May 23rd, 2019



Holy shit.

We’ve established that I’ve forgotten how to write about shows that are good, but I’m gonna give it a try here, because Hadestown deserves it. But in case I don’t manage: Ye fucking gods, go see this show! Now! Run!

No other musical this season is even remotely in the same league as Hadestown. Not even Tootsie which is indeed good. Add all the rest of the season’s musicals together, many times over, and Hadestown is better than that. (OK, that’s not really fair, since they wouldn’t add up to much. Fuck ‘em. They could have taken the time to be good shows.)

The stories of Orpheus (Reeve Carney) and Eurydice (Eva Noblezada) and Hades (Patrick Page) and Persephone (Amber Gray) intertwine, in a run-down, century-ago (ish) club. Hermes (André De Shields) narrates. It’s jazz and blues and radiant as all get-out. Both literally and figuratively. The density of the work is immense, but it still carries itself with both gravity and lightness. Rachel Chavkin’s production is simple and grandiose, quietly, raucously magnificent. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Anaïs Mitchell before, but her book and score are stunning. Everyone on stage is working with staggering amounts of power, personally and deep within the piece, and they work together to make something even more intense and stunning of it.

I’m raving, so I should probably wrap it up. Go. Go now.