Who doesn’t like a musical and who can’t resist Greek Mythology? Hadestown combines the best of both, a haunting musical, exceptional theatre, with a side of horrifying tragedy! Based on the Greek myth of two young lovers, that of the talented singer song-writer Orpheus and the beautiful Eurydice and the underworld of King Hades and his wife Persephone. Eurydice, her world severely affected by climate change and poverty, is seen desperately looking for something to eat and with which to keep warm. She is enticed and follows King Hades into the unforgiving and hellish industrial underworld. Her young lover travels all the way to the gates of hell and into Hadestown, to rescue her. However, as Greek tragedies go – not surprisingly, very few end happily ever after.
“Hadestown feels like something more intuitive, elemental, and finely woven than a traditional musical.” – The Guardian
“SUMPTUOUS. GORGEOUS. AS GOOD AS IT GETS. You wish you could live in the glowy moment forever.” – The New York Times
“Good luck trying to get these melodies out of your head.” – The Star-Ledger
The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is the ultimate Greek Tragedy, and perhaps one of the most famous of Greek Myths, but in Hadestown, the story is a little different.
From the very start, we are brought into the story by the Greek god Hermes, he sets the stage; a windswept, dustbowl of a world, ravaged by pollution and an almost never-ending winter. Our lead character, the hero of the story, Orpheus, a man with the talent and the voice to change the world, if only he could finish that damn song! His love, Eurydice, young and beautiful, and sick and tired of this wasteland of a world, if only he could finish that damn song, and change the world! The story also includes the king of the underworld, Hades, who has fallen in love with the beautiful Persephone, and they have agreed she will live half the year with him down in the underworld town of Hadestown and half the year in our world. This is the basis for the development of the seasons in our world – of Summer and Winter. But something has gone wrong, and winter seems to be stretching into longer and longer portions of the year.
King Hades now travels the world above, seeking workers for his ever-hungry Hadestown, convincing everyone with the promise of warmth, shelter and food, and Eurydice has decided that it can’t be worse than where she is now and takes King Hades Train to Hadestown. Orpheus, is heartbroken, and follows her through and past the gates of hell and into Hadestown to negotiate with King Hades and Queen Persephone, with the only thing he has left to offer, that damn song…
Well, it works. It just happened to be a song powerful enough to convince the very King of the underworld, and Hades relents, just this once he will allow two souls to leave his town, but they must walk all the way, and never look back. You know how Greek Tragedies always get you in the end, and this is the end of our dear lovers Orpheus and Eurydice.
“This is a show for people who really love music, and folks who are open to, or better yet, hungry for unconventional theatrical experiences. The myths will always be relevant, that’s part of their mysterious power.” – Anaïs Mitchell.
“UTTERLY FABULOUS. RACHEL CHAVKIN is fearlessly innovative. Her wildly inventive production arrives on Broadway with A FURNACE-LIKE BLAST OF CREATIVITY.” -The Hollywood Reporter
“Unforgettable. Simply one of the most exquisite works of musical storytelling I’ve seen in my more than 25 years as a theater critic. In its supple convergence of story and song, Hadestown represents a step forward for the art form.” – Los Angeles Times
Originally written by Anais Mitchell, the music, the Lyrics and music book were mediocre. The original show premiered in Barrie, Vermont in 2006. Mitchel met director Rachel Chavkin in 2012, and they reworked and revamped the stage production, adding in more music and songs. This revised and upgraded version premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in 2016, and in 2019 at Broadway after exceptional performances in both London and Edmonton. The Broadway production opened to critical acclaim and received numerous awards and nominations. At the 73rd Tony Awards Hadestown received 14 nominations (the most nominations for the performing evening) and won eight of them, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.
“Hadestown is positively heavenly — from its brilliant score to its haunting tale and powerhouse cast. When the entire cast lets loose on the irresistibly rhythmic “Way Down to Hadestown,” you’ll want to follow them to the depths and back.”
– By Catey Sullivan – For the Sun-Times
“If this is your first visit to “Hadestown,” it’s likely to be a satisfying one. Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin do an impressive job updating an oft-recounted myth; in this telling, Orpheus falls in love with Eurydice, who in turn flees to Hadestown after its ruler Hades promises to end her hunger. The actors are all excellent, with one standing slightly above the rest: In the role of Hades’ queen Persephone, the extraordinary Amber Grey gives us a kind of Hellenistic Age Real Housewife, both garishly funny and romantically yearning.”
– Christopher Kelly for NJ.com
“Written by the immensely talented singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell – the musical began life as folk opera concept album, then was developed at New York Theatre Workshop – Hadestown is brought to remarkable life by director Rachel Chavkin, who does for the Quarter and hell what she did for Tolstoy’s Russia with 2016’s equally fine Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.”
– Greg Evans for Deadline