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Meet the Tony Nominees: Eva Noblezada of ‘Hadestown’

Category Broadway

|by Jeryl Brunner |

The ‘Hadestown’ star shares the power of her character

Eva Noblezada currently stars as Eurydice in Hadestown, a role for which she has just been nominated for a 2019 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. The riveting musical offers a breathtaking retelling of the Orpheus myth. The music, lyrics and book are by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell. Hadestown’s melodious mix of musical styles includes rock, New Orleans Dixie jazz and American folk music. The musical was developed with Tony-nominated director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812). Noblezada received a Tony nomination playing the title role in Miss Saigon when she was just 21. She also played the role on London’s West End. Other notable roles include Éponine in Les Misérables, and a lead in the upcoming indie film Yellow Rose.

‘Eva Noblezada’ as Eurydice in ‘Hadestown,’ a role for which she is Tony-nominated (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

‘Eva Noblezada’ as Eurydice in ‘Hadestown,’ a role for which she is Tony-nominated (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Do you remember one of first times you performed when you were little? 
Eva Noblezada
: I grew up in San Diego. My papa had this massive tool shed with wood, nails and a hammer. So I made a stage, and wrote a script that included songs from The Little Mermaid. I made my cousins put on a show with me. We sang “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World,” you name it. I love that movie. We were sold out. So I started young. I knew that I wanted to perform. I just didn't know what that meant. 

What went through your mind when you learned about Hadestown
: I found out about Hadestown when they asked me to to audition for Eurydice. I delved right into the cast recording and became obsessed. I’m lucky that I even got to audition because this role is extraordinary. It has taught me so much.

What has playing Eurydice taught you? 
: I was asked to add a lot of myself, which made me become a kindred spirit with this role. I felt very connected to Eurydice and love her very much. Singing those lyrics every night, Eurydice has taught me a lot about love. Repetition will really get to you. The song that Eurydice sings before she goes down to Hadestown is heartbreaking. You see a lot of the cause of her struggle.

Your Eurydice is so powerful.
: In Greek mythology, Eurydice comes off innocent and sweet. She doesn't open her mouth. I love the fact that (our director) Rachel Chavkin didn’t want me to play the victim. She has to be strong. I want to represent the modern woman. She falls in love, she makes a choice and it's heartbreaking. But it is also the cycle of life. You fall in love and then there's pain. Then you fall in love. It’s the endless wave of life.

When did you know you could sing? 
: I have been making sounds since I popped out of my mom. She wrote in a baby journal “She is singing all the time and won't shut up.” I love that. Singing is storytelling.  You're singing words on a page. It’s poetry. 

Can you talk about your Broadway debut in Miss Saigon
: The call that we were going to Broadway happened in 2013. I did the show in London for two years. I remember I had my arms full of groceries and was on my way home. My agents called and said, “By the way, about Broadway. Are you going?” And I replied, “What about Broadway? Are you asking or telling me?” They said, “Well, we’re telling you, unless you don't want to.” And then it hit me when I got home and I burst into tears. I thought, “Oh my God, the show is going to Broadway. That is incredible.”

When the curtain comes down, how do you get back to Eva? 
: I don't want to give too much away. But by the end of the show there’s a song that we sing that comes to terms with what Eva feels. The message is: “I’ve been through love. I have been through pain. How wonderful to look at life, tell the story and enjoy that spring will always come again.” To me that is more Eva singing. That is very special and beautiful.
For more of the best of Broadway, check out our list of the 2019 Tony Award Nominations.

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