Jewelle Blackman to Star as Persephone in HADESTOWN Beginning April 5; Soara-Joye Ross Joins Company as One of the Fates

Congratulations to Jewelle Blackman who will star as Persephone in Hadestown at Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre as of April 5.

Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang

Blackman, a native of Toronto, first joined Hadestown in 2017 with the musical’s developmental run at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre. She went on to captivate audiences with her soul-stirring alto as one of the original trio of Fates on Broadway and as a Persephone understudy. Blackman also appeared in Canadian productions of The Lion King; We Will Rock You; Caroline, or Change; and Dreamgirls and has written the new musicals Boy Boy and The Magic Drum and The Trials and Triumphs of a Tar Baby. In addition to appearing on the Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast recording, she stars on Hadestown‘s acclaimed 2020 holiday album If The Fates Allow.

Lana Gordon, who currently plays Persephone on Broadway, will play her final performance in the show on Sunday, April 3.

Additionally, also starting Tuesday, April 5, Soara-Joye Ross will join the cast of Hadestown, taking over for Blackman as one of the Fates. Ross most recently was seen in CSC’s acclaimed revival of Carmen Jones which garnered her a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She also received Drama Desk and Audelco Award nominations for her portrayal of Frankie in that production.

In addition to Blackman and Ross, the Broadway cast of Hadestown also features Grammy Award winner Reeve Carney, Tony Award winner André De Shields, two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, and Tony Award nominee Patrick Page. They are joined by Jessie Shelton and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Timothy Hughes, Trent Saunders, and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Tara Jackson, Tomás Matos, Sayo Oni, Yael “YaYa” Reich, and T. Oliver Reid.

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. 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. The show is already 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.

Hadestown is produced by Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy and 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).

The North American tour is currently playing Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theatre through March 20 and in May will make its West Coast debut at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre. For the latest tour route and other information, please visit: http://www.hadestown.com/tour

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown is available on CD and streaming. The album was released digitally in summer of 2019, and 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.

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