Lillias White will play Hermès in HADESTOWN from next month
Tony Award® and Daytime Emmy Award® winner Lillias White is set to reprise the role of Hermes in Hadestown, the Tony and Grammy Award®-winning Best Musical, at the Walter Kerr Theater beginning Tuesday, September 13.
White will be the first female actor to play the role of Hermes in Hadestown.
Tony Award-winning director Rachel Chavkin said: “I’m thrilled to have Lillias step into this role. She’s a total legend, she has a moving voice and will bring a grace and warmth to the role that is completely Hadestown is a myth, and so we always felt that these characters could adapt to whoever plays them and take on new life and meaning with each new actor/spirit. I’m very proud to say that the Our nationwide tour’s cast is entirely individual to the Broadway company, and equally powerful, and I’m so proud to welcome a woman for the first time in the iconic role of Hermès, our storyteller and guide. Greek gods themselves, our actors change shape, size, color, tone, mood, and doesn’t that make the world more enjoyable.”
Lillias White said: “I’m always thrilled to attend a Broadway opening and seeing Hadestown’s opening night in 2019 was such a magical and unforgettable experience. Everything was full of life. I sat behind the father of Rachel Chavkin who was overflowing with pride, and I met Rachel who was giving birth to a phenomenal show while carrying new life in her womb Everything about that evening shone with beauty, love and promise, and I “I was moved to tears by my good friend, Dr André De Shields and the whole company. I am delighted and honored to take on the role of Hermès and to be part of this beautiful production.”
White recently starred as Matron “Mama” Morton in the 25th anniversary cast of Chicago’s Broadway revival. She won the 1997 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her stunning turn in The Life of Cy Coleman and received another Tony Award 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. His 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 from November 17 to 20.
T. Oliver Reid, who currently plays Hermès on Broadway, will leave 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-nominated Patrick Page as 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 Fates.
The Workers chorus is performed by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Alex Puette, Trent Saunders and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swingers 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 Theater box office (219 West 48th Street).
The show grew out of Anaïs Mitchell’s independent theater project which toured Vermont, which she later turned into an acclaimed album. With artistic collaborator Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine an ancient tale.
After two intertwined love stories – that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone – Hadestown invites the audience on a hellish journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s seductive melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a dynamic ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, Hadestown offers a deeply resonant and hopeful theatrical experience.
Hadestown is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 season. The show won 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 Theater (219 West 48th Street).
Hadestown marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has written a solo musical, writing the music, lyrics and book, and it’s the fourth time in Broadway history. that a woman accomplishes this creative feat. It’s also the first time in Broadway history that the songwriter and director of a show have both won Tony Awards for their work.
The creative team includes Tony Award winner Rachel Hauck (production design), four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Krass (costume design), two-time Tony Award winner Bradley King (lighting design), Nevin Steinberg and Tony Award winners Jessica Paz (sound). design), Obie Award® winner and Chita Rivera Award® winner David Neumann (choreography), Liam Robinson (musical 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 the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For the latest tour itinerary 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 nearly 300 million streams to date. It was released in the summer of 2019, topped Billboard’s Broadway Records chart and debuted at #8 on the Top Albums chart. The CD edition includes a 64-page booklet and a two-disc set, while the triple-vinyl edition includes a 16-page booklet. Both editions include full song lyrics and never-before-seen photos of the Hadestown cast and creative team in the studio, plus other exclusive content.
In the fall of 2020, Mitchell released Working On A Song: The Lyrics of Hadestown, an illuminating book of lyrics and stories about his long process of building the musical over more than a decade. Working on a song is available from Penguin Random House.
Hadestown electrified audiences with its world premiere in 2016 at New York Theater Workshop, which is the longest-running show in the famous theater’s 40-year history. The production then received its Canadian premiere at the Citadel Theater in Edmonton in 2017, followed by a sold-out engagement in 2018 at the National Theater in London before Broadway. Hadestown was developed with funding from the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and was developed by The Ground Floor at the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Hadestown was co-designed by Ben t. Matches.
Lillias White (Hermès) is a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle award winner for her performance in The Life. She 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 made her first appearance in the 2006 Broadway production. Other Off-Broadway and regional credits include the musical Black No More in Winter 2022, The Public Theatre’s Romance in Hard Times for which it won the Obie Award, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (directed by Phylicia Rashad) for which it won the NAACP Award, and the Carnegie Hall Concert version of South Pacific which also aired on PBS’s “Great Performances.” She received the Daytime Emmy Award for her role as Lillian Edwards in “Sesame Street” and is popular with audiences for voicing lead muse Calliope in the feature film. animated Disney 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 performed in cabarets and sa concert girls from around the world. His first solo studio album Get Yourself Some Happy! is available now on lilliaswhite.com and all streaming platforms.
Photo credit: James Alexander of Sneakpeek Photography