The 73rd Annual Tony Awards are tonight, and Hadestown leads this year’s Broadway shows with a total of 14 nominations including Best Musical. Viewers of the 2019 Tony’s should expect to see the show take home a number of wins, and the cast will also perform a number from their show live on stage at Radio City Music Hall.
Many members of the show’s cast are nominated for 2019 Tony Awards: Eva Noblezada was nominated for her performance as Eurydice, Andre De Shields as the show’s narrator Hermes, Amber Gray as Persephone, and Patrick Page as Hades. Reeve Carney plays Orpheus, and Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad deliver air-tight harmonies as the three meddling fates.
Hadestown borrows its plot from Greek mythology, merging the stories of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and Persephone to create one fluid and dynamic narrative on-stage. On the Hadestown official website, the musical is described as “a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, HADESTOWN is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go.” As the show warns the audience in its very first number, the story is a “sad song.”
According to GreekMythology.com, Orpheus is known as the “father of songs,” and was a gifted singer, songwriter, and musician. As the story goes, he fell in love with Eurydice and after her death, descending into Hades in an attempt to retrieve her. After successfully moving Hades and Persephone with his music, he was allowed to bring Eurydice back to Earth with him, so long as he did not look back at her until after they had safely returned to the sun. In the musical, Eurydice sells her soul to Hades for the promise of a “better life,” and joins his brainwashed miners in Hadestown until Orpheus comes to her rescue. In both the myth and the musical, Orpheus doubts that Eurydice is truly behind him on the journey, looks back at her in the final moments of their ascent and, in turn, loses her for good.
Persephone, according to Greek mythology, became Queen of the Underworld after Hades abducted her from a flowering meadow to become his wife. As the Goddess of Fertility, she was allowed to spend part of the year above ground to ensure beautiful weather and fruitful harvests. In Hadestown, Persephone’s time on Earth brings comfort and merriment for the characters, which is abruptly halted when Hades comes to reclaim her before her time on Earth is up. The storm that follows makes Orpheus desperate to create a song that will bring her back and Eurydice desperate for food, warmth, and a better life.
Although the plot sticks close to its Greek roots, the show’s score and set design incorporate New Orleans’ jazz music and culture into the Hadestown universe, and the underworld’s costuming and lighting bring in elements of steampunk style.
Tune in to the 2019 Tony Awards, Sunday, June 9, at 8pm ET on CBS.