Kimberly Marable and company during “Hadestown” North American Tour.
Photo credit T. Charles Erickson
Broadway in Detroit is in full swing with its latest production. Greek mythology will be center stage as “Hadestown” makes its way to Detroit’s Fisher Theatre.
Based on the book by Anaïs Mitchell, “Hadestown” is a tale of the underworld, love and timely social issues that are still relevant today. The musical centers around characters Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades and Persephone and their interactions with the underworld.
Broadway great Kimberly Marable plays Persephone, The Lady of The Underworld, in this production of “Hadestown.” An actress in the original Broadway company of the show, Marable returns in a new role ready to lead viewers through the historic tale.
“When the opportunity arose for me to be able to play the role of Persephone, I couldn’t say no. The music is just really special and different from anything else you may have seen on stage, on Broadway or at the Fisher,” says Marable.
The tale of “Hadestown” is one that dates back hundreds of years and takes audiences on a ride through love and the afterworld. The show’s fan base and newcomers can expect to capture the haunting thrills of the story as they take a trip Hell-bound through the eyes of the main characters and feel the emotion as the story unfolds.
““Hadestown” is basically two intertwining love stories based on Greek mythology. This myth is about 3,500 years old. It’s an old tale with definitely some new kinks to it,” says Marable. “It is the story of Orpheus and Eurydice and in our version of the story, times are tough. There is climate change, there’s famine.”
The show originally debuted in 2006 in Vermont to much fanfare going on to showcase in the United States as well as in London. The winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best New Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The show’s music lures watchers with deep rhythmic beats and rich lyrics.
“It’s pretty much sung through the music that is folk and jazz and New Orleans Second Line and blues. It’s really exciting. There’s some sexy songs in there too,” says Marable. “It’s really a wonderful story that you don’t have to know Greek mythology to know what’s going on.”
More than a stage production, “Hadestown” features an array of African American actors. Show-goers will also have the opportunity to see a myriad of Black culture displayed.
“As a Black woman, I’m excited for them to see a lot of diversity on the stage. Unlike many pieces of theater, you will have a king and queen, god and goddess who are Black and very Black. What I love about our production in particular is that you have Black hair represented onstage. We are not trying to create a scenario where we are trying to be someone we are not,” says Marable. “There’s a line in the show that says ‘we want to see how the world could be,’ and I think that this production really does do that and actually displays how the world is.”
For many Black communities, theatre arts are not introduced as it is unavailable and often not practiced in inner cities. Detroiters have a unique opportunity with Broadway shows in their backyard housed at the Fisher Theatre. Encouraging each to bring another is the way to spread awareness for the arts as well as stage shows.
“Tell your mama, tell your auntie and bring your cousin too,” says Marable. “This is a rare opportunity where we are seeing ourselves on stage.”
Additional lead African American actors included in the production are Morgan Siobhan Green in the role of Eurydice and Kevyn Morrow as Hades. “Hadestown” and its full ensemble will run November 23 through December 5 at the Fisher Theatre. Tickets are currently on sale at their box office and Ticketmaster. All guests of the Fisher Theatre will be required to present proof of vaccination or proof of negative COVID test. Guests are also required to remain masked throughout the show unless eating or drinking.