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ALMOST THERE BROADWAY FANS!!! The wait is almost over for Broadway’s Biggest Night of the year The 74th Annual Tony Awards. We are just 2 DAYS AWAY. Right now we are getting into our last 2 selections of our favorite Broadway showstoppers on our TOP 50 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN. Are you ready to continue to celebrate Broadway’s return?!!!
At # 2 on our countdown, we take you on an ultimate underground adventure under the watchful eye of a wicked ruler. Joining us on the ride is a musician & poet trying to rescue his true love (& bring her back to life from the dead). We are about to enter…. way down…… Hadestown. Inspired by Greek Mythology, the show features a score & book by Anais Mitchell.
From the 2019 telecast, here’s Tony Award winner André De Shields as “Hermes”, Tony nominees Eva Noblezada as “Eurydice” Patrick Page as “Hades”, Amber Gray as “Persephone”, along with Reeve Carney as “Orpheus”, and the original cast performing a medley of the reprise rendition of ROAD TO TELL and its powerful Act 1 finale WAIT FOR ME.
HADESTOWN was originally conceived as an independent Theater project by Country folk singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell. It began its journey in 2006 as a Community Theater touring production which traveled around Vermont and Massachusetts. With the success of the tour, a fundraising campaign was made to create a compilation concept album of the independent show. It featured acclaimed recording artists Justin Vernon, Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, and The Haden Triplets playing the main characters. The concept album was released in 2010 debuting at # 9 on the Billboard US AMERICANA / FOLK ALBUMS charts. It also went on to be nominated for a 2011 Grammy for BEST RECORDING PACKAGE.
Years later, Mitchell continued to expand and grow on the project. In 2012, she attended a performance of the original World Premiere run of Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812 at Ars Nova. So fascinated with the production, Mitchell reached out and hired the show’s director Rachel Chavkin. Together, they expanded on the show including hiring a full extended creative team before immediately going through various readings and workshop labs.
The newly updated HADESTOWN had its World Premiere Off Broadway in the Summer of 2016 at the New York Theatre Workshop. It was well received by critics, the production was extended for another month. Under the direction of Rachel Chavkin, the Off Broadway cast was led by…
Tony nominee Damon Daunno as “Orepheus,
NABIYAH BE as “Eurydice”,
Tony nominee (and the ultimate Villian King himself) Patrick Page as “Hades”,
Chris Sullivan as “Hermes”,
Amber Gray as “Persephone”,
& more.
The World Premiere Off Broadway run was nominated for several Awards including The Lucille Lortel and the Drama Desk Awards (both for OUTSTANDING MUSICAL). However, it lost its categories. The show did however win glory at the American Academy of Arts and Letters as the recipient for the RICHARD RODGERS AWARD FOR MUSICAL THEATER.
With getting their feet wet after the Off Broadway run, the creative team continued expanding the story & the production. Their ultimate target was bringing the back HADESTOWN production that can expand and create….directly to being performed ON Broadway. However before they even can get there, work was still needed to be done.
The next major production of HADESTOWN would officially debut a year later in 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada playing the Citadel Theatre. Once again with Rachel Chavkin’s direction, the Edmonton cast was led by….
Reeve Carney as “Orepheus
T.V. Caprio as “Eurydice”
Patrick Page reprising his Off Broadway performance as “Hades”,
Kingsley Leggs as “Hermes”,
Amber Gray reprising her Off Broadway performance as “Persephone”,
& more.
The Canadian premiere was also well received by Critics and Theatergoers. It went on to be nominated for 8 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards (the Canadian version of the Tonys) including OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL. However, it took home only 2 for OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (for Amber Gray) and OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN (for Bradley King).
With another year of development on the show, HADESTOWN was just about ready to head for the Great Bright Way. However, the team decided to do one final Pre-Broadway tryout experiment. The show made its way WAY DOWN OVERSEAS to the UK. It had its UK debut (as the version we all know today) at London’s National Theatre for a 3 ½ month run for the holiday season in 2018. With Rachel Chavkin as direction, the cast featured….
Reeve Carney reprising his Edmonton performance as “Orepheus”,
Tony and Olivier nominee Eva Noblezada as “Eurydice”,
Patrick Page reprising his Off Broadway & Edmonton performance as “Hades”,
The legendary Andre De Sheields as “Hermes”,
Amber Gray reprising her Off Broadway & Edmonton performance as “Persephone”,
& more.
With the overwhelming response of London, HADESTOWN officially made its way back home to the USA and this time, they officially arrived in the Big Apple. It officially debuted on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre in the Spring of 2019 becoming one of the hottest tickets on the Great Bright Way. With Chavkin’s direction, the cast starred the main London principals (Carney, Noblezada, Page, De Shields, & Gray) reprising their roles.
The Broadway production continued to play packed sold out houses every night (yup, STANDING ROOM ONLY) until this horrific COVID-19 pandemic occurred. However, it recently became the first Broadway Musical to reopen since the shutdown.
The Broadway company of HADESTOWN was nominated for 14 Tony Awards in 2019 winning 8 including BEST MUSICAL, BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (for Anais Mitchell), BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL (for Rachel Chavkin), & more.
In addition, the show’s Original Broadway Cast Recording also went on to top the US Billboards Charts at # 1 and it took home glory at the GRAMMYs earlier this year in 2020 for BEST MUSICAL THEATRE ALBUM.
Along with HADESTOWN resuming its life on Broadway, a US National Tour is expecting to head WAY DOWN to a city near you this Fall. It will begin a preview week long run in Greenville, SC starting October 5th, 2021. It will have its official Opening launch on October 13th, 2021 for a 4 week run in our nation’s Capitol in Washington D.C.. From there, it will be coming to the following cities across North America…..
Boston, MA,
Columbus, OH,
Detroit, MI,
Appleton, WI,
New Orleans, LA,
Houston, TX,
Dallas, TX,
Memphis, TN,
Philadelphia, PA,
Minneapolis, MN,
Tucson, AZ,
Los Angeles, CA
San Diego, CA,
San Francisco, CA,
Salt Lake City, UT,
Miami, FL,
Orlando, FL,
Hartford, CT,
and
so much more.
WE RAISE OUR CUPS to this groundbreaking show back better than ever!!!
Didn’t that performance make you FEEL IT?!!!
Mike Haber
Author: Mike Haber

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