Experience ‘Hadestown’: A Journey of Love and Resilience with Will Mann

Hermes (Will Mann) commands the stage as he recounts the Greek tales of Orpheus and Eurydice (J. Antonio Rodriguez and Amaya Braganza) and Persephone and Hades (Lana Gordon and Matthew Patrick Quinn)

By Lou Balikos

Will Mann plays Hermes in the Tony-award-winning production of Hadestown, which is currently gracing Philadelphia’s Academy of Music. This Greek myth retelling offers a renewed perspective on love, devotion, and sacrifice with modern class commentary and exceptional musical performances.

Hadestown really is about the concept of the idea of love and the fact that it’s worth it. Whether it’s a short period of time, a lifetime, or beyond. It’s about teaching that love is worth going on for, even if you don’t get to have it forever,” Mann explains, highlighting the production’s central theme.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the show is its ability to resonate with a diverse range of audiences. Mann expresses, “I would love for more people of color to see the show. I would love for more queer people to see this show, but I think even more disenfranchised groups will identify something very different in the show than people who have advantages. Disabled people, immigrants—it’s really powerful in a different way for all those groups.” He notes that while the show’s themes may seem specific, they ultimately speak to universal experiences, making it an impactful piece of storytelling. 

Hermes serves as the narrative voice of the show, but at his core, he is a caretaker, “His act of love is making sure that the story is told and that the characters are taken care of, and that the audience is taken care of.” Mann’s journey with the tour has evolved greatly. This is his seventh time touring, starting as an ensemble cast member and quickly graduating to an understudy for Hades and Hermes— “a herculean feat for anyone,” he comments. This year he has taken over the role of Hermes full-time. 

Reflecting on the musical’s eclectic styles, including New Orleans jazz, folk music, and gospel, Mann laughs, confirming, “The genres are… many. We have a lot of featured trombone and New Orleans jazz specifically, but also folk music that’s really true to the core of our composer. And there’s some gospel elements. There’s something in it for everyone.” 


‘Hadestown’ North American Tour, photo taken by T. Charles Erickson.

The show’s infinite potential to transform and elevate with every performance will leave you on the edge of your seat. This National tour is profoundly special and unique, offering a different take on the original tale. “The show is super poetic. You’re never going to get the entire meaning the first time you see it. If you go the second time, you’re going to hear and understand something completely different. There’s a lot of things that I feel really hit at the heart of people who do the kind of work that [Love Now Media] does as well.” Mann’s dedication to his role as Hermes is evident, and his love for the show is palpable.

As Hadestown continues to captivate audiences around the country, Mann remains grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a transformative production. He looks forward to the future, including the possibility of exploring television work, but for now, he is focused on bringing the magic of this show to audiences everywhere.

Hadestown is more than just a musical; it is a testament to the power of love, resilience, and the human spirit, making it a truly unforgettable experience for all who see it. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the spectacular touring musical at The Academy of Music from April 10th to the 14th. Get your tickets now at Ensemble Arts Philly and experience the show of a lifetime! For more information about Ensemble Arts and their Broadway Series, visit https://www.ensembleartsphilly.org/.


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