Broadway Legends Ben Vereen and André De Shields Visit Backstage at HADESTOWN

Ben Vereen and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran Ben Vereen recently stopped by HADESTOWN at the Walter Kerr and visited with Tony Award winner André De Shields, who missed him when Mr. Vereen attended opening night.  Following the performance, Mr. Vereen met other cast members backstage and posed for photos.

Ben Vereen and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 Broadway season. In addition to the show’s eight Tony Awards, it has been honored with 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.

Afra Hines, Khaila Wilcoxon, Jewelle Blackman, Ben Vereen, Debbie Siraj, André De Shields, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kay Trinidad, John Krause, Damani Van Rensalier. Photo by Lia Chang

The acclaimed new musical is by celebrated singer-songwriter and Tony Award winner Anaïs Mitchell and developed with innovative director and Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. 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.

Ben Vereen and Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN is already the highest-grossing musical in the history of the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway (219 West 48th Street, New York) and continues to sell out nightly with a cast led by Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Reeve Carney, Tony Award winner André De Shields, Tony Award nominee Amber Gray, two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, Tony Award nominee Patrick Page, along with Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, and Ahmad Simmons. The full company also includes swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, Damani Van Rensalier and Khaila Wilcoxon.

Reeve Carney, Ben Vereen, Debbie Siraj, André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Cherie B. Tay

The show originated as Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With 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.

Ben Vereen, Debbie Siraj, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Ben Vereen, André De Shields, Kay Trinidad. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for 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); Chita Rivera Award® winner and three-time Bessie 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).

Ben Vereen, Afra Hines, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

A National Tour of HADESTOWN will launch beginning in the Fall of 2020. In its first year, the tour will visit more than 30 cities coast to coast, including (alphabetically) Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Tempe; and Washington, DC; with more to be announced shortly.

Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, Ben Vereen, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Ben Vereen, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Stevens, Ben Vereen, André De Shields and Summerisa Bell Stevens. Photo by Lia Chang
Ben Vereen, Cherie B. Tay and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and

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