Hercules is about to go the distance — from zero to (stage) hero. On Thursday, the Public Theater announced who will be playing the lead roles the upcoming Off Broadway musical adaptation of Disney’s Hercules.
Several of the actors are already veterans of Disney musical productions. Jelani Alladin — who originated the role of Kristoff in the Frozen musical — will play the lead role of Hercules, while James Monroe Iglehart — who won a Tony Award for playing the Genie in Aladdin — will play everyone’s favorite sarcastic satyr Phil. Spring Awakening‘s Krysta Rodriguez will play Meg, while Roger Bart (who provided the singing voice of young Hercules in the 1997 animated film) will play Hades. When it comes to the gospel-tinged Muses, Tamika Lawrence will play the leader Calliope, with Ramona Keller as Thalia and Rema Webb as Terpischore.
The musical will feature Alan Menken and David Zippel’s songs from the original film (you know the hits: “Zero to Hero,” “I Won’t Say (I’m In Love)”) along with some new material.
Directed by Lear deBessonet, the Hercules musical — which is being presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions — will play a free run Aug. 31–Sept. 8 at the Public Theater’s Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
“Many generations of our Public Works families have embraced Disney musicals as a shared American canon,” deBessonet, who is also a founder of Public Works, said in a statement. “Hercules’ roots in Greek mythology, infused with soulful gospel music, make it a natural extension of Public Works’ radical exploration of humanity through Shakespeare and the classics. We’re excited to see how this Public Works production will uncover the deeper meaning of what it means to be a hero and how true strength is derived, not from the greatness of one person, but the transformative power of community.”
Keep your eyes on the horizon for that this summer.