Review: HADESTOWN at Ed Mirvish Theatre

The much beloved Tony Award winning musical phenomenon makes a triumphant return to the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre for a limited time

By: May. 21, 2024
Review: HADESTOWN at Ed Mirvish Theatre
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Back by popular demand for a limited time is the multiple Tony and Grammy Awards winning new musical Hadestown - music, lyrics, and book by Anaïs Mitchell, directed by Rachel Chavkin - for a limited run at the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre until May 26. This modern, politically relevant tale combines two classic Greek legends - the stories of Hades and Persephone; and Orpheus and Eurydice - that is sure to lure in audiences like a siren song.

The show Hadestown takes place in a modern New Orleans style jazz bar, a stop along the road to the Hadestown or the Underworld, a joint often frequented by gods. Herald of the Gods Hermes, played by Will Mann, aptly serves as the narrator of the story setting the scene. In stumbles a young Eurydice (Amaya Braganza) seeking shelter from the bitter cold of winter. She manages to catch the eye of Orpheus (John Krause), Hermes' ward, who falls in love at first sight and immediately asks her to marry him. Eurydice is skeptical of this new man and his intentions but Orpheus insists that he can win her over and end winter with his new song that he promises will bring back spring.

His song brings Persephone (Lana Gordon), Goddess of Spring, who's return to the world brings spring and fertility but not long into her revery, her husband King Hades (Matthew Patrick Quinn), Lord of the Hadestown, arrives early to bring her back despite her protestation. Eurydice, intrigued by the wealth and protection that Hadestown promises, accepts Hades' invitation to join him when she finds Orpheus lost in his song writing. In order to bring back the woman he loves, Orpheus must travel the road to hell and back.

Hadestown is a sumptuous feast of a production to take in. There are so many elements to this show that lure you in, take hold and send you on a miraculous journey that leaves you wanting more at the end. This show is akin to a more adult version of a classic Disney musical; Princess and the Frog meets Hercules. Simply put, this show is mesmerizing. Starting with Mann as Hermes who possesses the exact kind of baritone that perfectly befits the New Orleans jazz club vibe. Braganza as Eurydice is warm and inviting, she embodies the innocence of her character very well. Quinn as Hades steals the show the moment he takes the stage - his sheer presence, his booming voice. He is quintessentially Hades in human form. 

Krause's voice is beautiful and haunting, in particular as he sings the three reprisals of the Epic. I do wish he showed more range in his character as I didn't find he hit the emotional notes that Orpheus needs in his journey. He walks the long road to Hadestown and all he has to show for it is a cut on his cheek but otherwise appears unscathed; I feel it's lacking in nuance.

The set is truly a sight to behold. Scenic designer Rachel Hauck has built a sumptuous set that the cast can interact and play with. I love how lighting plays heavily into the set and story and designer Bradley King has done a tremendous job here, in particular where the lamps are lowered and swung out across the stage creating a dance of light and shadow.

Hadestown is only around for another week so do not miss your chance to see this epic tale. 

Photo Credit: T Charles Erickson


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