Hadestown Reinvents Greek Mythology With A Modern Twist: North American Tour Review

Chibueze Ihuoma and company in Hadestown’s North American tour. Photo by Kevin Berne

When I went to look Hadesville, I entered without knowing what it was about. Part of me thought it was a period show based purely on pictures. Oh, I was in for a huge surprise. It was very refreshing to see a different take on Greek mythology with its cast, setting, and musical genre including folk, blues, rock, swing, etc. Songs like “Epic” and “Wait for Me” are beautiful and moving, and Hadesville brings an ancient Greek tale to life by fusing it with American folk and blues settings.

Greek mythology has been a popular inspiration for storytelling in movies and games, including Disney’s. Hercules, Clash of the Titans, Thor: Love and Thunder and Santa Monica Studios God of the war. For fans of musicals, there is Hadesvillea modern reimagining of an ancient Greek love story.

Hadestown had an Off-Broadway premiere in 2016 with a Broadway debut in 2019. Subsequently, it earned 8 of its 14 nominations, including Best Musical and Best Original Score at the 2019 Tony Awards. its growing popularity, a national tour was created in 2021. We lived the Greek love story at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California.

The musical follows a musician named Orpheus, who falls in love with Eurydice. When all seemed well, she is taken to the underworld, which is ruled by Hades. From now on, the musician will do everything in his power to save her by venturing into the world of the dead and then trying to bring her back to the world of the living.

The show begins with Levi Kreis as Hermes, a Greek god dressed in a silver suit. The performer’s Southern charm warms up the crowd, and her soulful, smooth voice instantly sets the mood. Morgan Siobhan Green has a wonderful singing voice as Eurydice; however, Chibueze Ihuoma’s voice as Orpheus sounds too soft compared to the rest of the cast. Kimberly Marable as Persephone exudes sassiness and excitement. Kevyn Morrow’s performance is imposing and his deep, melodic voice is a perfect match for that of Hades, the ruler of Hadestown.

The sets and background don’t change as much as in other musicals, and for the most part it uses one main backdrop that transitions into another. What it does is play with lighting, which helps create different areas in a scene like the underworld. Again, the show only using one major setting for a story inspired by Greek mythology felt somewhat underwhelming.

There are creative updates to the story to fit a more modern setting. Instead of a boat that leads these into the underworld, the show uses a train (unfortunately, there is no train on stage). The underworld people act like factory workers, showing the hardships of Hadestown. Even if there is no major set change, the main one that exists does the job. Another positive is that the live band is seated to the left and right of the stage so the audience can see them at all times. It’s not a traditional musical with a full orchestra. The group uses drums, guitar, piano, trombone, violin, cello and bass.

Final reaction

Hadestown is a wonderful reimagining of the ancient Greek story of love and loss. The music is majestic and striking, and the performers are fantastic. The musical could be enhanced with different sets to really feel like it’s moving from the world of the living to the underworld of Hadestown.

Hadestown is currently showing at Segerstrom Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts from August 9-21. Tickets are available online at SCFTA.org, at the box office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.

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