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Hadestown’s Musical Odyssey

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Greek Gods, Jazzy Beats, and Unforgettable Fates, Hadestown Hits All the Right Notes.

January 9th, 2024

Step aboard the sensational journey of Hadestown, a Broadway masterpiece that burst onto the scene in 2019 and swiftly claimed both Tony and Grammy awards. This riveting tale weaves together the loves of Greek gods Hades and Persephone with the blossoming romance of mortal pair Orpheus and Eurydice.

The musical unfolds through a series of jazzy tunes, kicking off with the mesmerizing “Road to Hell.” The opening number vividly portrays the train to the underworld, accompanied by the haunting sound of the iconic whistleblowing that symbolizes death. Amaya Braganza shines as the independent Eurydice, while the struggling musician Orpheus navigates the challenges of the Depression era.

Amaya Braganza in Hadestown North American Tour 2023. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

Greek mythology comes to life through the dazzling performances of the Fates, portrayed by Marla Louissant, Lizzie Markson and Hannah Schreer. The trio rocked the audience with their haughty parts in songs like “A Gathering Storm” and, best of all, “When the Chips are down.” The three-part harmony is so outrageously good, shouts of enthusiasm from the audience could be heard during both numbers.

Marla Louissaint, Lizzie Markson and Hannah Schreer in Hadestown North American Tour 2023. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

Costume designer Michael Krass brilliantly displays the personalities of both the Fates and Hades, creating a subtle play on funeral attire and the stages of grief. Persephone, initially donning a vibrant green look symbolic of life and reminiscent of spring, is transformed into a somber black as she descends back to the underworld, showcasing the impact of Hades’ influence. Krass’s use of heavy velvet and a headpiece to tame Persephone’s once wild and free hair really aides in the story.

A standout element is the integration of string and brass instruments, particularly the powerful trombone. The swell of the trombone is amplified in songs like “Our Lady of the Underground” capturing the essence of rebellion exuded through actress Lana Gordon, who plays Persephone. She sultrily saunders across the stage, rallying the workers of the Underworld to take advantage of the boss, or Hades, not looking.

Lana Gordon and the Company in Hadestown North American Tour 2023. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

The simple set mirrors the timeless struggle of poverty, with a dramatic shift into the underworld during “Wait for Me.” The lighting is cleverly utilized during this song as the Company swings coal-mining lamps, dazzling us with Orpheus’ fervent desire to find his love, Eurydice. J.Antonio Rodriguez tugs at our heart strings, from his dimples to his uncanny ability to sing the highest notes in the entire production with such soft clarity.

J. Antonio Rodriguez and the Company in Hadestown North American Tour 2023. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

While this musical tells of tragic love, it also speaks to redemption. The difficulties of coping with loss and depression are shown through over-working and substance abuse– allowing this musical to tap into real-world issues that can be overcome. The relatable characters representing everyday struggles make the audience cheer for each one.

For aficionados of beautifully crafted harmonies and a tragically beautiful love story, Hadestown is an absolute must-see at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

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