‘Anastasia’ on stage at Popejoy

Kyla Stone as Anya and Anastasia’s North American Tour Company. (Courtesy of Jeremy Daniel)

Every night Kyla Stone takes the stage, she can’t believe her life right now.

Peter Kyla

“I think me, at 5 years old, I try to take control, but I have to balance,” she says. “I have to stay in the moment and give it my all.”

Stone was cast in the lead role in the touring Broadway production “Anastasia,” which makes a four-day stop at Popejoy Hall on the University of New Mexico campus.

“Anastasia” transports audiences from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of 1920s Paris, as a brave young woman sets out to uncover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the help of a dashing con man and a lovable ex-aristocrat.

Together they embark on an epic adventure to help her find a home, love and family.

Stone plays Anya/Anastasia and the show features Sam McLellan as Dmitry, Brandon Delgado as Gleb, Gerri Weagraff as Empress Dowager, Bryan Seastrom as Vlad, Madeline Raube as Countess Lily, and Taya Diggs and Marley Sophia as Little Anastasia.

Left to right, Sam McLellan as Dmitry and Kyla Stone as Anya on Anastasia’s North American tour. (Courtesy of Jeremy Daniel)

The set includes Mikayla Agrella, Lance Timothy Barker, William Aaron Bishop, Harrison Drake, Thomas Henke, Dakota Hoar, Veronica Rae Jiao, Evin Johnson, Ceron Jones, Madeline Kendall, Lizzy Marie Legregin, Victoria Madden, Christian McQueen, Elizabeth Ritacco, Taylor Stanger, Sarah Statler and Lauren Teyke.

The book is written by Terrence McNally and the score is performed by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens.

“Anastasia” opened on Broadway in March 2107 at the Broadhurst Theatre. The show played to sold-out Broadway for more than three years before expanding its global “Fanastasia” community with touring productions across North America and in Japan, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. .

Globally, the show has been played over 2,500 times and sold 3.4 million tickets. Additionally, the show has won over 15 major international awards, including Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards, and Best New Musical in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

“Anastasia” is Stone’s first national tour.

She is at the height of her emotions as the tour has made its way across the country.

Marley Sophia as Little Anastasia and Gerri Weagraff as Empress Dowager in Anastasia. (Courtesy of Jeremy Daniel)

“It’s funny because I remember my first preview day,” she says. “Going on stage for the first time is a rush. I was full of energy but I had to exploit it. I can sing “In My Dreams” and the journey begins for me and the audience. We are on the same team.

Theater has always been at the forefront for Stone.

After seeing “The Phantom of the Opera” at the age of 5, she was hooked.

“Then the 1984 version of ‘Camelot’ turned my love into an obsession,” she says. “All I want to do is act and be on stage. It’s good for me. Going to school at Chapman University helped me focus on acting.

When she was cast as Anya, Stone began researching by watching the animated film and the 1956 Ingrid Bergman classic.

“I watched and watched ‘Anastasia’ for the 19th millionth time,” she laughs. “But what I got was the story of triumph. I think that speaks to so many movies today. Rey from ‘Star Wars’ to Captain Marvel, we’re drawn to women finding themselves and it’s wonderful.”

With her role on stage, Stone knows that the stick she carries is important, especially for young women.

“There is joy in this story,” she says. “I want an audience to enjoy it and hope things can change for the better. The journey that I am on is one that continues to humble me.

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