Way Down Hadestown

Way Down Hadestown

Our family, excluding Red, took a rare night out to see Hadestown, the musical. It’s a retelling of the story, the myth, of Orpheus and Eurydice, of Hades and Persephone, and the Fates and the doom they see.

The venue: Rochester Broadway Theater League Auditorium. We’re living in a 15 minute city, or even better in this case as it took us 6 minutes to get to the theater with easy close parking on this blustery, chilling night.

The crew has arrived

We’re much more likely to enjoy a quiet night in, than a loud night out. But we made it and the stage was set.

The stage

The musical follows fate-tortured Eurydice and the flaring love she shares with the sunny and naive Orpheus. Eurydice’s life is beset by the Fates who loom over her–her tale of poverty, hardship and falling off the path. We also follow the on-again, off-again relationship between Hades, a powerful capitalist magnate, and Persephone, his lush wife, a lover of the earth.

The first act was powerfully enchanting and ends in a political rally with Hades justifying.

Who do we call the enemy?The enemy is povertyAnd the wall keeps out the enemyAnd we build the wall to keep us freeThat’s why we build the wallWe build the wall to keep us free.

The second act wraps the story and reminds us that this is a tragedy, not a love story, and yet it’s eternal and essential.

Here’s an animatic from near the close of the first act, a modern art form for this modern musical.

A full playlist if you want more.

We emerged abuzz despite the hour and full of comparisons. Buster: “I thought it would be a myth about the Greeks, but it was a myth about capitalism.”

How did the cast recording compare to what we heard in the theater? The powerful immediacy of being there was made the live experience preferable and “Why do we build the wall” was much better as political speech (this show’s version) than fatherly lecture (the broadway version).

What other musicals would we see? Yessa was eager to see this one again. Ginnie pined for Evita. Hamilton would be top of the list.

Not only was it a joy to be out together, but the follow-up discussions have been fodder for connection as well. “Did you dislike Hades because of the character or because of the characterization?” “How amazing was the rotating stage and the train to Hadestown?!”

Ginnie’s first live musical was “Hello, Dolly!” with Carol Channing. The kids got to see “Knuffle Bunny” at the Kennedy Center.

Buddie doesn’t remember his first live theater exposure, but this outing left us all wanting more. “Wait for me, I’m coming…”