Sometimes, the oldest stories are the best stories.
The new musical “Hadestown” dips way back into Greek mythology for its inspiration and delivers one of the most vibrant and inspired shows to roll off of Broadway in some time.
The national tour of the show is now playing at the Fox Theatre now through Oct. 23.
“Hadestown” tells the ancient story of Orpheus (Chibueze Ihuoma) and Eurydice (Hannah Whitley), two star-crossed lovers whose romance winds up challenging the gods.
Orpheus is the original starving artist whose musical talents are powerful enough to charm even the rocks and the trees.
But when Eurydice finds herself bound for the Underworld, Orpheus travels after her to try and persuade Hades (Matthew Patrick Quinn), god of the Underworld, to set her free.
Of course, Hades has his own problems, most notably his strained relationship with his wife, the goddess Persephone (Shea Rene).
The songs in “Hadestown” have a ragtime flair and the narrator/band director of the show is the god Hermes (played brilliantly by the expressive actor Nathan Lee Graham).
Rounding out the cast and constantly lurking around causing general vexation to all the characters are the Fates (Dominique Kempf, Belen Moyano and Nyla Watson), and you can’t have a musical based on Greek mythology without a Chorus.
The stage setup is similar to “Chicago,” with the band onstage invoking the feel of a roadside nightclub.
The set design is particularly impressive, as the production makes innovative use of lighting to illustrate Orpheus’ journey to the Underworld.
“Hadestown” does fall victim to the standard-issue Broadway requirement of the “sad girl song in the second act that brings the show to a screeching halt,” but otherwise the show is strong from start to finish.
Ultimately, “Hadestown” is a celebration of the arts and the power of music and storytelling to lift us up and inspire us across the millennia.
You simply must take the trip to “Hadestown,” it’s like a breath of fresh air for the world of musical theater.
“Hadestown” is now playing at the Fox Theatre through Oct. 23. For tickets call 314-534-1111 or go to metrotix.com.