The Road to Hell
So I just saw a preview of the Hadestown, which recently began performances on Broadway. What is Hadestown? It is a musical based on the Greek tragedy of Orpheus & Eurydice and the story of Hades & Persephone but set in Great Depression inspired time. The music is a combination of New Orleans jazz, folk and Americana which to me gives a real American feel.
Performance-wise there are some heavyweights that really make the show a winner. from the moment he comes out and shows off his waistcoat the ageless André De Shields owns the stage. As Hermes he serves as an Emcee/Narrator that moves the story along as easily as his lithe frame glides across the stage. Singer-songwriter Reeve Carney channels the late Jeff Buckley in his Orpheus. Eva Noblezada is as strong a presence vocally as when I last saw her as the title role in Miss Saigon. Amber Gray as Persephone is firecracker and has some great moments where she really gets the audience into it. And then there is Hades, played by Patrick Page (for all you nerds, yes he was also Green Goblin to Mr. Carney’s Spiderman in Turn Off the Dark). Now there has to be some vocal effects on him yes, but still, Mr. Page has that presence and plays the character so well that he could talk you into working in the factory for him.
The supporting cast consisting of the Fates and Chorus rounded out the strong cast. In addition to the actors there are the musicians. I have come to the decision that I prefer having the band on stage with the actors like they are in Hadestown. This allows interaction between the actors and musicians and the musicians become more prominent to the audience. It’s like they are part of the cast. And what a band it was! The Set Design was also particularly well presented and even utilized during some numbers with lamps virtually doing choreography.
Needless to say i really enjoyed this show and think it can enjoyed by a wide range of people. If someone is looking for a Broadway musical that is more on the contemporary side but with classical elements, striking set design and winning performances they should consider going to Hadestown…