Hadestown continues to be one of Broadway’s most-thrilling new musicals, with its unconventional twist on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and its electrically-charged score by Anaïs Mitchell. Now, the Tony-nominated musical has announced an unconventional approach to the release of its upcoming Broadway cast album. A “character drop” rollout will extend the experience of savoring the new recording over the period of approximately two months.
Sing It Again Records announced that the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown will have a release schedule unlike any cast album in Broadway history. On Friday, June 7, 13 tracks from Hadestown, written by celebrated singer-songwriter and two-time 2019 Tony Award nominee Anaïs Mitchell, developed with innovative director and 2019 Tony Award nominee Rachel Chavkin, will be made available digitally. Three of those songs, “Way Down Hadestown,” “Our Lady of the Underground,” and the showstopping “Wait for Me,” will be released tonight at 12:01 AM. The rest of the double album which features 40 tracks spanning over two hours of music will be rolled out in three curated character-themed drops.
Here is what the entire schedule looks like:
Tonight at 12:01 AM
“Way Down Hadestown”
“Wait For Me (“Hey, the big artiste…”) [Intro]”
“Wait For Me”
“Our Lady of the Underground”
Friday, June 7 – Additional highlights from Hadestown, including
“Livin’ It Up On Top”
“Hey, Little Songbird”
“When The Chips Are Down (“Songbird vs. rattlesnake…”) [Intro]”
“When The Chips Are Down”
“Gone, I’m Gone”
“Why We Build The Wall”
“Why We Build The Wall (“Behind closed doors…”) [Outro]”
“Road to Hell (Reprise)”
Friday, June 28 – Character Drop 1: Hades and Persephone
Friday, July 12 – Character Drop 2: Hermes, the Fates, and the Workers Chorus
Friday, July 26 – Character Drop 3: Orpheus and Eurydice
Composer-lyricist Anaïs Mitchell spoke on the character drop rollout, “A huge thanks to all of our friends for their patience as we take a little more time with our Original Broadway Cast Recording than originally anticipated! We got deep into editing and mixing these two-plus hours’ worth of beautiful performances and realized we didn’t have the heart to rush what feels like a very special recording that we hope will live for a long time! We’ve decided to release the entirety of the album in a few installments over the course of the next few weeks as ‘character drops.’ We hope this will give folks a chance to appreciate all over again the unique gifts of our unicorn company and give us the time we need to make sure we are creating the most magical recording possible!”
Hadestown is nominated for fourteen 2019 Tony Awards. Among them are Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score (Mitchell marrying the American folk music style to New Orleans-inspired jazz), Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Eva Noblezada), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Amber Gray), two nods for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (André De Shields and Patrick Page), and of course, Rachel Chavkin’s nomination for her awe-inspiring direction of the atmospheric and unconventional production.
The Broadway cast of Hadestown is led by Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, and Patrick Page. They are joined by Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The Workers Chorus is played by Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, and Ahmad Simmons. The full cast includes swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, and Khaila Wilcoxon.
“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.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.