This Tony Award winner is heading way down to Hadestown. Broadway veteran Lillias White will join the cast of Hadestown at the Walter Kerr Theatre, stepping into the role of Hermes, the role originated by Tony Award winner André De Shields and currently played by T. Oliver Reid. White will be the first female-identifying actor to play the role.
Lillias White said, “I am always thrilled to attend a Broadway opening and seeing Hadestown opening night in 2019 was a magical and unforgettable experience. Everything about it was full of life. I sat behind Rachel Chavkin’s father who was bursting with pride, and I got to meet Rachel who was giving birth to a phenomenal show while carrying new life in her belly. Everything about that evening glowed with beauty and love and promise, and I was moved to tears by my most excellent friend Dr. André De Shields and the entire company. I am delighted and honored to step into the role of Hermes and be part of this beautiful production.”
T. Oliver Reid will play his final performance September 4 and Lillias White will join the cast on September 13, starring alongside Jewelle Blackman, Grammy Award winner Reeve Carney, two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, Tony Award nominee Patrick Page, and Soara-Joye Ross , Jessie Shelton, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Alex Puette, Trent Saunders, Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Sayo Oni, Yael “YaYa” Reich, and Davis Wayne.
Tony Award-winning director Rachel Chavkin said, “I’m over the moon about Lillias stepping into this role. She’s a total legend, has an earth-shattering voice, and will bring a grace and warmth to the role that is completely her own. Hadestown is a myth, and so we’ve always felt these characters can mold to whomever is playing them and take on new life and meaning with each new actor/spirit. I’m very proud to say the cast for our National Tour is wholly individual from the Broadway company, and just as powerful, and I’m so proud to welcome a woman for the first time into the iconic role of Hermes, our storyteller, and guide. Like the Greek gods themselves, our actors change shapes, size, color, tonality, vibe, and doesn’t it make the world more delightful.”
White most recently starred as Matron “Mama” Morton in the 25th Anniversary cast of the Broadway revival of Chicago. She won the 1997 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her showstopping turn in Cy Coleman’s The Life and received another Tony nomination in 2010 for Fela! Her other Broadway credits include Effie White in Dreamgirls, Grizabella in Cats, Asaka in Once on this Island, and Miss Jones in the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Her first solo studio album Get Yourself Some Happy! was released last year by Old Mill Road Recording.
The winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards including Best New Musical and the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, Hadestown is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 Broadway season. In addition to the Tony and Grammy 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.
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.
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