If it weren’t for the pandemic, Bex Odorisio would’ve made her off-Broadway debut in March 2020. Almost two years later, she hits the stage with the touring cast of Hadestown, winner of eight Tony Awards in 2019, along with a 2020 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Hadestown takes its inspiration from Greek mythology—specifically the tale of the young Orpheus, who travels to the Underworld to rescue his love, Eurydice. The critically acclaimed musical comes to Philadelphia’s Academy of Music Feb. 9-20.
The Ardmore native graduated from Lower Merion High School, getting her start in theater with the Lower Merion Players. We checked in with the Odorisio to get the scoop on Hadestown and her role as one of the mystical, slightly cynical Fates.
MLT: How do you identify with your character?
BO: The Fate is so far from how I usually move through life. It’s my first chance in my career to play a mean girl on stage. It’s absolutely thrilling.
MLT: What do you do to get into a character so unlike yours?
BO: The mean girl personality doesn’t come naturally to me, so I made what I call my “goddess witch playlist” with a lot of Amy Winehouse, Shirley Manson from Garbage and the Dresden Dolls to get me into the headspace of the vulture-like fate who pursues her victims.
MLT: What was your favorite part of the process?
BO: Starting rehearsal after the tour had been delayed for so long—and Broadway had been shut for so long—and getting back into a room with a group of people, masked or not. We were all just as excited to be there.
MLT: Do you have to be into Greek mythology to enjoy Hadestown?
BO: That’s the great part. You can know this myth like the back of your hand, or you can know nothing at all. You’ll have an equally moving experience. We’ve been going since October, and our audiences have been incredible—so generous with attention and applause. It’s so gratifying. Feeling an audience’s energy—it’s everything.
MLT: If you could describe what the show means to you personally in three words, what would they be?
BO: Art imitates life. I think there’s a lot of our world reflected in this show. In a lot of ways, it’s the same story of humanity we’ve been telling for a long time. So yeah—art imitates life. That sums it up pretty nicely.