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It isn’t often that I go into a Broadway musical not knowing the story and music by heart, but this was one of those times and it was the trip of a lifetime. Hadestown doesn’t follow your traditional love story instead it takes you on heart wrenching twists and turns from curtain to curtain.
Hadestown, with music, lyrics, and book by Anais Mitchell follows the Greek tale of Orpheus and Euridyce as well as Hades and Persephone with a modern twist reminding people to see the world the way it could be. The direction by Rachel Chavkin was perfection supported by the beautiful sets, costumes, and lighting designed by Rachel Hauck, Michael Krass, and Bradley King. All three components brought so much to the story taking you to another time and place all together.
As I said earlier this is not your traditional love story, in fact it will not end the way you will hope for, but as the lyrics remind us, even a tragedy is worth telling.
Hadestown brought the audience to their feet before the first bow was complete. The cast was phenomenal in every way. Orpheus (Chibueze Ihuoma) has a voice that will not soon be forgotten. He sang high notes with power that I have not heard before all while reeling you in with his acting that made you pull for him the entire show. Playing opposite him Eurydice (Morgan Siobhan Green) was a breath of fresh air as she fell in love with Orpheus. Green showed an incredible strength as she brought her past hardships and used them to pull for her future. Her voice was stunning as she told her story and questioned how things were.
Persephone played by Kimberly Marable was so much fun to watch on stage as her voice and character brought a smile to your face. She was fun, witty, and brought a sass to the character that brightened this darker story. Kevyn Morrow (Hades) the King of the Underworld countered her beautifully with a more sinister character and stage presence. His strong and incredible voice dropped lower than you could imagine, rumbling across the theatre with an intense power. The two of them brought their characters together seamlessly as they sang together deciding what their future would look like.
The music which was a mix of jazz, pop, and folk made you feel as though you were going back in time to a older New Orleans feel. The power the music brought to this show was next level. The song “Wait for Me” in the first act brought a punch to the show that couldn’t be matched until the reprise in the second act that truly brought the show home. The orchestra was live on stage, except for the drummer, with the standout being, Emily Fredrickson, a trombonist who joined the cast to dance as she was playing, showing off some incredible talent.
True to Greek shows this cast had no small part. The chorus killed it on every number showing incredible vocal strength and dance ability. Levi Kreis as Hermes set the stage with a voice that you knew was going to take center stage. The Fates joined him in telling the story. Together they brought a fun piece to the show that helped in the understanding of the plot.