The touring company of the Broadway hit “Hadestown” never thought they would make it to South Florida.
The 2019 Tony Award-winning Best Musical was set to open the 2020-21 Broadway Across America season in Miami when the pandemic shuttered arts venues. A year later, the Miami performances were again postponed as the Delta variant surged.
After an unpredictable journey, “Hadestown” is finally arriving in South Florida with performances at the Arsht Center in Miami, Dec. 6 – 11, and Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Jan. 3 – 8.
“It feels great to be doing this show across the country,” said cast member Eddie Rodriguez in a phone interview from snowy Pittsburgh. “This show is very different from any other show. It’s not the typical happy, happy, joy, joy … if you like Greek mythology, you’re going to love this show.”
With music, lyrics and book by Anaïs Mitchell, “Hadestown” tells a version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in a seedy Southern speakeasy:
Eurydice, a young girl looking for something to eat, goes to work in a hellish industrial underworld to escape climate-change-induced poverty before her poor singer-songwriter lover Orpheus comes to rescue her, and together they show others the way to escape.
“You can just close your eyes and visualize the scenes,” explained Rodriguez. “The music is bluesy and folk … the set is a combination of a bold jazz club in New Orleans combined with the sense of a Greek theater with a tall, rounded wall. It’s also a treat to have musicians on stage – they’re characters, too. They tell the story and react with the cast on stage.”
Rodriguez, a native of Puerto Rico, admitted this wasn’t exactly the type of music or shows he grew up with. The 35-year-old got his start with a folkloric dance company, traveling the world and representing the island and its culture. He trained himself in acting and singing before pursuing a minor in acting at university.
Work on TV and roles in “Rent,” “La Cage aux Folles” and “Godspell” on stage followed before Rodriguez decided to make the move to New York City. He lived with a cousin for five months until landing an audition for “On Your Feet,” the musical based on the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. He joined the first national tour, performing in both Miami and West Palm Beach.” He eventually was promoted to the role of Emilio after impressing the artist at a performance at the Kravis Center.
Rodriguez is eagerly looking forward to his return and promises audiences an experience “that will hit them differently from any other show.”
Broadway Across America presents “Hadestown,” Dec. 6 – 11 at the Arsht Center in Miami. Tickets at ArshtCenter.org. The show returns to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Jan. 3 – 8 as part of the Kravis on Broadway series. Tickets at Kravis.org.