Last year, it was Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. The year before that, it was Hamilton. Before that, it was A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and The Book of Mormon. Before that, well, I wasn’t AS in love with musical theatre as I am now. This year, I was beginning to worry that I wouldn’t find a new show with which to fall in love with. Looking at the up-and-coming shows, (Mean Girls, Spongebob, Frozen, etc.) I knew that they would be good, but I didn’t trust that they would bring something new to my life.
I found it.
Hadestown. It has been around for a while. Based on the 2010 concept album, Hadestown is based on the greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It’s a folk opera and the music perfectly matches the beautifully haunting story. If you are unfamiliar with the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, it goes something like this. Orpheus and Eurydice are in love. Eurydice gets bit by a snake and dies, her soul descending to the underworld. Orpheus travels to the Underworld to convince Hades and Persephone, the Lord and Lady of the dead, to release his love. A deal is made that Orpheus may lead Eurydice out of the Underworld, so long as he does not look back at her until they are out forever. Orpheus almost makes it, but just when they’re almost out, he becomes overwhelmed by doubt and looks back. This is the end for them and Orpheus loses Eurydice.
Now, I’ve always been a fan of Greek mythology. The Greeks were great storytellers. This was never one of my favorite myths because of how tragic it is, but this show has changed my opinion.
What first drew me in was hearing that it was Amber Gray’s next project. Amber Gray is an amazing actress with a very unique and wonderful voice. She played Heléne in The Great Comet and was easily one of the best parts of that musical. Heléne was beautiful, exciting, and had one of the more tragic stories from War and Peace. Gray brings these qualities with her into the show as Persephone. Persephone is married to Hades, the Lord of the Underworld. Though she is the goddess of springtime, she lives underground with him for half of the year, feeling depressed and alone when away from the world above. However, when Persephone is up above for the other half of the year, she is exciting and kind and generous. Amber brings her all to this role and it shows. She is enchanting and the perfect choice to play a goddess.
The Fates have definitely become my favorite characters in this musical, however. In Greek mythology, the Fates are a group of women who hold control of the lives of every person on earth. The are destiny in human-form. In this musical, they manage to be down-right terrifying. With each eery harmony, these women manage to toy with each character, effectively leading them to their destiny.
I have just started falling in love with this soundtrack and I’m ready to continue learning and loving this music and these actors. I have high hopes for the success of this musical as it continues to grow. I’m excited for it’s return to New York.