On Broadway, as Off, Hadestown is a hell of a musical. But it’s changed. When it opened Off-Broadway three years ago, Anais Mitchell’s concept album had been turned into an inventively staged, soulful sung-through musical, with a uniformly terrific eight-member cast reenacting the Greek myth of Orpheus, who descends into the underworld to try to bring his dead wife Eurydice back to life….
Hadestown is now opening on Broadway, after a run at The National Theatre in London, with a slightly longer running time and a cast expanded to 13; there is now a five member “Workers Chorus” added to the three “Fates,” a larger ensemble that backs up the principals with rich harmonies and extended dance moves. Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theater has not been completely redesigned; the show plays out on a conventional proscenium stage, Rachel Hauck’s new set more concretely evoking a jazz club in New Orleans.
What made Hadestown most thrilling remains – the delightful score, which mixes sweet and sexy folk, rocking jazz, and exquisite blues. And there are some improvements. There is now a sharper clarity to the tale,
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