Hadestown- Walter Kerr Theatre – September 2021

One of my favorite pieces of theater merch!


The last time I was in New York City was February 21, 2020. The night before, I saw the last show I would see on Broadway for 19 months. That show was Hadestown.

When it became official that Broadway would be re-opening, I knew that the first show I wanted to see was the last one I had seen. My brain likes that kind of symmetry. So I consider myself insanely fortunate that once again it was pretty easy for me to get a seat in the Walter Kerr Theatre.

Although I almost didn’t get there. I had it in my head that the show began at 8pm. It being a day that included a lot of walking and a lot of sweating I was enjoying my time with the hotel room air conditioner when an alarm on my phone went off at 6:30pm telling me that the show started at 7pm! Luckily between the hotel being fairly close to the theater and my short legs being able to move pretty quickly, I got there in plenty of time to prove to the folks at the door that I am fully vaccinated and to get a seat before all the fun (fun?) began.

I thought the show kicked my ass the first time but, yeesh, it was nothing like this one. The moment the band came out waving to the audience I started crying. And I pretty much cried on and off the entire show.

And the last time I saw the show I didn’t have too many kind words for Reeve Carney Pardon me while I quote myself:

The entire cast was phenomenal. With the exception, for me, of Reeve Carney who I understand to be a good actor and singer but who was practically wallpaper in this production. White wallpaper surrounded by flaming red roses all around him. I wanted to love him and his character but I didn’t.

Christ, that was harsh. I’m sure in the moment that’s how I felt but, damn, it seems pretty unfair tonight. I don’t know if it was the shutdown or where I am in my life or maybe I was just cranky when I wrote that, but Carney’s Orpheus hit me differently tonight. I actually connected with Orpheus more than I did with Eurydice this time around. Hell, maybe he’s just become a stronger actor and singer? Who the hell knows? I just know that tonight I didn’t feel like there was ANY dead weight on that stage. And Orpheus’ toast: “To the world we dream about, and the one we live in now” while powerful on its own, just destroyed the audience (and me. so very much me.) tonight. There was something in the delivery and in Carney’s face that took the breath away from everyone in the theater. I missed a good five minutes of the show after the toast because I was trying so hard to stop sobbing.

Another highlight: I finally got to see Amber Grey as Persephone and now I know what all the hubbub was about! Kimberly Marable (who was my first Persephone and is playing the role on the Hadestown tour) blew the roof off the joint when I saw her. But Amber Gray is other-worldly as Persephone. I can’t properly put into words how magnificent she is on stage. She just IS.

And André De Shields. As the kids say, that’s the tweet. Just André De Shields. He is, as ever, fanfuckingtastic. (And the man absolutely can play the audience. He could have gotten every one of us to gladly just watch him strut around the stage preening for two and a half hours and he KNOWS it!)

It was a very emotional evening. I was a little uneasy about this trip but am so very happy I went through with it. Here’s hoping for a less emotional rest of the week (although that’s highly unlikely)!

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