Review: HADESTOWN at The Paramount Theatre

Time for another trip to hell with this killer show!

By: Nov. 01, 2023
Review: HADESTOWN at The Paramount Theatre
Review: HADESTOWN at The Paramount Theatre
Lana Gordon and the company of
the North American Tour of Hadestown.
Photo credit: T Charles Erickson

I know what you’re thinking, Dear Readers.  “Didn’t you just review this one?”  Yes, it’s only been a little over a year since “Hadestown” came through town.  But with the number of people I know personally alone who just could not get tickets last time, I’m not surprised it’s back playing at the Paramount.  So here we are again.  “But why see it again? And what more could you have to say?”  First, I would see this show a thousand times and love every minute.  And second, I could talk about this masterpiece from Anaïs Mitchell forever.  But I’ll try and focus on this production.

If you’re unfamiliar with this multi-Tony Award winning (including for Best Musical and Best Score), Broadway juggernaut that has been filling houses on Broadway since 2019, then I feel supremely sad for you.  Sad, and also excited as you now get to experience the glory for the first time.  It’s the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, a couple of young kids in a tragic love story.  Orpheus (played by Colin LeMoine the night I saw.  Although they seem to be alternating between three Orpheuses during our run.  Or is it Orphei?) is a sweet young man and the son of a muse.  He’s got a song he’s been trying to finish.  A song he says will bring back spring.  He meets Eurydice (Amaya Braganza), a young woman who’s seen her share of hard times and has stumbled into the bar where Orpheus works, hoping to get warm and find something to eat.  Orpheus takes one look and falls head over heels in love.  Meanwhile, Orpheus’ tune has brought back spring and the Lady Persephone (Lana Gordon), who spends half her time on earth and the other half in the underworld with her love, Hades (Matthew Patrick Quinn).  And if this all sounds complicated, not to worry as Hermes (Will Mann) is on hand as our narrator to make it all clear.  Well, narrator and mentor to Orpheus, which he will need when Eurydice dies and is taken to the underworld by Hades, and Orpheus must journey there to try and get her back.

Now, this may be a myth from ancient Greek times but don’t expect togas and grand pillars as Mitchell has infused her score and our story with a very gritty, dirty, blues/creole kind of vibe.  The surface world feels like a New Orleans working town in the 20’s-ish and the underworld is a grungy factory.  From the moment these performers and musicians set foot on stage, and we hear that first scintillating note from trombone player Emily Fredrickson, you know you’re in for the sexiest party you’ll ever be invited to … with your clothes still on.  But beyond the vibe, Mitchell’s book, lyrics and score are some of the best things to come out of Broadway.  This show truly is a masterpiece. 

OK, I said I wouldn’t just gush on Mitchell.  How about this cast?  Stunners all.  And each delivering their own take on their characters.  I’ve seen the show three times now and one thing that has struck me is that the performers are not locked into one way of doing their roles.  Yes, they need to follow the score and the characters, but each are allowed to make the roles their own.  Another reason I could see this one several times and never get bored.

Review: HADESTOWN at The Paramount Theatre
Will Mann and the company of
the North American Tour of Hadestown.
Photo credit: T Charles Erickson

Mann as the messenger God Hermes slays in the role.  His jubilance and vivaciousness are unparalleled and is truly the leader of this party.  Our two sets of lovers each have thrilling chemistry, and each in their own ways.  Lemoine and Braganza bringing in that fresh new love feel while Gordon and Quinn give us that enduring but still hot love.  And all four of them are stunning performers.  But I must call out Gordon and Quinn.  Quinn with that deep, dusky voice and a strut that won’t quit can call me to hell anytime.  And Gordon’s performance is one of those roof raisers where the audience can’t help but lose their minds mid-song.

And if all that gloriousness weren’t enough, we were also blessed with Marla Louissaint, Lizzie Markson, and Hannah Schreer as the ever present in the back of our minds fates.  As well as the hardest working ensemble out there as the workers both above and below.  And I mentioned Fredrickson, but the entire band conducted by pianist Eric Kang will absolutely blow you away. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, from the sets to the costumes to the lighting to the direction to the performers to this outstanding show, they’ve created the theatrical alchemy which gets me excited.  And so, with my three-letter rating system, I must give again a much-deserved WOW.  This is a show that should be on any theater lovers bucket list to see.  I care about you Dear Readers, so I checked and there is still a smattering of tickets available for every performance in the run, and I implore you to go snap up whatever you can before it’s gone … again. 

“Hadestown” performs at the Paramount through November 5th.  For tickets or information, visit Seattle Theatre Group online at

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From This Author - Jay Irwin

         Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Jay has been a theater geek for years.  He attends as many shows as he can around the country and loves taking in new exciting wo... Jay Irwin">(read more about this author)


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