Anastasia: The Musical Dazzles Audiences


Kate Rogers, Opinions Editor

Last month, on the second, third, and fourth of March, Chandler High Theater took to the stage for their annual spring musical with their rendition of Anastasia: The Musical. Starring senior Katie Stone as Anastasia, and junior Bennett Smith as Dmitry, Anastasia is based on the 1997 animated Disney film of the same name, the musical adapts the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov of Russia, who could have escaped the execution of her family. Also starring seniors Spencer Rich and Amaya Cooks as Count Vlad Popov and Countess Lilly Malevsky-Malevitch and junior Gabriel Celis as Deputy Commissioner Gleb Vaganov, this production of Anastasia is possibly one of the best things to come out of the Chandler High Theater. Smith said of the show, “Anastasia is a very difficult musical, requiring lots of choreography and technical skills that aren’t typically possible for high school productions, so it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for everyone involved.” I was lucky enough to see the performance twice, and the production value was comparable to that of a professional company performance. The show broke records with the involvement of Chandler High’s orchestra, dance team, and theater programs all working together to put on the show. Bennett and Katie also played the lead roles in last year’s musical Legally Blonde as love interests Emmett and Elle. Their recasting as leads in this show only goes to prove the utter star quality that the two have. Conducting themselves with total grace and professionalism, even when lead Spencer Rich suffered an injury on the second night and had to have his part filled by Chandler alum Casey Likes, the two put on a performance deserving of recognition. They’ve acted together in outside shows before, which only enhances the chemistry that they present on stage. It’s an undeniable fact that these two have bright showbiz futures ahead of them. As Stone graduates this year, the theater certainly has big shoes to fill. With a wonderful production behind them and many more to come, I can’t wait to see what comes next for the theater.