Anastasia, the 1997 hit animated movie, is making its move from the screen to the stage — and PEOPLE's got the exclusive first look at the production

Christy Altomare, Derek Klena and the cast of ANASTASIA,Credit: Matthew Murphy
Credit: Matthew Murphy

Anastasia, the 1997 hit animated movie starring the voices of Meg Ryan and John Cusack, is making its move from the screen to the stage — and PEOPLE’s got the exclusive first look at the production.

The new Broadway musical, now in previews at New York City’s Broadhurst Theatre, brings the legend of Russia’s Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna to life.

Newcomer Christy Altomare plays Anya — an 18-year-old amnesiac orphan who, with the help of a con-man Dmitry (Derek Klena), poses as the long-lost Grand Duchess Anastasia. In doing so, she learns a secret about her past while fighting to secure a future for herself.

The show uses the movie’s Oscar-nominated score by Tony-winning songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, including their Best Song nominee “Journey to the Past.”

Credit: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Judging from the photo, costume designer Linda Cho has recreated some of the costumes from the 20th Century Fox film too — specifically, the strapless blue gown Anya wears to the Paris ballet when trying to meet with the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna (Played in the film by Angela Lansbury and in the musical, by The Good Wife‘s Mary Beth Peil).

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Of course, there are changes in this Anastasia.

Gone from the 1997 cartoon are the evil sorcerer Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) and his albino bat sidekick Bartok (Hank Azaria) — both replaced by the new antagonist Gleb (Iranian-Canadian actor Ramin Karimloo), a general who finds himself split between an unexpected love for Anya and his duty to her enemies.

Ahrens and Flaherty have also added 16 new songs to the musical — while Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally infused its story with the real-life drama of the 1917 Russian Revolution and its aftermath in post-revolution Bolshevik Russia.

Anastasia opens on Broadway April 24.