Wednesday, July 24, 2019

My Musical Obession: Hadestown

I love my share of musicals. I grew up watching Annie on video, along with other classics such as The Sound of Music and Jesus Christ Superstar. During my high school years, I was a fan of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon and more recently I was (and still am) obsessed with Hamilton

A few months ago, I discovered another show that I started to obsess over in the way that I have with Hamilton. It’s the (fairly) new musical called Hadestown. I found out about it when I got a suggested video on YouTube that featured the two leads of the show performing the song All I’ve Ever Known. From there I watched the other videos and started following the Hadestown OBCR playlist to listen to the songs from the musical. 

Much like Hamilton, Hadestown started off as a concept album and has since evolved into the Broadway/Tony Award-winning musical that it is today. It is a retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, two lovers separated by death until the former follows the latter to the Underworld to try to get her back.  

In the musical, the story is retold in the setting of the Great Depression-era and is narrated by the god Hermes. It focuses not just on the relationship of Orpheus and Eurydice but also of the god of the Underworld and his wife: Hades and Persephone. If you are familiar with Greek mythology then you know how the story will go and how it will end. It may sound weird to be interested in a story you already know and yet want to see again (albeit in a different incarnation) but as Hermes sings in the musical, even if we know how it ends, we sing it again in the hope that things will be different.

I have not seen the musical in its entirety, just bits and pieces of it that have been shared online, but I am hooked. I am in awe of the actress who plays Persephone — if I could sing like that I would love to play her on stage, that’s how much I loved her performance. I get chills by how mysterious and eerie the actor who plays Hermes is when he is on stage. I think Eva Noblezada, who plays Eurydice is so talented and her voice just glides through the air when she sings. I was also pleasantly surprised about how different Reeve Carney is in this one. I’ve seen him in Penny Dreadful as Dorian Gray and I have to say that seeing him play this naïve character who was full of heart was amazing. I was disappointed that he didn’t get nominated in the recent Tony Awards for that.  

I wish that I could get to watch this with the current cast but that is nothing more than a dream for me. I doubt if I can ever make a trip to the US, much less score tickets to the show on Broadway. I hope that like Hamilton, this original cast can record one performance for future video sales/distribution to fans like me who would not have the opportunity to see the show otherwise.  

This is one of those shows that needs to have a movie version in the future. I am hoping that it happens sooner rather than much, much later. I mean, if Lin Manuel’s In the Heights can get acquired for a movie version on the year it was on Broadway why can’t this one not happen too? I’m willing to wait the decade (or so) that it’s taking In the Heights to be made and released. I think it will be worth it!


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