THE DEVIL, JAZZ AND THE UPSCALE SCALE "HADESTOWN" HAS FINALLY ARRIVED FOR THE SUMMER
HADESTOWN IS A BRILLANT MUSICAL THAT WILL STEAL YOUR HEART AND BRING FEAR, TEARS AND JOY TO YOUR SUMMER THEATRE EXPERIENCE
"HADESTOWN has changed the face of the American Musical."
Review by Vince Mediaa
“Sizzling” “Heart pounding” these adjectives have never been more appropriate to describe a Musical. HADESTOWN has finally arrived here in the Bay Area and is now on stage at the Broadway SF Orpheum through July 3rd. HADESTOWN took home the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical and a handful of other honors. The Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has inspired dozens of stage, screen, and literary adaptations, including the well-known movies Black Orpheus and Moulin Rouge, the plays Metamorphoses and Eurydice, and the opera Orpheus in the Underworld.
This Musical is the latest stage adaptation of the famous story. This modern retelling, creators Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin intertwine the doomed love story of Orpheus and Eurydice with the myth of Hades and Persephone into a visual upscale tale about love and sacrifice, set in the desolate underworld of Hadestown.
The show opens with the entire cast entering, big smiles on their faces as they wave a greeting to the audience. The story of the penniless poet and musician Orpheus played by the convincing Nicholas Barasch, we have seen him so many times, but this version will steal your heart. He enters the café to compose his own song and use Persephone played by the wonderful Kimberly Marable to help open the door to win the worldly Eurydice played by the compelling Morgan Siobhan Green fall in love with him.
Orpheus show stopping number “Wait for Me” as he calls out for his Eurydice brings the audience almost to their feet. Barasch's perfect tenor voice filled the theatre with wild passion and enthusiasm. The aloft and hungry Eurydice played by the exceptional Morgan Siobhan Green focus’ on the love between the two characters as they meet.
Eurydice is drawn to the Underworld in hope of a better life in a dark New Orleans Jazz café with a Mardi Gras dizzy door to hell. The entire score is a work of romantic high end jazz and blues, expressing the sounds of pure love or fear in the caves of hell. As Orpheus attempts to find her and bring her back to the surface, the story intersects with the myth of Hades played by the thrilling Kevyn Morrow, a tyrant who oversees the underworld, and his wife Persephone played by the infectious Kimberly Marable. With Hermes played by the polished Levi Kreis who floats scene to scene telling this tale.
The basic story sticks close to the main plot of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, in a timeless world somewhat of a wretched New Orleans, with the gorgeous and driving jazz-infused score by Anaïs Mitchell. On stage is a live jazz orchestra with emphasis on brass under the direction of David Lai. The Fates, a Greek chorus, includes the powerhouse three women Belen Moyano, Bex Odorisio and Shea Renne sing “Nothing Changes” who are the voices in Eurydice's head reminding him this is where the road ends.
Orpheus' choice of musical instrument from acoustic to electric guitar and instead of dying by a snakebite on her wedding day, Eurydice is drawn by Hades' offer for a train ticket to Hadestown where she's promised she will find warmth and sustenance. As many times as we have seen this story in other versions - we can see the dark side approaching. I want this version to have that happy green door for Orpheus. Maybe this time our hero will get his wish.
Hades has now turned the underworld into his own hellish town where he controls workers to frack the ground for oil and spouts off how he built a wall to keep out the poor, which is reminiscent of the rants of a former U.S. president, even though the song was written before 2016.
The national tour cast is lavish, their vocals are flawless. Barash and Green make an excellent couple that face many obstacles in their journey to be together, and their connection with each other is spellbinding. Morrow and Marable are equally believable as lovers who are in a little need of couple's counseling.
Rodríguez is poignant as Hermes sings “If it's True” and shows off his keen vocals. Mitchell's lyrics are explosive, and her music is stylish, with a combination of jazz, pop, folk, and traditional musical theatre ballads, and an emphasis on trombone, accordion, and harmonica in the gorgeous Tony Award winning orchestrations by Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose that infuse the entire score with the sound of New Orleans jazz. The songs turn out one haunting number after another, performed by an infectious band set up on a platforms on either side of the stage.
Chavkin's direction is intimate when necessary and also highly theatrical, with fantastic use of Rachel Hauck's Tony-winning New Orleans French Quarter inspired set design that, spoiler alert, cracks open and moves apart when Orpheus descends into the depths below. Hauck's use of a rotating platform at center stage adds an abundance of movement and excitement to the show.
In the final scene, Orpheus's ability to fend off doubt is suspenseful, settling our own psyches to ask would we be up to the challenge. At the end of HADESTOWN, Hermes says that the story of Orpheus and Eurydice is one that they're gonna sing about again and again in the hopes that it will eventually have a happy ending. HADESTOWN is a sensational production and has upped the quality for Broadway productions. From the intriguing new version of the story the underworld is arresting and the highlight of any of Satan's journeys and the positive blues and jazz celebration the producers added after the curtain call. Do not miss this musical - 40.00 rush seats are available for the rest of the run - details below. HADESTOWN has changed the face of the American Musical.
Broadway SF and The National Theatre Presents
Music, lyrics, book by Anaïs Mitchell
Directed by Rachel Chavkin
Choreography by David Neumann
MUST CLOSE JULY 3RD
Orpheum Theatre; 1192 Market Street; San Francisco, CA
Tickets: $56-$274 www.broadwaysf.com
RUNNING TIME 2 HOURS 40 MIN ONE INTERMISSION
Performance Schedule: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 PM Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday at 1 PM Sunday at 6:30 PM
IN-PERSON RUSH TICKETS
A limited number of $40 Rush tickets will be available for every performance beginning 2 hours prior to curtain at the Golden Gate Theatre Box Office. Tickets are subject to availability. Cash or credit. 2 per person. Rush tickets are void if resold.
MOBILE RUSH TICKETS
Download the TodayTix app in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store to unlock the Rush ticketing feature by sharing on Facebook or Twitter through the app. Check back in the app at 9am for access to exclusive day-of $40 Rush tickets for every performance.
Cast: Nicholas Barasch (Orpheus), Morgan Siobhan Green (Eurydice), Lindsey Hailes (Workers Chorus), Chibueze Ihuoma (Workers Chorus), Levi Kreis (Hermes), Will Mann (Workers Chorus), Kimberly Marable (Persephone), Kevyn Morrow (Hades), Belén Moyano (Fates), Bex Odoriso (Fates), Sydney Parra (Workers Chorus), Shea Renne (Fates), Jamari Johnson Williams (Fates).