‘The truth is between your ears, behind your eyes! That’s the path to paradise! In here!’
The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but in Hadestown, it’s also paved with fantastic music and the triumph of nature over the industry, faith over doubt, and love over fear. The Tony and Grammy-winning musical by Anaïs Mitchell interweaves two mythic tales, that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice and that of King Hades and his wife, Persephone. The story is narrated by the Greek god Hermes, who is known as the god of both the upper and lower realms, with his ability to traverse both worlds.
In the new U.S. tour of Hadestown, Hermes is played by Levi Kreis. Levi, also a Tony winner for his role as Jerry Lee Lewis in Million Dollar Quartet. He took a few minutes out of his day to talk to me about his role and what makes Hadestown THE show to see.
After almost two years of shutdowns and cancellations, being able to go to a live show indoors is a real treat, but not just for the audience. “I thought it would be like that feeling that you get in your first or second city when you’re opening,” said Kreis. “But it’s not, it’s for all of them! It’s a collective experience. You feel the connection, that shared celebration, with the audience.
“We are the first show that so many people are seeing, and it’s not lost to me that we are really appreciating the opportunity to have theater again.”
Hermes opens the show with “Road to Hell,” which sets up all the characters for the audience. Hermes is known as a trickster, but he uses his talents for the greater good to help Orpheus. Levi goes on to say, “There is a spiritual message that’s involved in this. That we are living this story again and again and again until we realize a change in our experiences comes from a change in our thoughts and our feelings, and our belief.
“That is exactly what he’s saying when he looks at Orpheus and says, ‘The truth is between your ears, behind your eyes! That’s the path to paradise! In here!'”
Don’t miss your opportunity to see Hadestown at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, February 9-20, 2022.