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BWW Review: HADESTOWN Is Out-Of-This-World Spectacular at BroadwaySF's Orpheum Theatre

Review: HADESTOWN Is Out-Of-This-World Spectacular at BroadwaySF's Orpheum Theatre

Run, don't walk, to see it now through July 3, 2022 at the Orpheum Theatre with BroadwaySF

 

Right now, before reading the rest of this review, go online and buy your BroadwaySF tickets for Hadestown before the show sells out. It is that good. Playing now through July 3, 2022, Hadestown is song and story woven together then ripped apart and put back together again, all conspiring to grip your heart. And grip your heart it will.

Like the Justice League superheroes, each with their own set of elite skills, the creative team assembled to design and then bring Hadestown into existence each bring their tremendous talent to bear in their areas of expertise for a sustained and stunning visual and musical tour de force. The result is a masterclass in stagecraft, artistry and inspiration conspiring together to bring you an old story made new and made relevant to the world we live in today. It's not often that

Music, lyrics and book writer, Anaïs Mitchell took the searing and ancient myth of Orpheus and Eurydice's love -- and tragic fate in the underworld of Hades and Persephone -- and masterfully linked it to our own climate-challenged world, as well as the disparity between the wealthy few and the working poor (our own hell on earth). In word and song Mitchell gives each character a thematic strand that weaves together a masterful story while also putting a spotlight on our flawed social structure.

Eurydice (played with waif-like despair by Morgan Siobhan Green) is blown by the winds of poverty and loneliness. Hades (the brilliant Kevyn Morrow), king of the underworld, selfishly disrupts the climate balance by bringing Persephone (the multi-talented Kimberly Marable) down to Hadestown early, abruptly ending spring and causing famine. This means than many make deals with the devil just to fill their bellies, then find themselves trapped in hell, consigned to endless hours of factory work forever.

All the while Orpheus (a tragi-comic Nicholas Barasch) and his lyre make music that speaks poetically of love and hope while Hermes (the outstanding Levi Kreis) and the Fates (Belén Moyano, Bex Odorisio, and Shea Renne) harmoniously narrate, engage with and taunt the heroes and villains that will leave their mark on Hadestown.

The show is set it in a New Orleans-style, Depression-era Speakeasy that doubles as the dark and dangerous underworld. Rachel Hauck's versatile scenic design easily captures both with clarity and dark imagination. The themes of light and dark play out to haunting effect on her stage, due in no small part to Bradley King's spectacular lighting design. Costumes (Michael Krass) and sound design (Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Pas), together with masterful direction by Rachel Chavkin and the jive, yet sultry uncompromising choreography of David Neumann flow together to bring the show to rapturous life (and the Chorus is phenomenal).

The music! The rapturous music is brought to life by the onstage orchestra conducted by Piano man Jacob Yates. A special nod to Audrey Ochoa for her inspired Trombone magic that set the tone for the Speakeasy, Honky Tonk stylings of Mitchell's score.

It's easy to see why the show has garnered 14 Tony nominations and 8 wins creative wins for Best Musical and Score, Best Scenic, Sound, and Lighting Design, and Best Direction.

In short, go see Hadestown, now!

 



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