Meet the first Black actress to play lead role in 'Anastasia' at Kimmel Cultural Campus

'Anastasia' opens Tuesday, November 23, at the Merriam Theater and runs through Sunday, November 28.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The critically-acclaimed Broadway touring production of 'Anastasia' returns to Philadelphia next week.

But this time, the actress in the lead role is breaking theatrical boundaries.

Kyla Stone is not only making her professional debut, but she's also making history as the first Black actor to lead the musical in any production worldwide.

"It already meant so much to me, but now I see how much it means to young people, how much it means for people who are going into this industry," Stone said. "They now have someone representing them, and they are saying, 'Oh, I never thought I could play this role.' To see how much it means to everyone is the greatest gift for me."

'Anastasia' is based on the legend of Grand Duchess of Russia, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past.

The Broadway musical is very familiar to fans of the 1997 animated film. Kyla was one of those fans.

"My sister showed me the movie, and I vividly remember watching 'Once Upon a December,'" Stone says. "I used to dance around the living room to that song. So now, to be actually singing it on stage, I cry almost every night. It's such a full-circle moment."

'Anastasia' opens Tuesday, November 23, at the Kimmel Cultural Campus' Merriam Theatre and runs through Sunday, November 28.

While the show is in town, Kyla will be performing 'Journey to the Past' at the 6abc Dunkin Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Catch her during 6abc's live broadcast, which kicks off Thanksgiving day at 8:30 a.m.

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