices of Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammar. The story line is a heartwarming and heart-wrenching adventure into one of history’s biggest unanswered questions: what happened to the Grand Duchess Anastasia? I recently spoke with Stephen Brower, who plays the part of Dmitry (an energetic former aristocrat turned con-man who tries to manipulate Anastasia.)
Stephen grew up in Tulsa Oklahoma and was enthralled with musical theater at the young age of 8 after seeing a local production, and he knew then that he wanted to be a performer. This marks his 3rd national tour since graduating from Texas State University in 2015.
I asked Stephen for people who have seen the film, how this musical is different from the animated version that we grew up with? He said, “It is a little different, it has new songs, a new principal character, and a new script with more historic realism. Characters like the evil villains Rasputin and Bartok are not in this show. The writers wanted it to mirror real life, so there is much more humanity on stage than you might be expecting. This show is really emotionally driven.”
I am looking forward to seeing ANASTASIA when it opens here in Detroit on June 11, because I keep hearing how absolutely “Gorgeous” this show is, what can the audience expect to see? “It is a beautiful spectacle! The Tony nominated costumes by Linda Cho are absolutely breathtaking, and the way the show is staged by Darko Tresnjak highlight them even more. There are moments when we can hear an audible gasp by the audience when a dress comes onto stage. Oh, and the LED screen on the back of the set is technology that wasn’t available just 2 short years ago, so you are going to see something you have never seen before.”
I asked Stephen what he thinks will surprise the audience about this musical? He said, “Honestly, I think all of it will. It is a really good contemporary musical that pays homage to classical musicals in a lot of ways, but it is also funny, dramatic, and filled with spectacle elements and dance; it also has a lot heart, and intimate moments. I think more often than not, when my friends and family come to see it they are so surprised that they didn’t know much about it before hand because ANASTASIA is a fantastic musical.”
Stephen told me that, “I hope the audience leaves this musical feeling inspired to pursue their truths. Whether it is an emotional boundary they have or a dream they want to achieve. ANASTASIA is such an inspiring show that I hope people walk away singing the music and feeling inspired.”
This will be Stephens first time to Detroit, so come out and give him and the entire cast of ANASTASIA a warm welcome. ANASTASIA opens at Detroit’s own Fisher Theatre on June 11th and runs through June 23rd. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at or www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-982-2787.
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For more information about ANASTASIA…