What happens when a Grand Duchess has issued a reward for finding any of her missing Romanov family members alive and a young orphan, bearing a startling resemblance to one of the lost Romanov daughters comes your way? Well, if you’re ex-member of the Imperial Court (or so you claim) named Vlad Popov, then you take this opportunity to go on an epic road trip, get your Henry Higgin’s on and turn that orphan into one fair lady who will convince the Grand Duchess she is her granddaughter!
Edward Staudenmayer, plays the crafty courtier Vlad in the production of ANASTASIA that is bringing this musical about family, memories, adventure, and more to Broadway San Diego from October 1st – October 6th.
The show may start out in sad place, with the memories of the Romanov family dancing around these characters, but Edward says that this show, and is a lovely journey of redemption, love, and happiness.
Vlad’s a common guy that pretends to be a count to hang out with the elite. What I like about this role, is that he starts out sad because they are depressed, things are horrible in Russia, and nobody has any food. Throughout the play he gets more hope and more happiness. They make this plan, and he gets progressively happier as the play goes one and I find that really fun. We start in a dark place and then it goes on a nice journey of hope and happiness throughout.
Part of the fun is also having this fantastic cast to perform with on stage and tell this story with every performance. In fact, there is even a song where they teach Anastasia about courtly ways and manners that is a fun nod to that famous Lerner and Lowe musical MY FAIR LADY.
Our number “Learn to Do it” is like “The Rain in Spain” from MY FAIR LADY, and it’s been a lot of fun to play this part. I love the people I play against, Stephen Brower who plays Dimitri and Lila Coogin who plays Anastasia, are just terrific. There was a lot of laughing especially in the rehearsal process, it’s a deceptively hard number.
More than just the learned courtier he claims to be, Staudenmayer’s Vlad also gets some romantic comedy in the show as well.
This number I have, I’m so blessed “The Countess and the Common Man” I do with Tari Kelly, it just stops the show and it’s been such a blessing. It’s really funny and the show is pretty serious at times, so it’s nice to have this moment of comic relief to lighten things up a bit.
ANASTAISA may be a journey to the past for the characters, but it is also brining Edward back to San Diego, a place where in the past he has performed in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, at The Old Globe, and even at Starlight Theatre where he remembers the unique situation of pausing for the planes mid performance.
Returning to san Diego is always something Edward, and his dog Mac, a Shetland Sheepdog (think of a mini Lassie) who tours with him, look forward to when on the road.
I am so excited to come to San Diego, it’s my favorite place on earth! I want to retire in San Diego I love it so much. I love the fish tacos and the dog beach.
The last time I was there I stayed at a hotel near the dog beach because my dog comes with me everywhere. I would love to go surfing while I am there. Plus, the dog park in Balboa Park, my dog loves to chase the planes when we’re there.
Touring may be one long road trip, but with Edward says it’s all worth it.
I’m so happy to bring art all around the country and have people see these fabulous performances that happened on Broadway in their hometowns.