Grammy Award-winning artist Ani DiFranco will take on the role of Persephone in “Hadestown.” DiFranco will begin performances on Feb. 9, 2024, at the Walter Kerr Theatre. She will replace Betty Who, who is scheduled to perform through Feb. 4. For the interim performances on Feb. 6-8, understudies (which include Lindsey Hailes, Tara Jackson and Brit West) will cover the role. “Hadestown,” which won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical, will mark DiFranco’s Broadway debut.
Though this will be DiFranco’s first foray to Broadway, it is not her first experience with “Hadestown.” The musical’s Tony-winning composer-lyricist, Anaïs Mitchell (who also wrote the Tony-nominated book), released the original studio album of “Hadestown” on DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records label. DiFranco sang the role of Persephone for that recording.
“I could not be more thrilled to be joining the cast of ‘Hadestown,’” DiFranco said in a statement. “It’s like I get to rewind to my New York youth and follow the road not taken.”
Mitchell added, “I can’t really overstate the influence of Ani’s music and example on me as a young songwriter. Poetic, bold, radically emotive and fun, she simply has been a mythic figure in my life, and I can’t think of anything more beautifully full circle than Ani playing the role of ‘Persephone’ on Broadway.”
DiFranco, known colloquially as the “Little Folksinger,” created her label in 1990. She has been nominated for nine Grammys, winning for Best Recording Package with “Evolve” in 2004. DiFranco is the recipient of the Woody Guthrie Award and the Women of Courage Award from the National Organization for Women and has been named Female Artist of the Year by the Gay/Lesbian American Music Awards. Her most recent albums are 2021’s “Revolutionary Love” and the 25th anniversary edition of “Little Plastic Castle.” She is the author of the memoir “No Walls and the Recurring Dream.”
DiFranco will join a cast that features Solea Pfeiffer as Eurydice, Jordan Fisher as Orpheus, Lillias White as Hermes, Phillip Boykin as Hades and Lindsey Hailes, Belén Moyano and Brit West as the Fates. Rounding out the company are Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Chibueze Ihumoa, Alex Puette and Grace Yoo, with swings Sojourner Brown, Brandon Cameron, Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Alex Lugo and Tanner Ray Wilson.
“Hadestown” is produced by Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold and Tom Kirdahy.