by Walt Disney Animation Studios
Hercules is a musical based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios 1997 film of the same name. The music and lyrics were written by Alan Menken and David Zippel with a book by Kristoffer Diaz. The production is also loosely based on the legendary hero of the same name, the son of Zeus, in Greek mythology.
In July 2017, Alan Menken announced that he is working on a stage adaptation of the 1997 film, Hercules. On February 6, 2019, it was announced that the theatrical adaptation would premiere later that year.
Original Manhattan Production (2019)
The world premiere occurred at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, Manhattan, New York, as part of its Public Works program from August 31 until September 8. Menken and David Zippel returned to compose and write the songs, while Kristoffer Diaz wrote the book, Lear deBessonet directed, and Chase Brock choreographed. The cast included Jelani Alladin (Hercules), Roger Bart (Hades), Jeff Hiller (Panic), Joel Frost (Nessus), Nelson Chimilio (Pain), James Monroe Iglehart (Phil), Ramona Keller (Thalia), Tamika Lawrence (Calliope), Krysta Rodriguez (Meg), and Rema Webb (Terpsichore). Menken wrote new songs for the musical, as well as reusing the film's original works.
On March 22, 2020, Alan Menken appeared on Rosie O'Donnell's livestream benefit for the Actors Fund, where he talked about his upcoming projects, saying "I'm working on Disenchanted, the sequel to Enchanted, and I have another Broadway show" and in a separate thought, he added "Hercules is coming to the stage. Of course we did that in Central Park last summer." Disney Theatrical subsequently confirmed that they intend to make the product available for licensing. On May 16, 2020, it was reported that Robert Horn will write a new iteration for the musical, with Lear deBessonet returning as director. On August 18, 2020, Menken confirmed that the musical is indeed being adapted to Broadway.
|Phil||James Monroe Iglehart|
- "To Be Human (Prologue)"
- "The Gospel Truth"±
- "The Gospel Truth (Reprise 1-He Ran the Underworld)"±
- "The Prophecy"
- "The Gospel Truth (Reprise 2-Hades Was Not Amused)"
- "The Gospel Truth (Reprise 3-Young Herc Was Mortal Now)"±
- "Uniquely Greek Town Square"
- "Go the Distance"±
- "One Last Hope"±
- "The Gospel Truth (Reprise 4-Young Herc Was On His Way)"
- "Forget About It"
- "A Cool Day In Hell"
- "Uniquely Greek Tough Town"
- "Zero To Hero"±
- "A Cool Day In Hell (Reprise)"
- "Shooting Star"±
- "One Last Hope (Reprise)/Go the Distance (Reprise)"
- "The Gospel Truth (Reprise 5-Herc Jumped the Garden Wall)"
- "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)"±
- "Great Bolts Of Thunder"
- "To Be Human"
- "A Star Is Born"±
- "Go the Distance (Finale)"±
± Indicates a song from the original movie
The world premiere production has garnered mixed to positive reviews from critics, with many praising the cast, music, story, and production value. Thom Geier, of TheWrap, praised the production, saying it "works better than bigger-budgeted recent efforts like Frozen". Jessica Derschowits, of Entertainment Weekly, welcomed the "lively but low-key production that feels in many ways like the polar opposite of Disney's string of megawatt Broadway hits — which is a big part of its charm". Jesse Green, of The New York Times, gave a positive review by commenting on the "shrewd casting and amateur performers joining professionals onstage, a middling 1997 animated Disney musical becomes a pageant of civic engagement". Matt Windman, of AM New York Metro, gave a mixed review by commenting on "the lighthearted tone of the film, Kristoffer Diaz's new book features countless zingers and inside jokes. Diaz also tries to deliver an underlying moral on the difference between being a hero and a celebrity. However, Diaz may have gone too far in changing around some of the original sequencing, which has made the second half of the show very messy".
- BWW News Desk (July 9, 2017). "Will Disney's 'Hercules' Go the Distance to Broadway? Alan Menken Reveals Stage Version in the Works". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Pimentel, Joseph (July 10, 2017). "Alan Menken's Life Story in Musicals to Highlight D23 Expo in Anaheim". Orange County Register. Digital First Media. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- McPhee, Ryan (February 6, 2019). "Stage Adaptation of Disney's 'Hercules' to Play the Public Theater's Delacorte". Playbill. TotalTheater. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Skethway, Nathan (September 1, 2019). "First Look at 'Hercules' in Central Park". Playbill. TotalTheater. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- BWW News Desk (February 6, 2019). "Breaking: Bless My Soul! Public Theater Will Stage 'Hercules' at the Delacorte Theatre This Summer". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Gordon, David (September 2, 2019). "See Jelani Alladin, Krysta Rodriguez, and Roger Bart in Disney's 'Hercules'". Theater Mania. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Evans, Greg (June 20, 2019). "'Hercules' Stage Musical Adaptation Finds Its Strongman: Jelani Alladin Among Cast Announced For Shakespeare In The Park Production". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on May 10, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Geier, Thom (September 2, 2019). "'Hercules' Theater Review: Can Disney's Animated Hero Go the Distance to Broadway?". TheWrap. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- O'Donnell, Rosie (March 22, 2020). The Rosie O'Donnell Show Live! Give With Me to The Actors Fundraiser. Broadway.com. John Gore Organization. Retrieved July 4, 2020 – via YouTube.
- Shuler, Skyler (March 23, 2020). "Alan Menken Confirms All The Music For The Live-Action Adaptation of 'The Little Mermaid' Have Been Recorded". Disney Insider. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
- Gordon, David (March 23, 2020). "Alan Menken Reveals Continued Development of Disney's 'Hercules' Musical". Theater Mania. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
- McPhee, Ryan (May 15, 2020). "Disney Theatrical Productions Reveals Next Steps for 'Hercules' and 'The Jungle Book' Musicals, 'Aida' Revival, More". Playbill. TotalTheater. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
- Tossell, Shaun (August 17, 2020). "Disney's 'Hercules' – Stage Adaptation Coming to Broadway". Theatre Fan. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
- Derschowitz, Jessica (September 2, 2019). "'Hercules' Musical is a Stage Adaptation Filled with Heroics and Heart". Entertainment Weekly. Meredith Corporation. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Green, Jesse (September 2, 2019). "Review: Public Works Finds the Heroism in 'Hercules'". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Windman, Matt (September 2, 2019). "'Hercules' review: Free Disney Musical Goes the Distance". AM New York Metro. Schneps Media. Retrieved September 2, 2019.