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The Public Theater's Production of HERCULES Shines at The Delacorte In Central Park
Jelani Alladin and cast of Hercules (Joan Marcus)
Say Amen! I had the rare chance to attend one eight showings of Hercules at The Delcourt Theater produced by The Pubic Theater in special partnership with Disney Theatrical Group. They have succeeded in bringing to the stage the movie that is close to everyone’s heart.
Directed by Public Works Founder and Resident Director Lear deBessonet, this summer’s production features the film’s beloved score, plus additional original songs by the film’s composer Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel, with a new book by Kristoffer Diaz and choreography by Chase Brock. Journey with Hercules in this new stage adaptation that invites New Yorkers from all five boroughs and beyond to participate in a joyous musical that celebrates the heroes found in all of us.
The hype for this show has been all the rave since it was announced months ago and people have been anxiously awaiting their chance to see this new production. The process for getting tickets is completely free, however, they are drawn from a digital and in-person lottery only, making it open and available to everyone. If you did not win the online lottery which closed a few days back, they still have a select number of tickets available in person.
Cast of Hercules (The Public Theater)
From classic songs Zero to Hero, Go the Distance, I Won’t Say (I’m in Love), and Gospel Truth, this production has everything you love. Every song, especially Zero to Hero,had the audience going insane and brought down the house. I imagine every Disney lover, and show queen died a little inside and were reborn after that number. There have been new songs added to fill in and make the show more of a “musical.” While some of these songs are forgettable, overall they really are a good addition to the score.
The show is both a modern yet classic look at the animated version—while they changed the order that some things happen (including the big finale Zero to Hero that gets pushed to the middle of the show), they keep the same story and humor throughout.
This show does not go without the necessary and very fitting musical theater references (yes, Hamilton and Hadestown get a shout out!). The costumes are re imagined and tasteful—for instance Meg is now in a pink top, pink jacket, and pink wedge heels and Phil is not an animal—just a guy in a track suit trying to sell his “Gyros!" The do it right though—showing off HUNKULES Jelani Alladin and all his muscles.
Cast of Hercules (The Public Theater)
This show features some top notch talent including 200+ New Yorkers including Jelani Alladin (Hercules), Roger Bart (Hades), Jeff Hiller (Panic), James Monroe Iglehart (Philoctetes), Ramona Keller (Thalia), Tamika Lawrence (Calliope), Krysta Rodriguez (Megara), Rema Webb (Terpsichore), cameo groups 10 Hairy Legs, Passaic High School Marching Band, and a special featured performance by Broadway Inspirational Voices.
The use of smoke,fog, and lighting effects, as well as projections provided some great technical elements to add to the enjoyment of the show The addition of a marching band was a true delight! They cut no corner, and left no stone unturned for this production— as an added bonus the audience gets to experience the beautiful Delacort open air theater — who could ask for anything more? The use of puppetry was stellar and very innovative —taking a page right out of The Lion King’sbook.
There is no word yet as to what will come next for this show, but with the demand as it now, there is a huge chance it will make its way to Broadway soon! People are lining up in droves just to try and score a ticket to this production. Whether it’s the love for the classic Disney film, or just wanting to get a piece of this new production, Hercules scores right and hits home for everyone.
See it before it is gone! Hercules is now running at The Delacorte open air Theater through Sunday, September 8th.