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Friday, November 17, 2017

The Road to Hell is Heavenly... HADESTOWN at the Citadel...

If there's one show to see this season... 

I know. You hear that about a lot of shows. But seriously... this is the one. Personally I hope you see 10, or 15, or 20 shows, but if you only have room for one it should be Hadestown. It's not even so you can have the bragging rights about being one of the first to see it before it moves on to it's next incarnation (hint, hint... think NYC). It's because it's so very good. 

It's the Orpheus and Eurydice myth set to music by the incomparable Anaïs Mitchell and directed by Broadway's Rachel Chavkin. What they have created is something welcoming and engaging, making you feel as though you are sitting in a small bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, not a 670+ seat theatre. And although it's wonderfully intimate it is, at the same time, dramatically epic. 

Tonight was the second time I saw the show, having seen it on last Sunday evening. With all the hype I was not content to wait for Opening Night. I also plan to go back for a third viewing next week. It's that good. And why? Well, beyond the unforgettable music that I have found myself waking up singing, with it's folk sensibilities and truthful emotion, a big part of what makes it so good is the outstanding cast. Reeve Carney (Orpheus) has a clear, pure tenor voice that conveys incredible honesty and feeling. Opposite him is T.V. Carpio (Eurydice) whose presence and voice defy her petite stature. She is mesmerizing. Her voice has size and tone that simply pulls you in. The two of them feel incredibly connected. Juxtaposed with them are Hades (Patrick Page) and Persephone (Amber Gray). Every moment Ms. Gray is onstage you are seeing something incredible. Before she even speaks or sings, just the kick of her boot makes you aware that this is one of those special people who gift us with their presence onstage. When she does sing, it's electric and visceral. Page is commanding and charismatic and dangerous - everything Hades should be - and with a tremendous bass that you imagine could literally pull you down into Hell... We're brought into the story by the narrator Hermes, played marvelously and energetically by Kingsley Leggs. He guides us through with command and emotional investment and boy does he sound great. 

This is a show where you want to talk about everyone onstage.  The Fates (Kira Guloien, Evangelia Kambites, & Jewelle Blackman) have an incredible blend with their voices and the three of them are so fierce. The Workers (Tara Jackson, Vance Avery, Hal Wesley Rogers, and Andrew Broderick) are a marvelous quartet of voices and movers. As an ensemble, this cast makes incredible sound and as story-tellers they are wonderfully unified and present. 

There's more... Lighting (Bradley King) that blew my mind - It looks like you could literally touch it and it would be solid. A beautiful set (Rachel Hauck) and costumes (Michael Krass). A kick-ass band under the direction of Liam Robinson. It all comes together and you leave knowing you had an incredible theatre experience that you will want to have again, and again, and again... 

Hadestown runs to December 3 at the Citadel.
Click here for tickets. 

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