First look: ‘Anastasia’ opens at the Orpheum

Inside look at Anastasia the Musical

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Anastasia, the new Broadway musical, opens at the Orpheum Theatre Wednesday.

Set in 1900′s Russia, the musical is an adventure-themed romance that takes on a journey to Paris with a young woman named Anya, who is looking to discover her past.

"She goes on this crazy adventure. She gets convinced by these two con men that she might be a princess, which to her is like, totally bonkers,” said Lila Coogan, actress.

Lila Coogan plays Anya in the musical, inspired by the film.

Besides working with an incredible cast, she says one of her favorite parts of the show are the intricate costumes.

"My costumes are elaborate, elaborate, elaborate. They are the most gorgeous costumes designed by Linda Cho,” said Coogan.

The costumes take you on a journey of Anya's transition from rags to riches.

"This is kind of the iconic look that Anya starts out in. Here’s her skirt, as you can see everything is distressed, she’s been living on the streets awhile. She has to have texture, and this is all hand-painted on,” said Matty Kelbaugh, wardrobe supervisor.

Matty Kelbaugh, the show's wardrobe supervisor, is in charge of managing all 177 of the cast's costumes.

He says wardrobe changes happen quick with some as fast as 30 seconds.

"Some of the tricks that we implement are magnets in the show, so we have a lot of magnets in the show to make these quick changes go a lot quicker,” said Kelbaugh.

As Anya arrives in Paris, her wardrobe changes to chic, Parisian-style.

The cast refers to one custom ball gown, weighing 35 pounds and hand-stitched with jewels, as "Big Red.”

"This is kind of the iconic look that Anya starts out in. Here's her skirt, as you can see everything is distressed, she's been living on the streets awhile. She has to have texture, and this is all hand-painted on,” said Kelbaugh.

Whether you see the show for the costumes, the singing or the storyline.

Coogan hopes you leave with this.

"I want anyone who comes to see the show to feel like they can do anything that they set their hearts to, and that whoever they are and whatever they believe in is okay as long as it’s with love and with compassion,” said Coogan.

Anastasia runs from June 5 to June 9 at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Memphis.

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