Hadestown and Rachel Chavkin

June 13, 2019

Watching the Tonys every year since 2017 has definitely enlightened me. It's always fun to watch the group numbers and see nominees shine on the screen as a single victor is awarded. Although I usually am not able to watch or listen to songs from nominated shows, I still enjoy learning of new shows to hopefully watch one day.

For example, Hadestown. I mean, with as many Tony noms as they got and the stellar cast, I don't know who wouldn't fall in love. However, when watching the Tonys really got me going. It was about halfway through and in my pitch black family room, the only thing providing light was the TV screen I was so enticed by. Just then, Rachel Chavkin won Best Director for a Musical. I jumped up and grinned at the barrier she broke. In a male-dominated category, she became the fourth woman to win in this category.

But it wasn't just that she won this award for herself, her family, and the Hadestown cast and crew. Her acceptance speech was full of truth bombs, something all people need to hear. She noted that the theatre world needs more people of color, transgender people, and more women. Again, it wasn't just the speech, but she also emphasized the fact that there are people readily available to be in these positions. I can't remember if it was her speech or a different one, but someone said that a prerequisite of being on Broadway doesn't have to be that someone had to be on Broadway. There are people out there making art and producers aren't trusting enough to allow that person to formulate a vision? The producers have their money where their mouth is, but why not also their heart?

In the end, Hadestown won 8 Tony awards. That's insane on its own. Rachel Chavkin and Anaïs Mitchell, the writer of the score, won over the hearts of everyone. They surely won over my heart.

Hadestown plays at the Walter Kerr Theatre with Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, Amber Gray, and more gracing the stage.