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Broadway promotional poster
MusicAnaïs Mitchell
LyricsAnaïs Mitchell
BookAnaïs Mitchell
BasisOrpheus and Eurydice
Productions2006 Barre
2006 Vergennes
2007 Vermont/Massachusetts tour
2016 Off-Broadway
2017 Canada
2018 London
2019 Broadway
2021 US National Tour
2024 West End
AwardsTony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Original Score
Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album

Hadestown is a sung-through musical with music, lyrics, and book by Anaïs Mitchell. It tells a version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice, a young girl looking for something to eat, goes to work in a hellish industrial version of the Greek underworld to escape poverty and the cold, and her poor singer-songwriter lover Orpheus comes to rescue her.

The original version of the musical premiered in the town of Barre, Vermont, in 2006, followed by a production in Vergennes, Vermont the same year and a tour between Vermont and Massachusetts in 2007. After the tour, Mitchell—unsure about the future of the musical—turned it into a concept album, released in 2010.[1]

In 2012, Mitchell met director Rachel Chavkin, and the two started to rework the stage production, with additional songs and dialogue. The new version of the musical, developed for the stage and directed by Chavkin, premiered off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on May 6, 2016, and ran through July 31. Following productions in Edmonton and London, the show premiered in previews on Broadway in March 2019.

The Broadway production opened to critical acclaim and received numerous awards and nominations. At the 73rd Tony Awards, Hadestown received 14 nominations (the most that year) and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.



Act I


The Greek god Hermes welcomes the audience to the show, introducing the story, characters, ensemble, and band ("Road to Hell"). This is followed by Eurydice and the Fates describing the harsh weather and famine of the setting ("Any Way the Wind Blows"). Orpheus, Hermes' ward, introduces himself to Eurydice and asks her to marry him ("Come Home With Me"). Eurydice is doubtful as they both live in poverty. Orpheus tells her that he is writing a song to make spring come again, and they will no longer have to struggle ("Wedding Song").

Orpheus sings the story of Hades and Persephone ("Epic I"). Persephone arrives in the world above and celebrates summertime ("Livin' it Up on Top"), while Eurydice begins to truly fall in love with Orpheus ("All I've Ever Known"). Hades comes early to collect Persephone, and she voices her misery of having to return to Hadestown, Hades' underground factory. Despite hearing about the never-ending labor endured by the factory workers, Eurydice is intrigued by the rich praises sung by the Fates as well as the promise of protection that Hadestown offers ("Way Down Hadestown"). The cold weather returns and Eurydice searches for food and firewood, urging Orpheus to finish his song ("A Gathering Storm"). Orpheus continues working on his song ("Epic II"), while Persephone and Hades argue ("Chant").

Hades leaves Hadestown to find someone who will appreciate its safety and security. He comes across a desperate Eurydice and invites her to come to Hadestown ("Hey, Little Songbird") and the Fates urge Eurydice to join him ("When the Chips Are Down"). With the cold surging and an empty stomach, Eurydice sees no other choice except following Hades. She sings her goodbyes to Orpheus before heading to Hadestown as the Fates chastise the audience for judging her for choosing self-interest over love ("Gone, I'm Gone"). Orpheus discovers Eurydice's disappearance, and decides to rescue her from Hadestown. He sets off on his journey using Hermes' instructions on how to get to Hadestown without the use of the train ("Wait for Me"). Eurydice arrives in Hadestown and signs the contract, officially becoming a worker ("Why We Build the Wall").

Act II


In an entr'acte, Persephone serves the workers in a speakeasy that she runs behind Hades's back ("Our Lady of the Underground"). Eurydice begins to realize the consequences of her choice to go to Hadestown: she will soon become a forgotten laborer and can never leave unless Hades consents to let her go ("Way Down Hadestown (Reprise)"). She sings of her regrets as her memories of the world above slowly begin to fade ("Flowers").

Orpheus arrives in Hadestown and promises Eurydice that he will take her home with him ("Come Home with Me (Reprise)"). Hades appears and reveals to him that Eurydice willingly signed the contract, which Eurydice regretfully confirms ("Papers"). Hades orders the workers to attack Orpheus and the Fates tell him to give up hope ("Nothing Changes"). Orpheus vows to find a way to free Eurydice, rallying up the workers and catching Persephone's attention in the process ("If It's True").

Persephone is inspired by Orpheus's determination and pleads with Hades to let Eurydice go ("How Long?"). While the workers begin to truly question the freedom they were promised, Hades bitterly offers Orpheus a chance to sing his completed song, threatening to kill him afterwards ("Chant (Reprise)"). Orpheus sings his song, reminding Hades of his love for Persephone ("Epic III"). Hades and Persephone reconcile with a dance, after which Orpheus and Eurydice promise to stay together no matter how hard ("Promises"). Orpheus asks Hades if they may leave, and Hades tells him that he has not reached a decision. The Fates taunt Hades for his dilemma: If he kills Orpheus and keeps Eurydice captive, they become martyrs, but if he lets them go, he loses control over his workers as they have begun to agitate for their freedom ("Word to the Wise"). Hades decides to let Orpheus and Eurydice go on one condition: Orpheus must lead them out. If he turns around to confirm that Eurydice is following him, she will return to Hadestown and remain there forever ("His Kiss, the Riot").

Hermes explains the condition to Orpheus and Eurydice, and they begin heading out with the workers looking to them for hope. Persephone and Hades decide to give their relationship another chance ("Wait for Me (Reprise)"). Just as Orpheus makes it up to the end, he is overcome by doubt and turns around, condemning Eurydice to return to Hadestown ("Doubt Comes In"). Hermes reflects on the somber tale and why it must be told, saying "That spring had come again, with a love song". The story resets to the beginning as the company prepares to tell it again. ("Road to Hell (Reprise)"). After the bows at curtain call, the cast honors Orpheus for his optimism in times of darkness ("We Raise Our Cups").

Musical numbers



New York Theatre Workshop, New York


Songs in this production were either new material or adapted from the 2010 concept album (besides "Any Way the Wind Blows", which is from Mitchell's later compilation album, Xoa.)

† Not included on Original Cast Recording ‡ Original material

Citadel Theatre - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Walter Kerr Theatre - Broadway




Branding as seen on the Walter Kerr Theatre

Early productions (2006-2007)


Hadestown was performed as a stage production in the cities of Barre and Vergennes in 2006, before going into a seven-day, ten-city tour between Mitchell's home state of Vermont and Massachusetts in 2007.[1][4] Mitchell described the first incarnation of the show as "a D.I.Y. theatre project". The creative team included primary orchestrator/arranger Michael Chorney and original director/designer Ben T. Matchstick, as well as a cast drawn from local artists in Vermont.[5][6] In 2010, a concept album was released.

Off-Broadway (2016)


In her search for a director, Mitchell sought out Rachel Chavkin in 2012 after watching a production of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 that she had directed. In the transition from concept album to stage musical, Mitchell wrote an additional 15 songs and added dialogue to clarify the plot and deepen characterization. The 15 new songs were developed after Mitchell and Chavkin discussed gaps in the album's storyline. Michael Chorney created the primary orchestrations and arrangements, with Todd Sickafoose contributing additional/co-arrangements and orchestrations.[5] Hadestown premiered at New York Theatre Workshop for an initial run from May 3 through July 3, 2016, but was later extended due to popular demand through July 31. The production starred Damon Daunno as Orpheus, Nabiyah Be as Eurydice, Amber Gray as Persephone, Patrick Page as Hades, Chris Sullivan as Hermes, and Lulu Fall, Jessie Shelton, and Shaina Taub as the Fates.[4][7]

On October 14, 2016, an EP was released featuring four songs from the musical, recorded live on June 28 and 29, 2016.[8] A full live album was released on October 6, 2017.[9]

Canada (2017)


Hadestown was presented in an intended pre-Broadway run as part of the 2017/2018 season at Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Rachel Chavkin once again served as director, with performances scheduled for November 11 – December 3, 2017, with Amber Gray and Patrick Page reprising their roles from NYTW. The production was presented in collaboration with Mara Isaacs and Dale Franzen, who produced the Off-Broadway run.[10] The NYTW production was also featured in the award-winning documentary series Working in the Theatre produced by the American Theatre Wing.[11]

The production also started Reeve Carney as Orpheus, T.V. Carpio as Eurydice, and Kingsley Leggs as Hermes.

London (2018)


Ahead of a 2019 Broadway transfer, Hadestown was performed in the Olivier Theatre of the National Theatre in London. Making its UK debut, it ran from November 2, 2018, to January 26, 2019.[12] The production team included Rachel Hauck for scenic design, Michael Krass for costume design, Bradley King for lighting design, Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz for sound design, David Neumann for choreography, and Liam Robinson for musical direction.[13] Page, Gray, and Carney reprised their performances in the National Theatre production, joined by Eva Noblezada, André De Shields (who had participated in some early workshops of the production),[14] Carly Mercedes Dyer, Rosie Fletcher, and Gloria Onitiri.[15]

The set of the Broadway production, as seen inside the Walter Kerr Theatre

Broadway (2019-present)


Hadestown opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre, with previews beginning on March 22, 2019, and opening night set for April 17, 2019.[16] Page, Gray, De Shields, Carney, and Noblezada reprised their performances for the Broadway production, and were joined by Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzales-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad.[17] The Broadway production was produced by Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold and Tom Kirdahy.[18] The production team also reunited Hauck for scenic design, Krass for costume design, King for lighting design, Steinberg and Jessica Paz for sound design, Neumann for choreography, and Robinson for musical direction. On March 12, 2020, performances were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic[19] The musical resumed performances on September 2, 2021.[20] On January 4, 2023, Hadestown became the longest-running show at the Walter Kerr Theatre with 918 performances.[21]

North American National Tour (2021-2024)


In August 2019, it was announced during an episode of Good Morning America that Hadestown would begin a national tour in 2020.[22] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tour was postponed to 2021. The tour launched at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and ran for three weeks starting October 15, 2021. Prior to the tour launch, the production had a tryout at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina, from October 5 to 10, 2021. The national tour initially starred Nicholas Barasch as Orpheus, Morgan Siobhan Green as Eurydice, Kevyn Morrow as Hades, Kimberly Marable (a cast member from the original Broadway cast) as Persephone, Levi Kreis as Hermes, and Belén Moyano, Bex Odorisio, and Shea Renne as the Fates.[23][24] The tour played its final performance on May 26, 2024 in Toronto.

South Korea (2021-2022)


A South Korean production of Hadestown ran from August 24, 2021, to February 27, 2022, at the LG Arts Center in Seoul. This Korean-language production was the first international staging of the musical, and starred Zo Hyung-gyun, Kang-hyun Park, and Xiumin rotating as Orpheus, and Kim Hwan-hee and Kim Soo-ha rotating as Eurydice.[25] This production won Best Musical, Best Male Lead, and Best Female Supporting Role at the Korea Musical Awards.[26]

West End (2024)


In March 2023, following the show's 1,000th performance on Broadway, it was announced that Hadestown would return to London, opening in the West End in 2024. On May 12, 2023, it was announced that the show would be opening in February 2024, at the Lyric Theatre, London. On November 16, the full cast was announced: Dónal Finn as Orpheus, Grace Hodgett Young as Eurydice, Zachary James as Hades, Melanie La Barrie as Hermes, and Gloria Onitiri as Persephone.[27] The show is currently scheduled to run through December 22, 2024.[28]

South Korea (2024)


Hadestown returned to South Korea from July 12 to October 6, 2024, at the Charlotte Theater in Seoul.[29] Zo Hyung-gyun and Kang-hyun Park reprised the role of Orpheus, with a new cast member, Kim Min-seok.[30] Kim Hwan-hee and Kim Soo-ha also reprised their roles as Eurydice.[30]

Sydney (2025)


In June 2024, it was announced that Hadestown would have its Australian premiere in Sydney at the Theatre Royal, Sydney in February 2025 with casting to be announced at a later date.[31]



The original casts of the English-speaking productions of Hadestown

Character Concept Tour[32] Concept Album Off-Broadway Edmonton[33] London Broadway North American National Tour[24] West End[34]
2007 2010 2016 2017 2018 2019 2021 2024
Orpheus Ben Campbell Justin Vernon Damon Daunno Reeve Carney Nicholas Barasch Dónal Finn
Eurydice Anaïs Mitchell Nabiyah Be T.V. Carpio Eva Noblezada Morgan Siobhan Green Grace Hodgett Young
Hades David Symons Greg Brown Patrick Page Kevyn Morrow Zachary James
Persephone Miriam Bernardo Ani DiFranco Amber Gray Kimberly Marable Gloria Onitiri
Hermes Ben Matchstick Ben Knox Miller Chris Sullivan Kingsley Leggs André De Shields Levi Kreis Melanie La Barrie
The Fates Sarah-Dawn Albani
Lisa Raatikainen
Nessa Rabin
The Haden Triplets Lulu Fall
Jessie Shelton
Shaina Taub
Jewelle Blackman
Kira Guloien
Evangelia Kambites
Carly Mercedes Dyer
Rosie Fletcher
Gloria Onitiri
Jewelle Blackman
Kay Trinidad
Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer
Belén Moyano
Bex Odorisio
Shea Renne
Bella Brown
Madeline Charlemagne
Allie Daniel

Notable replacements

Broadway (2019–)
North American Tour (2021–)



While not a full recording of the musical, Mitchell's 2007 album The Brightness contains the song "Hades & Persephone", an early version of "How Long?"

Mitchell released a concept album based on the musical, working on it for over a year. It was released on March 9, 2010, through Righteous Babe Records.[1]

A live cast recording of the Off-Broadway production was released digitally and on CD on October 6, 2017, through Parlophone Records. A four-track EP entitled Why We Build The Wall (Selections from Hadestown. The Myth. The Musical. Live Original Cast Recording) was released for digital retailers on October 13, 2016, in promotion of the album.

A Broadway cast recording was released in full on July 26, 2019, through Sing It Again Records.[46][47] A physical two-CD recording would be available at a later date.[48] A holiday album recorded by Blackman, Gonzalez-Nacer and Trinidad titled If the Fates Allow, was released on November 20, 2020, and features guest contributions from the other original cast members.[49]



Writer Anaïs Mitchell said she was inspired by Les Misérables to write a musical that was about the power of both romance and politics: "It's a love story, but politics really is romantic."[50]

Director Rachel Chavkin said addressing climate change had always been central to the show: "As we thought more and more about shaping the world that Eurydice and Orpheus are living in — a world caused, in Greek mythological terms, by the decay of the ancient marriage between Hades and Persephone, a world that is out of balance, where it is either freezing or blazing hot, where food becomes scarcer and the idea of stability becomes harder to imagine, and a character, Eurydice, who has spent her life running — all of those things kind of crystallized while we were making the show."[51] The show did a joint promotion with Natural Resources Defense Council to raise awareness and bring a greater sense of urgency to the push for action on the issue of climate change.[52]

US cultural commentator Bridget Read highlights the economic themes: "Orpheus and Eurydice's tragedy becomes, in the hands of Mitchell, an argument for collective bargaining...I don't think its untoward of me to hear the class politics in a musical in which the characters sing the word poverty more times than I've ever heard it before in the vicinity of Times Square."[53] In China, The Paper has published a review of Hadestown, "The Realm Underneath: Hadestown and Utopia" (《冥界》:地狱镇与乌托邦) by historian Hansong Li (李汉松), who frames the musical as a work of not only musical ingenuity but also social critique.[54]

Todd Osborne comments on the self-conscious significance of the medium of song within the work: "It is a musical both about how art can save us and how, especially in an apocalyptic world, hope might be the only thing we have left."[55]



The New York Times described the Off-Broadway production as "inventive" and "gorgeously sung", praising its simplicity and intimacy.[56] The Hollywood Reporter described the added dialogue as "wince-inducing" but favored its high energy and immersive staging.[57] Several reviews drew parallels between the song "Why We Build the Wall" and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, though the song predates the campaign by about a decade.[56][57]

The production opened on Broadway on April 17, 2019, to critical acclaim, with praise for its direction and the performance of André De Shields.[58] The New York Times called it "gorgeous" and "hypnotic", especially noting its improvement from the New York Theatre Workshop version.[59] David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter calls it "utterly fabulous", in particular praising the performances of Gray and Page.[60]

Japanese producer Imura Madoka (井村まどか) and theatre journalist Yusei Kageyama (影山雄成) praised the musical for its novelty and creativity, in contrast to a recent trend in Broadway to "avoid risks" by adapting films and recasting classics.[61]

Awards and nominations


Off-Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2016 American Academy of Arts and Letters Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater[62] Won
2017 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical Bradley King Nominated
Drama League Awards Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical Nominated
Lucille Lortel Awards Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Choreographer David Neumann Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical Patrick Page Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical Amber Gray Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Chris Sullivan Nominated
Outstanding Scenic Design Rachel Hauck Nominated
Outstanding Sound Design Robert Kaplowitz Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical Nominated
Off-Broadway Alliance Awards Best New Musical Nominated

Edmonton production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2018 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award[63] Timothy Ryan Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical Nominated
Outstanding Director Rachel Chavkin Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Amber Gray Won
Outstanding Set Design Rachel Hauck Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design Michael Krass Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design Bradley King Won
Outstanding Musical Director Liam Robinson Nominated
Outstanding Choreography or Fight Direction David Neumann Nominated

Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2019 Tony Awards[64][65] Best Musical Won
Best Book of a Musical Anaïs Mitchell Nominated
Best Original Score Won
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Eva Noblezada Nominated
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical André De Shields Won
Patrick Page Nominated
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical Amber Gray Nominated
Best Scenic Design in a Musical Rachel Hauck Won
Best Costume Design in a Musical Michael Krass Nominated
Best Lighting Design in a Musical Bradley King Won
Best Sound Design of a Musical Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz Won
Best Direction of a Musical Rachel Chavkin Won
Best Choreography David Neumann Nominated
Best Orchestrations Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose Won
Drama Desk Awards[66] Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical André De Shields Won
Outstanding Director of a Musical Rachel Chavkin Won
Outstanding Choreography David Neumann Nominated
Outstanding Scenic Design for a Musical Rachel Hauck Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical Michael Krass Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical Bradley King Won
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz Won
Drama League Awards[67] Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical Won
Distinguished Performance Award Amber Gray Nominated
André De Shields Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Awards[68] Outstanding New Broadway Musical Won
Outstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway) Anaïs Mitchell Nominated
Outstanding New Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway) Won
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Reeve Carney Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical André De Shields Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Amber Gray Won
Outstanding Director of a Musical Rachel Chavkin Won
Outstanding Choreographer David Neumann Nominated
Outstanding Scenic Design (Play or Musical) Rachel Hauck Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical) Bradley King Won
Outstanding Sound Design (Play or Musical) Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz Nominated
Outstanding Orchestrations Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose Nominated
Chita Rivera Awards[69]
Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show David Neumann Won
Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show Amber Gray Nominated
Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show Nominated
ACCA Award[70] Outstanding Broadway Chorus Won
Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada & Patrick Page (principal soloists); Mara Isaacs, David Lai, Anaïs Mitchell & Todd Sickafoose (producers); Anaïs Mitchell (composer & lyricist) Won

West End production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2024 Laurence Olivier Awards[71] Best Musical Revival Nominated


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