Allentown native hits the stage in ‘Hadestown’

From left, Marla Louissaint, Lizzie Markson and Hannah Schreer in the ‘Hadestown’ North American Tour in 2023. The three actors are dressed in costume as the Fates.
From left, Marla Louissaint, Lizzie Markson and Hannah Schreer in the ‘Hadestown’ North American Tour in 2023. (Photo: T. Charles Erickson)

Allentown native Lizzie Markson has been crisscrossing the country since October, performing in the national tour of “Hadestown.” The Tony Award winning musical returns to the Academy of Music for a weeklong engagement beginning April 10, after first passing through Philadelphia in 2022. Markson previously played Philly in 2017, when she was appearing in the national tour of “Mamma Mia,” and the queer artist is looking forward to returning to the local theater scene.

“Especially when you’re touring through different parts of the country, it’s great to be in a city that’s as queer and queer-friendly as Philly,” Markson said. “I was last here when I went to see a friend of mine who was on the ‘1776’ tour last year, and we had such a great time — we went to a piano bar and had so much fun!”

Being close to home will also allow Markson’s family to see them perform as one of the Fates — a group of mythological figures who help drive the progression of the musical’s story. 

Lizzie Markson headshot
Lizzie Markson.

“Everyone and their mother — literally! — will be coming,” Markson said.

“Hadestown” offers an updated perspective on two of the most famous myths in the canon: Orpheus and Eurydice, and Hades and Persephone. The composer Anaïs Mitchell began working on the score nearly 15 years ago, and it has taken a long road to become one of the most successful musicals in recent memory.

“Anaïs originally wrote the musical as a concept album, and then it started in small, underground productions in Vermont and Edmonton, where it really got going,” Markson told PGN. “Along the way, Rachel Chavkin — the director — became involved, and the show really took shape.” 

The Broadway production has been running since 2019, and the national tour will have been on the road for nearly three years by the time it closes in May.

Markson has been circling the show for years. Before auditioning, they were a fan of the material, and they saw themselves as a good fit for the show. It took several years before she could audition for the company, but as soon as she got the offer, it felt as if everything effortlessly fell into place.

“I look back on some of my old Instagram posts and see that I had posted ‘Hadestown’ lyrics as captions on some of the photos,” Markson said. “It feels a bit like it was meant to be.”

“Hadestown” has built a strong following within the LGBTQ+ community, and Markson had some ideas about why the material resonates with queer audiences.

“The show is led by women, and I think that really influences the perspective,” Markson said. “Anaïs is the composer and Rachel is the director, and so many of the leading characters are women. The musical also deals with contemporary issues like climate change and how our actions affect the earth, which is something that a lot of people are really thinking about.”

Although the story of Orpheus and Eurydice is a tragic one — after rescuing his bride from the underworld, Orpheus once again dooms his wife by turning around on the road back from Hell – Markson also notes that Mitchell’s score reframes the story. 

“It’s different from how it’s been presented in the past, because Eurydice has a sense of agency here,” Markson said. “She chooses what happens for herself.”

“Hadestown” will play April 10-14 at the Academy of Music, 240 S Broad St. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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