Within the electrifying opening quantity, you’re launched to a railroad line that’s the street to hell. Vacation spot: “Hadestown.”
Whether or not you get there by prepare automobile, bus, trolley or on foot — get there, to see the fabulous touring manufacturing of the eight-time 2019 Tony Award-winning musical.
It’s fabulous even with understudies in two lead roles on the night time I used to be there (Chibueze Ihuoma as Orpheus and Eddie Noel Rodríguez as Hades), performing flawlessly together with the solid regulars: big-voiced Morgan Siobhan Inexperienced as Eurydice, marvelous Kimberly Marable as Persephone and easy, agile Levi Kreis as our host and information, Hermes, the messenger of the Olympian gods. Commenting (and trouble-making) all through are the Fates: Belén Moyano, Bex Odorisio and Shea Renne.
It’s wonderful that myths like these can nonetheless transfer us after 1000’s of years and retellings. Clearly, people haven’t modified all that a lot.
However the world round us has.
So when singer/songwriter Anaïs Mitchell created an idea album across the love story of Orpheus and Eurydice, she had local weather change on her thoughts, too.
In 2012, she teamed up with the splendidly imaginative, multisensory director Rachel Chavkin (at present engaged on the West coast premiere of the Broadway-bound musical, “Lempicka,” on the La Jolla Playhouse). Collectively, they expanded the piece, imbuing it with much more relevance to our present society.
Incorporating the parable of the gods Hades and Persephone (King of the Underworld and his kidnapped Queen, who’s allowed to spend half of every 12 months above floor, bringing Spring again to the world), the creators additionally targeted on points surrounding local weather change: poverty, starvation, and mega-rich megalomaniacs who mistreat their underlings/workers and construct partitions “to maintain us free and maintain out the Enemy” (prescient, since Mitchell wrote the music “Why We Construct a Wall” ten years earlier than Trump did simply that).
Mitchell wrote the distinctive, edgy and energetic music, lyrics and guide (for which she received a Tony for Finest Rating), Chavkin is credited with ‘improvement and route’ (she scored a Finest Path Tony).
Different Tonys have been awarded for the thrilling, eye-popping lighting (Bradley King), crisp, partaking sound (Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz) and wild, New Orleans-looking, rotating scenic design (Rachel Hauck). In fact, the present garnered the Finest Musical crown. And a Grammy for Finest Musial Theater Album.
It’s straightforward to see why.
All of the artistic parts cohere fantastically, seamlessly, to inform this riveting story. However within the midst of all of the give attention to energy and politics, we always remember that this actually is a love story.
On this model, each Orpheus and Eurydice are poor. He could also be fed by his music, however she’s ravenous. He’s so busy making an attempt to complete his one nice music, his masterwork, that she is enticed by Hades to the Underworld, the place she’s promised work and meals.
What she didn’t understand is that she has to signal away her life, and she or he’s pressured into exhausting labor with the sad lots (the superb singing/dancing Employees Refrain).
It’s all accompanied by a powerful eight-piece onstage orchestra, with almost each transfer exactly, expertly choreographed (by David Neumann).
When Orpheus finds out that Eurydice is gone, he goes after her and begs Hades for her launch, within the identify of affection. He sings his music for the jaded previous man, which rekindles Hades’ love for Persephone. The god makes a deal: Orpheus can go away with Eurydice, however not hand-in-hand or side-by-side.
They should stroll silently, single file, and if he appears to be like again at her even as soon as, she’s misplaced to him endlessly.
Everyone knows how that goes, and it breaks our coronary heart each time.
As Hermes reminds us on the finish, “It’s a tragic music, however we sing it anyway, as if it’d prove in another way. We maintain singing it. We’re gonna sing it time and again.”
The timeless story by no means fails to land. And the sensible method it’s advised this time makes it effectively price your taking a visit to hell and again.
- “Hadestown,” the nationwide tour delivered to us by Broadway San Diego, runs by way of June 5 on the Civic Theatre, third and B Road in downtown San Diego
- Remaining performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 6:30 p.m., with matinees Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
- Operating Time: 2 1/2 hours
- Tickets (beginning at $55.50) are at broadwaySD.com
- COVID Protocol: Masks are really helpful. There’s additionally a safety/steel detector verify that slows down your entry-time. Put together to attend in line.
Pat Launer, a member of the American Theatre Critics Affiliation, is a long-time San Diego arts author and an Emmy Award-winning theater critic. An archive of her previews and opinions will be discovered at patlauner.com.