“We were strangers starting out on a journey…”
Those stirring words will be familiar to any fan of the 1997 animated film Anastasia. They begin the post-movie credits song “At the Beginning,” as popularized by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis when first released (a performance that went on to top the radio charts).
Anastasia has found new life on Broadway over the last few years, but “At the Beginning” isn’t part of the expanded score, except for some recognizable musical cues within transitions that will catch the ear of the most avid fans. Now, however, Broadway’s Anastasia and Dmitry — Christy Altomare and Zach Adkins — have recorded a special version of the song for fans, which EW can exclusively debut.
Songwriters Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens previously told EW about the genesis of “At the Beginning” and why it didn’t end up in the stage version of the story. “We just knew we had to have a song to write over credits,” Ahrens said of the original task. “Write a number-one hit song. We were determined they weren’t going to give it to some other songwriters.”
As for why “At the Beginning” didn’t make it into the stage musical, Ahrens said it was because the song is “inherently not dramatic.”
Flaherty added, “We wanted to be more historically correct, and we were going more for placing it at a certain time in Russia. The further we got, we thought, ‘We love this song,’ so what I did is I took the theme of ‘At the Beginning’ and used it in a transitional moment.”
Now fans of both the original animated film and the Broadway musical can enjoy a new take on “At the Beginning” from its theatrical stars.