B E T T Y W H O TO JOIN THE CAST OF THE TONY AWARD WINNING BEST MUSICAL ‘HADESTOWN’
B E T T Y W H O TO JOIN THE CAST OF THE
TONY AWARD WINNING BEST MUSICAL ‘HADESTOWN’
Credits: Zak Cassar
New York, NY (July 18, 2023) – Hadestownproducers Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy announced today that international pop music sensation, and BMG recording artist, Betty Who, and Tony and Grammy Award nominee Phillip Boykin will join the cast of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown as ‘Persephone’ and ‘Hades,’ respectively, beginning on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. Best known for her chart-topping singles such as “I Love You Always Forever”, “Somebody Loves You,” and most recently “Blow Out My Candle,” Hadestownwill mark Betty Who’s stage debut.
“The opportunity to play Persephone in this incredible show is a dream come true. Musical theater was one of my first loves – one of the main reasons I wanted to sing in the first place. So, to have arrived at this place in my life, making my Broadway debut, I am just completely overwhelmed and excited,” says Betty Who.
Betty Who recently released BIG!, an expansive 11-track body of work exemplifying her larger than life personality and indomitable spirit. Each song on BIG!shares a vulnerable tale of triumph and perseverance offering a window into the life experiences that shaped Betty into the powerful woman she is today. Earlier this year Betty was also nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Music Artist category for her acclaimed album BIG! (BMG). The GLAAD Media Award is an accolade bestowed by GLAAD, the world’s largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, to recognize and honor various branches of the media for their outstanding representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.
About Betty Who:
If you need to know anything about Australian-American pop trailblazer Betty Who, it’s that she is a survivor. Born Jessica Newham in Sydney, Australia, the classically trained singer, dancer, and multi instrumentalist has experienced practically every dimension of pop cultural visibility: going viral on the bombastic strength of 2014 single “Somebody Loves You,” soundtracking Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot with “All Things,” forming deep ties with foundations like GLAAD and the Trevor Project, and becoming an LGBTQ+ icon due to her infectious, always-inclusive artistry. Betty Who is primed to kick off her latest, most triumphant chapter on her fourth studio album, Big!, which she wrote in its entirety. Together with longtime friend and collaborator Martin Johnson (Boys Like Girls), who also worked on Betty’s 2014 debut Take Me When You Go, Betty explores self-love and acceptance on songs like “She Can Dance,” the power of female friendship on “I Can Be Your Man,” and career perseverance on the joyous “Blow Out My Candle.” On Big, Betty sings with as much pop exuberance as she always has, but her latest — and greatest — is the most open-hearted and personal work she’s ever produced.
About Hadestown: Hadestown currently stars Grammy Award winner Reeve Carney as ‘Orpheus’ and Tony Award winner Lillias White as ‘Hermes’. They are joined by Amelia Cormack, Lindsey Hailes, and Brit West as ‘The Fates’. The ‘Workers’ chorus is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Alex Lugo, Sayo Oni, Alex Puette, and Grace Yoo. The cast also includes swings Brandon Cameron, Max Kumangai, Yael “YaYa” Reich, Eddie Noel Rodríguez, and Allysa Shorte. Jewelle Blackman as ‘Persephone’ and Tom Hewitt as ‘Hades’ will have their final performance on Sunday, September 3.
The winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Director, Hadestown 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. Hadestown set a new standard for audacious artistry in the commercial theater when it opened on Broadway to rapturous critical praise. Jesse Green of The New York Times declared it “As good as it gets!” The Wall Street Journal named it, “The best new musical of the season,” while New York Magazine extolled it as, “Visionary and ravishing! A cause for celebration.” Deadline called Hadestown, “The most thrilling new musical of the season,” and The Daily News proclaimed it, “the most relevant musical in town.”
Hadestown marks the first time in more than 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. Earlier this year, the landmark musical became the longest running show in the history of the Walter Kerr Theatre and holds the record for highest grossing musical in that venerated stage’s 100-year history.
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.
The creative team of Hadestown features Tony Award winner Rachel Hauck (Tony Award winner for her set design), four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Krass (costume design), two-time Tony Award winner Bradley King (Tony Award winner for his lighting design), Tony Award winners Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz (Tony Award winners for their 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 – Tony Award), Ken Cerniglia (dramaturgy), and Whitley Theatrical (casting). The smash hit North American tour is in its Canadian premier with a multi-week engagement at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto through Sunday, August 20. The tour then heads to Ottawa, August 22-27, before returning to the States and San Francisco for a week, opening September 12. More stops include Sacramento, San Jose, Los Angeles and Seattle.
The Grammy Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown is one of the most streamed cast albums of all time with over 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 instantly 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.
Hadestown will make its triumphant London return in February, 2024 when it plays the Lyric Theatre in the West End