Orpheus and Eurydice are heading to the Tonys.
On Tuesday, Anaïs Mitchell’s folklore hit “Hadestown” led the Tony nominations, snagging 14 nods, including Best Musical. The show re-imagines the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice into a blistering amalgam of blues and folk song — a take that has resonated with audiences (and the Tonys) following its official Broadway debut on April 17.
Amber Gray in “Hadestown.”
“This is such a total and complete honor! What I feel most of all this morning is enormous gratitude,” said Mitchell in a statement. “‘Hadestown’ really took a long and winding road to Broadway, and so many creative, soulful people have put their hands on it along the way and kept it moving forward. I never dreamed we would land here on Broadway but I’m so grateful — grateful to our beautiful company who are making absolute magic every night telling this story, and grateful to the story itself which is romantic and powerful and epic and older and bigger than any of us telling it.”
Here are five things to know about the production.
It had a long path to Broadway.
While the success of “Hadestown” on Broadway developed at a rapid clip, the road to the Walter Kerr Theatre was long — 13 years long, to be exact. Mitchell’s factory town story first appeared in song version in 2006 and was released as a concept album in 2010. In 2016, the show had an off-Broadway run at the New York Theatre Workshop before a debut at Canada’s Citadel Theater and the National Theater in London (where it finished its run in January).
The tragic love story is directed by Rachel Chavkin.
The current production of “Hadestown” marks Chavkin’s return to Broadway after directing the critically acclaimed “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” during its run at the Imperial Theatre. “The Great Comet,” similarly beloved, led the Tony nominations (12 in total) during its 2016-2017 season before abruptly shuttering.
This year, the Tonys named Chavkin as a nominee for Best Direction of a Musical, placing her in the company of Scott Ellis (“Tootsie”), Daniel Fish (“Oklahoma!”), Des McAnuff (“Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations”) and Casey Nicholaw (“The Prom”).
“Hadestown” is led by an all-woman creative team.
With book and score by Mitchell (the first woman to pen a book, music and lyrics since 1978) and direction by Chavkin (who is the only woman directing a musical on Broadway this season), the creative team behind the musical is notable as only the second ever (next to “Waitress“) to be all woman-led on Broadway.
There’s a new cast album coming.
Fans of the concept album and the new Broadway production will be pleased to know that the musical will be releasing an original cast album on June 7. The new recording will be produced by David Lai and Todd Sicakfoose.
The Tony nominated set was designed by Rachel Hauck.
Those familiar with John Leguizamo’s “Latin History for Morons” will recognize the work of the Obie Award-winning designer, whose set for “Hadestown” transports the audience between what could be a jazz club to the hellish bowels of a factory furnace room. Hauck’s concept for Hades has garnered her a Tony nomination for scenic design alongside Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini (“Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations”), Peter England (“King Kong”), Laura Jellinek (“Oklahoma!”) and David Korins (“Beetlejuice”).