Hadestown The Musical

Hadestown The Musical Cover

Anaïs Mitchell is the mastermind behind the musical Hadestown, a winner of 8 Tony Awards (including Best Musical). I was able to see this performance on its opening night in Houston, TX on October 4th, 2022 (where it will be showing at The Hobby Center until October 9th, 2022) and it will be on tour throughout the United States throughout 2022-2023. This tour was delayed several times and it was a joy to finally be able to see what this broadway had to offer. For ticket information, visit: https://hadestown.com/

Hadestown is narrated by Hermes (Nathan Lee Graham), who tells us the beautiful love story / tragedy between Orpheus (Chibueze Ihuoma) and Eurydice (Hannah Whitley), who are both poor and have little to eat due to climate. As conditions worsen, the god of the Underworld, Hades (Matthew Patrick Quinn), offers Eurydice a safe shelter if she agrees to come work for him in Hadestown. The story follows Orpheus as he attempts to get back Eurydice and the complex relationship between Hades and his detached wife Persephone (Maria-Christina Oliveras).

All of the actors do a wonderful job, but the standout voices were Chibueze Ihuoma and Hannah Whitley (the actors that portray Orpheus and Eurydice), who sing such beautiful melodies with voices that feel powerful, yet unforced and natural. “All I’ve Ever Known” gives both Whitley and Ihuoma the opportunity to serenade the audience with a gorgeous song that shows us how the duo fall in love. There are many wonderful songs within the production (my favorite being “Wait For Me”) but there’s also a fair amount that sounded all too similar to each other. Nonetheless, Hadestown has enough songs that are memorable and a story that should warm people’s hearts.

The production and technical aspects of the show are competent components that compliment the story. Lighting Design by Bradley King was fantastic; it's not surprising that King won a Tony Award for his work on Hadestown. The colors used to reflect various environments were appropriate and lights were consistently in sync with songs. “Wait For Me” has standout lighting because actors utilize handheld lamps and swing lights towards the audience, which created a dramatic impact and this was unique to this particular song. There’s a wall of bright lights that often effectively blind the audience (although some may consider this effect to be unpleasant). Additionally, choreography by David Neumann exalted several songs and made scenes much more effective. You can tell director Rachel Chavkin paid close attention to detail, which takes the show in a noteworthy direction. 

As with most musicals, I recommend listening to the soundtrack on Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever you stream music in order to decide if you enjoy these songs. The story, while charming, is fairly simple and the reason most will be swayed by Hadestown is if they buy into the music that fills most of the running time (2 hours and 30 minutes with intermission). Despite being long, Hadestown has enough charm and a surprising conclusion that I believe most will enjoy the Broadway production.

Final Verdict:Despite being long, Hadestown has enough charm and a surprising conclusion that I believe most will enjoy the Broadway production.