This Tony and Grammy Award winning new musical by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, named as one of the most influential people of 2020 by Times, and innovative director Rachel Chavkin, creator of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, is a love story for today… and always. Welcome to Hadestown!
HADESTOWN intertwines two mythic love tales, the story of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone. It invites you on a hell-raising journey down into the underworld and back. Anaïs Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Rachel Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, HADESTOWN is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you for the night, and never lets go.
“SUMPTUOUS. GORGEOUS. AS GOOD AS IT GETS. You wish you could live in the glowy moment forever.” – The New York Times
“Hadestown feels like something more intuitive, elemental, and finely woven than a traditional musical.” – The Guardian
“Good luck trying to get these melodies out of your head.” – The Star-Ledger
The story of Hadestown is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus, a passionate and talented musician, must journey down into the underworld to save his lover Eurydice, an independent and resilient young woman. The pair meet early in the show and fall instantly in love, though neither has much to their name, Orpheus is determined that love will see them through anything. Their love blossoms in spring and flourishes in summer but is tested when autumn arrives and hardships come. Hardship breeds doubt and difficult choices must be made, and so Eurydice knowingly signs away her soul to Hades, master of the factory of Hadestown. Orpheus must now venture, literally to hell and back, armed with nothing but his music and his love, to bring her home once more. He will petition Hades and Persephone, the gods of the underworld, to allow him to bring her back to earth. “Eurydice is not an agency-less victim in this version of the story, but a practical girl who chooses the security of Hadestown over her unpredictable life above ground,” says Mitchell. “To me, these myths and these mythological characters feel very modern, but also ancient, they keep resonating in surprising ways.”
The Musical was originally premiered in 2006 in the town of Barre, Vermont, and even went on tour to Massachusetts in 2007, but ultimately this early version of Hadestown failed to draw a crowd. In 2012 Anaïs Mitchell teamed up with director Rachel Chavkin to rework the production, adding in new scenes and music, and this new version premiered Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop in May 2016, making its way to Edmonton, Canada, and at the National Theatre in London, before finally onto Broadway by March 2019.
The Broadway production opened to positive critical acclaim and received numerous awards and nominations, and at the 73rd Tony Awards in 2019, Hadestown received a total of 14 nominations, winning eight of them, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. The New York Times called it, “gorgeous and hypnotic”, especially noting its improvement from the New York Theater Workshop version, and The Hollywood Reporter called it, “utterly fabulous!” Hedestown also took home four Drama Desk Awards, one Drama League Award, and six Outer Critics Circle Awards in 2019 and the album of music from the show won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
Hadestown Theater Review by David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, at the Walter Kerr Theatre, New York, 2019.
Indie musician Anais Mitchell retells the Orpheus and Eurydice myth as a folk opera with a dash of old-time New Orleans jazz in Rachel Chavkin’s wildly inventive production of ‘Hadestown.’
The messenger of the gods, Hermes, the guide “with feathers on his feet,” is an ideal fit for narrator duties, introducing the main characters — gods and mortals — in his toe-tapping opening song and then providing the connective tissue throughout. His Creole-flavored flamboyance is shared by the Fates, three scene-stealing queens dressed in flapper chic who rule the destinies of mortals and harmonize like enchantresses, frequently picking up instruments to join the musicians.
The only feeling that moves Hades is “the music of machinery,” so when Orpheus sings away his hardened cynicism and transports him back to the moment he fell in love with Persephone, we watch this louche pair melt into each other’s arms with a mixture of ecstasy and sorrow — because this is no dewy-eyed fairy tale, and it takes more than a tender moment of rekindled romance to reform a king so corrupted by power. “It’s a sad song,” Hermes reminds us, reprising his opening number. But even though it ends on a note of desolate loss that lingers through a whimsical coda of folksy fellowship, this spellbinding musical sends you out on a high.
“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