The Life Tony winner Lillias White stepped into the role of Hermes in Broadway's Hadestown September 13 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
The Broadway favorite succeeded original cast member T. Oliver Reid, who had followed André De Shields as Hermes, the role he created to Tony-winning effect. White is the first female-identifying actor to play the part.
In the video above, watch White make her first entrance to a thundering ovation from the crowd. Costumed in a newly redesigned suit inspired by the 1950s, White then belts out her opening number filled with her signature vocal runs.
"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," said White in an earlier statement. "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."
“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," added director Rachel Chavkin. "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."
Due to previous commitments, White will not perform in the Tony-winning musical November 2-4, November 10-13, and November 17-20.
White was last seen on Broadway as Matron “Mama” Morton in the revival of Chicago. Her additional Broadway credits include The Life, Fela!, Dreamgirls, Cats, Once on this Island, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
The current Broadway cast is led by Jewelle Blackman as Persephone, Grammy winner Reeve Carney as Orpheus, Tony nominee Tom Hewitt as Hades, and two-time Tony 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 Sojourner Brown, Tara Jackson, Sayo Oni, Yael “YaYa” Reich, and Davis Wayne
Singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell’s folk- and jazz-infused musical layers the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with that of Hades and Persephone, intertwining the actions—and consequences—of gods and mortals. Hadestown originally began as a theatrical concert performed by Mitchell.
The creative team features Tony-winning set designer Rachel Hauck, Tony-nominated costume designer Michael Krass, Tony-winning lighting designer Bradley King, Tony-winning sound designers Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, choreographer David Neumann, and dramaturg Ken Cerniglia. Musical supervision and vocal arrangements are by Liam Robinson, with arrangements and orchestrations by Tony winners Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose.