Photo by Don Kellogg

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Like many of the productions at New York Theatre Workshop, Hadestown is a superbly interpretive and entertaining work of story told through music.  With a musical score by Anais Mitchel and directed and co-developed by Rachel Chavkin, the show is a remarkable story re-telling with fantastic music, song, and dance.  I purposely say re-telling because this is effectively the Greek myth of Eurydice and Orpheus and Persephone and Hades. With folky tunes, upbeat rhythms and even an Andrews sisters trio (representing the Greek chorus of Fate) the entire production was absorbing and astounding.

Performed in a de-constructed theater reconstructed to be a bleacher theater in the round, the show effectively uses lighting, smoke, and the round stage with it's platforms and entrances/exits as an entire canvas to weave the story.

Damon Daunno (Orpheus) and Nablyah Be (Eurydice) are the young lovers with the voices of angels.  Amber Gray (Persephone) and Patrick Page (Hades) are strong willed, bold, and vocal powerhouses.  Ms. Gray has perhaps "the number" of the show and Mr. Page's booming low bass personifies Hades himself.  Chris Sullivan (Hermes) infuses the show with his sharp and potent persona as the narrator of the tale.

One need not know much about Greek mythology to enjoy or understand the show.  It's an ageless tale of love, innocence, lust, and wonder.  It's good vs. evil.  Seasons represent life.  Hades is tempting. Can love triumph?   You'll have to stick around till the very end to find out.