Theater News

Lillias White to Play Hermes in Hadestown on Broadway

The Tony-winning stage veteran will be the first female-identifying actor to play the mythical character.

Tony winner Lillias White will play Hermes in the Broadway production of Hadestown.
Tony winner Lillias White will play Hermes in the Broadway production of Hadestown.
(© James Alexander of Sneakpeek Photography)

Tony Award winner Lillias White has been announced as the next Hermes in Hadestown on Broadway. She begins her run Tuesday, September 13, and will be the first female-identifying actor to play Hermes in the acclaimed musical. André De Shields originated the role on Broadway, earning a Tony Award for his performance. T. Oliver Reid, who is currently performing the role, will depart the show on Sunday, September 4.

Hadestown director Rachel Chavkin said the following regarding White's casting: "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…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 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.

White joins a cast led by Jewelle Blackman as Persephone, Grammy winner Reeve Carney as Orpheus, Tony nominee Patrick Page as Hades, and two-time Tony nominee Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Soara-Joye Ross, Jessie Shelton, and Kay Trinidad are featured as the Fates.

Written by Tony winner Anaïs Mitchell and directed by Tony winner Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown follows the two intertwining mythical love stories of Orpheus and Eurydice, and King Hades and his wife, Persephone. The musical won eight 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Direction.

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