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Hell looks a lot like New Orleans in director Rachel Chavkin's stunning production of "Hadestown," singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell's ravishing music-theater piece at New York Theater Workshop. This modern vision of the classical myth of Orpheus and Eurydice originated as a recorded song cycle that toured extensively before being developed for the stage at a number of nonprofit theater venues. Consider this spellbinding work a flowering of the workshop creative process. The tone is elegiac and the style hypnotic when the show opens in some blasted wasteland stretched out beneath a sprawling, barren tree. The theater has been stripped down from its fixed auditorium seating plan and reconfigured as theater-in-the-round--the better to draw the audience into this otherworldly show. Visually, this austere setting is a winner for designers Rachel Hauck (set) and Bradley King (lighting), while Robert Kaplowitz (sound) conjures up the eerie resonance of a world without hope. MARILYN STASIO

Playwright: Anais Mitchell Cast: Nabiyah Be, Damon Daunno, Amber Gray, Patrick Page, Chris Sullivan, with Lulu Fall

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Author:Stasio, Marilyn
Article Type:Theater review
Date:May 31, 2016
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