Photo of Lillias White by James Alexander of Sneakpeek Photography
Hell just got even hotter. Producers Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy announced that Tony Award and Daytime Emmy Award winner Lillias White, one of Broadway’s most revered and beloved performers, will assume the role of Hermes in Hadestown, the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Best Musical, at the Walter Kerr Theatre starting Tuesday, September 13.
White will be the first female-identifying actor to play the role of Hermes in Hadestown.
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.”
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.”
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.
Due to previously scheduled commitments, White will not be performing in Hadestown November 2-4; November 10-13; and November 17-20.
T. Oliver Reid, who is currently playing Hermes on Broadway, will depart the show on Sunday, September 4.
In addition to White, the Broadway cast of Hadestown is led by Jewelle Blackman as Persephone, Grammy Award winner Reeve Carney as Orpheus, Tony Award nominee Patrick Page as Hades, and two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. They are joined by 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, and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Sayo Oni, and Yael “YaYa” Reich.