Eva Noblezada: A badass goddess in ‘Hadestown’

Happy to land the role of Eurydice. Photo by Gabriel Mokake

By Cristina DC Pastor

From a bar girl who ended her life in “Miss Saigon” to a Greek goddess bitten by a viper in “Hadestown,” it’s been one heartbreaking character after another for Broadway’s newest star Eva Noblezada.

These were roles huge and heavy and worthy of Tony nominations. The twice-nominated Eva welcomed both and admits to feeling overwhelmed and sometimes awkward. “I’m doing my best not to get lost in all the noise,” she writes in her blog.

Before she auditioned for the role of Eurydice, the lover of Orpheus, she knew nothing about “Hadestown.” With music written by Anaïs Mitchell, it was first staged in 2006, before going into a seven-day, 10-city tour in 2007. She was happy to land the role. 

“I love this show so much,” said Eva in an email interview with The FilAm. “It’s dark and it’s about the beautiful circles of life. The repetitiveness of love and heartbreak and learning and consequences and hope. It’s got me under its spell. I’m grateful that they even asked me to audition.”

She made a vague reference to the storyline as a modern-day love story of Romeo and Juliet.  “It’s a break from the harsh world to do this show and be swept away by its emotional influence,” she said.

Eurydice is a dream role, she declared. “She’s a badass.”

In the Greek tale, she is a nymph that is largely overshadowed by the powerful men around her – her father Apollo and her husband Orpheus. In this Broadway version, “it is my job,” said Eva, “to give Eurydice a voice.”

With Reeve Carney as Orpheus. Photo by Matthew Murphy

“I love that she’s independent. However, it is sad that it comes from being alone and knowing how to survive rather than live,” she said seeming to flesh out the complicated character.

‘Small little Mexicasian’

Eva Maria was born in San Diego to a Filipino father and a Mexican mother, assigning herself the cute moniker of “small little Mexicasian.”

“My parents were high school sweethearts! They lived down the street from each other,” she said describing how Jon and Angie Noblezada met. Eva has two younger  siblings Olivia who is 16 and Ian, 12.

“I love my family. I was able to truly experience both cultures equally! Which is a blessing and also a crap ton of wonderful food,” she said.

When the family moved to North Carolina, she went to Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, a school that introduced her to the performing arts and opened the door to possibilities that, maybe, one day, who knows, she could be in New York City and acting on a stage in Broadway.

She did a lot of theater in high school. “Not professionally,” she stated.

“My high school was a performing arts one so I had a little bit of experience with that.”

She won theater honors in school and received the Jimmy’s Awards in New York. There, she was spotted by a casting director who urged her to try out for “Miss Saigon.” After a quick tryout, she got the role of Kim, the Vietnamese prostitute who has a child with an American serviceman. At age 17, she was in London playing Kim and was there all by herself. She writes in her blog, “…that first year in London I was only seventeen. I was a baby.”

Eva and the cast of ‘Hadestown.’ Photo by Matthew Murphy

Now 23, Eva is not quite the veteran she is on Broadway, but her two acting credits and the Tonys attached to them give her name celebrity luster.

“It’s a tough career,” she told The FilAm. “It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. You are constantly trying to please everyone. The audience, the producers, the directors, the cast, and ultimately yourself. Most importantly yourself. That’s one lesson I’m still learning.”

Looking forward, she would like to play a role she herself has written.

“I don’t know who or what or when but that would be awesome.” By which time, said Eva, she would have emerged on her own and grown confident and self-aware as an artist.

© The FilAm 2019

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