2019 tony awards

How Hadestown Pulled Off Its Tonys Performance With All Those Lamps

At the Tony Awards Sunday night, Hadestown took everyone directly to the underworld, which has never looked so good. The cast performed a reworked version of “Wait for Me,” which follows the journey of Orpheus (Reeve Carney) to the underworld as he chases after Eurydice (Eva Noblezada). He gets help from Hermes (André De Shields) and is watched by the show’s so-called workers’ chorus and its internet-famous very tall guy. But the biggest moment in the number comes with the introduction of a set of swinging lamps, one of Tony-winning director Rachel Chavkin’s first ideas for the show. “We began work and talking about what we were going to do [for the Tonys] immediately after the nominations,” Chavkin told Vulture. “It was a couple weeks ago that Anaïs [Mitchell] wrote the intro to what we’re doing tonight, which was so stunning, and it became very clear it wasn’t going to be a medley and that we were just going to do ‘Wait for Me.’ ”

It’s a stunner in the theater, though the Best Musical–winning Hadestown team had limited time to pull it off for the Tonys. “We got about 30 minutes with just the lamps, and then we got an hour to work with the cameras, and then we got one shot with dress rehearsal,” lighting designer Bradley King told Vulture. Luckily, it paid off, and now we, like Rachel Chavkin, all love lamp.

How Hadestown Staged Its Tonys Performance With Those Lamps