It’s been 18 months since a Broadway show lit up the stage at the Peace Center, but just as the Great White Way in New York City is reopening, Broadway touring companies are hitting the road as well.
Among the first is the Tony Award-winning musical “Hadestown,” which kicks off its North American tour at the Peace Center beginning Oct. 5.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made for a challenging year for performing arts in general and the Peace Center in particular, said Megan Riegel, Peace Center president and CEO. And getting the place ready to host another Broadway show has been its own kind of challenge.
“We’re jumping through hoops to make it happen, but we are beside ourselves with joy,” Riegel said. “People love Broadway; it makes them happy.”
Those “hoops” include making sure every staff member and volunteer has been vaccinated and wears a mask during shows, modifications to the theater’s HVAC system and adding hand sanitizer stations in lobbies, restrooms and backstage. In addition, electrostatic sprayers are used to disinfect surfaces before and after performances.
“Hadestown,” which won eight Tony Awards — including Best Musical — takes the audience into a colorful underworld to tell the interconnected love stories of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife, Persephone. The Greek god Hermes narrates the story, as the lovers navigate the obstacles that keep them apart.
The musical was created by singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin.
Riegel described “Hadestown” as a “hip, cool show” that has particularly resonated with young adults. “It’s a wonderful show,” she said. “It got great reviews in New York. … People love it.”
The show comes to Greenville straight from rehearsals in New York and will travel to the Kennedy Center after leaving the Peace Center, Riegel said.
“It’s one of the first tours that’s going out” after this month’s reopening of Broadway, she said.
“Hadestown” was part of the 2020-2021 Peace Center Broadway season that was cancelled in the wake of COVID-19; it was originally scheduled to play Greenville last November.
Patrons who attend the “Hadestown” performances must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, a positive COVID-19 antibody test, or negative test for COVID-19 within 72 hours of the performance. Children under 12 who do not show proof of a negative COVID-19 test must wear a mask.
“Hadestown” will be presented for eight performances Oct. 5-10. Tickets are $39-$99. For more info, go to www.peacecenter.org.