Way Down, Hadestown

A review on the Hadestown Broadway tour

by Sophia Smith, Co-editor in chief

I have been a huge fan of “Hadestown” since I first listened to it a few years back. Its beautiful music, lyrics and book, written by Anaïs Mitchell, captivated me from the moment I began the first song. Last Christmas, I received two tickets to see “Hadestown” when the tour came to Austin, and it was the best gift I received that year. Now, almost an entire year later, I was finally able to go and see the show on Sept 25, 2022, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.

“Hadestown” is a retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as tying in the myth of Hades and Persephone. It tells the story in a Great Depression-era inspired set, starting in a bar of sorts and then eventually moving on to the Underworld that is based on a factory. Its music takes inspiration from essentially all of the classic American song genres, including swing and folk music, for a good combination of high energy dance songs and emotional slow songs. It’s frankly an incredible musical to listen to, but it’s even better when you watch it in person.

What truly amazed me about finally seeing “Hadestown” in person was just how crucial the set is to the story telling. Every part of the set and technical aspects, from the moving platforms to lights to the choice of having the orchestra perform on stage, brings the story to life. My favorite technical part was the lights in the depths of Hadestown, the city that King Hades rules over. They’re dim and dingy, and the smoke machines make the air look like it’s filled with smog, and it’s a great environment for what it’s representing – but when Hades himself steps onstage, the lights brighten to a blinding amount, representing not only the bright lights in a factory, but how Hades is the one that controls the factory floor of Hadestown.

I assumed walking into the theater that I would still be extremely biased towards the original cast recording of “Hadestown.” Chibueze Ihuoma, who plays Orpheus in the “Hadestown” tour, shocked me from the moment he began singing. He is so unbelievably talented and is quite literally the perfect Orpheus. I wouldn’t have chosen anybody else. Eva Noblezada as Eurydice is one of my favorite performances ever so it was a very high bar to cross, but I was pleasantly surprised by Morgan Siobhan Green’s performance, although nothing can beat Eva Noblezada’s soft and soothing voice. Kimberly Marable as Persephone and Kevyn Morrow as Hades were also incredible together, and Belen Moyano, Bex Odorisio and Shea Renne as the Fates were so talented, the harmonies they sang blew me away. I was wary about Levi Kreis as Hermes to be quite honest, because of how iconic André De Shields is as the original Hermes, and the soon to be legendary performance of Lillias White who plays Hermes currently on Broadway, but he really made the performance his own and he was a very talented singer. And, of course, the performance of the “hardest working chorus,” the ensemble, was incredible. The ensemble were amazing dancers and singers, they really brought the entire story together.

Overall, I give the tour performance of “Hadestown” a 10/10, and although that may seem heavily biased coming from somebody who has spent the last paragraphs rambling about how much they love “Hadestown,” this musical really is a masterpiece. Even if you don’t like Greek myths, or the style of music “Hadestown” uses, or even musicals in general, I would recommend this show to you. If you ever get the chance to see “Hadestown” on tour or on Broadway, I advise you to take that chance.