LILLIAS WHITE TO PLAY HERMES IN “HADESTOWN” ON BROADWAY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON MONDAY, AUGUST 8, PLEASE
TONY AWARD® & DAYTIME EMMY AWARD® WINNER
TO PLAY HERMES
THE TONY & GRAMMY AWARD®–WINNING BEST MUSICAL
ONE OF BROADWAY’S MOST REVERED & BELOVED STARS
WILL BE THE FIRST FEMALE ACTOR TO PLAY HERMES
STARTING PERFORMANCES TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
AT THE WALTER KERR THEATRE
New York, NY (August 8, 2022) – Today producers Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy announced that Tony Award® and Daytime Emmy Award® winner Lillias White, one of Broadway’s most revered and beloved performers, will assume the role of Hermes in Hadestown, the Tony and Grammy Award®-winning Best Musical, at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street) starting Tuesday, September 13.
White will be the first female-identifying actor to play the role of Hermes in Hadestown.
A photo of White taken by James Alexander of Sneakpeek Photography is available for download HERE with full permission granted for press use.
Tony Award-winning director Rachel Chavkin said, “I’m over the moon about Lillias stepping into this role. She’s a total legend, has an earth-shattering voice, and will bring a grace and warmth to the role that is completely her own. Hadestown is a myth, and so we’ve always felt these characters can mold to whomever is playing them and take on new life and meaning with each new actor/spirit. I’m very proud to say the cast for our National Tour is wholly individual from the Broadway company, and just as powerful, and I’m so proud to welcome a woman for the first time into the iconic role of Hermes, our storyteller, and guide. Like the Greek gods themselves, our actors change shapes, size, color, tonality, vibe, and doesn’t it make the world more delightful.”
Lillias White said, “I am always thrilled to attend a Broadway opening and seeing Hadestown opening night in 2019 was a magical and unforgettable experience. Everything about it was full of life. I sat behind Rachel Chavkin’s father who was bursting with pride, and I got to meet Rachel who was giving birth to a phenomenal show while carrying new life in her belly. Everything about that evening glowed with beauty and love and promise, and I was moved to tears by my most excellent friend Dr. André De Shields and the entire company. I am delighted and honored to step into the role of Hermes and be part of this beautiful production.”
White most recently starred as Matron “Mama” Morton in the 25th Anniversary cast of the Broadway revival of Chicago. She won the 1997 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her showstopping turn in Cy Coleman’s The Life and received another Tony nomination in 2010 for Fela!. Her other Broadway credits include Effie White in Dreamgirls, Grizabella in Cats, Asaka in Once on this Island, and Miss Jones in the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Her first solo studio album Get Yourself Some Happy! was released last year by Old Mill Road Recording.
Due to previously scheduled commitments, White will not be performing in Hadestown November 2-4; November 10-13; and November 17-20.
T. Oliver Reid, who is currently playing Hermes on Broadway, will depart the show on Sunday, September 4.
In addition to White, the Broadway cast of Hadestown is led by Jewelle Blackman as Persephone, Grammy Award® winner Reeve Carney as Orpheus, Tony Award nominee Patrick Page as Hades, and two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. They are joined by Soara-Joye Ross, Jessie Shelton, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates.
The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Alex Puette, Trent Saunders, and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Sayo Oni, and Yael “YaYa” Reich.
Tickets for Hadestown on Broadway are available at www.seatgeek.com/hadestown-tickets or by visiting the Walter Kerr Theatre box office (219 West 48th Street).
The show originated as Anaïs Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Rachel Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.
Following two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.
Hadestown is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 season. The show is the winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, four Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Musical and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical. The show is the highest-grossing musical in the history of the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street).
Hadestown marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has been the solo author of a musical: writing the music, lyrics, and book, and is the fourth time in Broadway history a woman has accomplished this creative feat. It also marks the first time in Broadway history that a show’s female composer and female director both won Tony Awards for their work.
The creative team features Tony Award winner Rachel Hauck (set design), four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Krass (costume design), two-time Tony Award winner Bradley King (lighting design), Tony Award winners Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz (sound design), Obie Award® winner and Chita Rivera Award® winner David Neumann (choreography), Liam Robinson (music direction and vocal arrangements), Tony Award winners Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose (arrangements and orchestrations), Ken Cerniglia (dramaturgy), and Stewart/Whitley (casting).
Tomorrow, the North American tour will begin a two-week engagement at Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts. For the latest tour route and other information, please visit: www.hadestown.com/tour
The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown is one of the most streamed cast albums of all time with almost 300 million streams to date. It was released the summer of 2019, topped Billboard’s Broadway Cast Recording chart, and debuted at #8 on the Top Album chart. The CD edition features a 64-page booklet and a two-disc set, while the triple vinyl edition features a 16-page booklet. Both editions include complete song lyrics and never before seen photos of the Hadestown cast and creative team in the studio, and other exclusive content.
In fall of 2020, Mitchell released Working On A Song: The Lyrics of Hadestown, an illuminating book of lyrics and stories about her more than decade’s long process of building the musical from the ground up. Working On A Song is available from Penguin Random House.
Hadestown electrified audiences with its 2016 world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop, which is the longest-running show in that celebrated theater’s 40-year history. The production then received its Canadian premiere at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in 2017 and then a 2018 sold-out engagement at the London’s National Theatre prior to Broadway. Hadestown was developed with funding from the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and was further developed by The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Hadestown was co-conceived by Ben t. Matchstick.
Lillias White (Hermes) is a Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award winner for her performance in The Life. She has appeared on Broadway in Barnum, Dreamgirls, Cats, Carrie, Once on this Island, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Fela! (Tony Award nomination) and most recently in Chicago in the Fall of 2021 as Matron “Mama” Morton having first appeared in the Broadway production in 2006. Other Off-Broadway and Regional credits include the musical Black No More in Winter 2022, the Public Theater’s Romance in Hard Times for which she won the Obie Award, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (directed by Phylicia Rashad) for which she won the NAACP Award, and the Carnegie Hall Concert version of South Pacific which was also broadcast on PBS’ “Great Performances.” She received the Daytime Emmy Award for her role as Lillian Edwards in “Sesame Street” and is beloved by audiences for voicing the lead muse Calliope in Disney’s animated feature Hercules. Her most recent television appearances include the Baz Luhrmann-directed Netflix series “The Get Down,” as well as “Russian Doll” and “Search Party.” She has appeared in cabarets and concert halls around the world. Her first solo studio album Get Yourself Some Happy! is available now at lilliaswhite.com and on all streaming platforms.
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