Hadestown! The last bastion of humankind in a wasted land, the only place left to shelter from the ravages of a post apocalypse world, the only place left where you can find food, and friends, and a purpose to your life. But Hadestown is also more than you first learn, ruled over by the King and God, Hades and his beautiful, but cold Queen of winter, Persephone. Hadestown is not the sort of place you visit, it’s the sort of place you come to when you have nowhere else, because once your there, you may never leave. And now the Hero of our story, Orpheus must make the journey down to Hadestown to rescue his one true love, Eurydice…
“SUMPTUOUS. GORGEOUS. AS GOOD AS IT GETS. You wish you could live in the glowy moment forever.” – The New York Times
“Good luck trying to get these melodies out of your head.” – The Star-Ledger
“Hadestown feels like something more intuitive, elemental, and finely woven than a traditional musical.” – The Guardian
Act 1 outlines the story of the Greek tragedy of two young lovers. A very talented singer song-writer Orpheus, whose songs have the power to change the world, but he is still writing it and the young and beautiful Eurydice. Orpheus asks Eurydice to marry him, but Eurydice, against a backdrop of increasing hardships, struggling to make ends meet in relentless horrid conditions, will only marry him if he can finish his song and change the world. The story also includes the king of the underworld, Hades, falling in love with a beautiful Persephone. But Persephone lives in our world, and King Hades agrees that if Persephone marries him, she can live half the year with him and half the year in our world. This then becomes the basis for the development of our seasons in our world – of Summer and Winter. But something has gone wrong and winter seems to be stretching into longer and longer portions of the year. Enter the decline of the relationship between King Hades and Persephone. King Hades wanders the upper world seeking and enticing gullible workers for his underworld workforce, with promises of a better life and conditions. Eurydice, in searching for shelter and something to eat, follows King Hades to the promise of a better life.
Act 2 Finds Eurydice now resident in the unbelievable industrial underworld of Hadestown. Heart sick Orpheus follows her through and past the gates of hell and into Hadestown. In negotiating with King Hades to free Eurydice from Hadestown and its infamous work ethic, Orpheus offers to sing his newly completed lovesong, hoping the repair and restore the relationship of the unhappy King Hades and is wife Persephone. In exchange, Orpheus may claim the freedom of Eurydice from Hadestown, and by the way, relieve King Hades of some of his overworked and unhappy employees. King Hades is faced with a dilemma arising from feelings stirred up by Orpheus’s lovesong, and finally accepts Orpheus’s proposal. However, King Hades is not new to the art of negotiation and sets his own conditions for the release of Eurydice. As more often than not, Greek tragedies seldom end happily ever after…
“UTTERLY FABULOUS. RACHEL CHAVKIN is fearlessly innovative. Her wildly inventive production arrives on Broadway with A FURNACE-LIKE BLAST OF CREATIVITY.” -The Hollywood Reporter
“Unforgettable. Simply one of the most exquisite works of musical storytelling I’ve seen in my more than 25 years as a theater critic. In its supple convergence of story and song, Hadestown represents a step forward for the art form.” – Los Angeles Times
Anais Mitchell, originally wrote the music, the Lyrics and book. Hadestown premiered in Barrie, Vermont in 2006. In 2012 Mitchel met director Rachel Chavkin and together they reworked and revamped the stage production, adding in new music, this re-worked version premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in 2016, and at Broadway in 2019 after sell out performances in both London and Edmonton. The Broadway production opened to critical acclaim and received 14 nominations (the most nominations for any show) and won eight of them at the 73rd Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.
“As far as tales as old as time go, the stories of Greek mythology are pretty high up there, those epic stories of gods and men that have been told for thousands of years and inspired countless adaptations. But there’s little that feels old or stately about the way those stories – those old songs, those sad songs – are told in Hadestown, which made its Broadway bow with a journey to the underworld that feels like it sprung forth as something entirely new.”
– Entertainment Weekly
“This chilling scene remains the centerpiece of Hadestown, a love story and class-struggle parable based on the Orpheus myth that arrives on the same Broadway stage Bruce Springsteen worked for 14 months prior. The cast has changed from Mitchell’s original LP, but the work’s musical integrity and proletariat spirit remains largely intact.”
– Rolling Stone Magazine