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messaggio 9/2/2019, 11:57
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Debutterà a New York il 31 agosto 2019 il musical Hercules, ispirato all'omonimo film d'animazione.

* Le musiche e canzoni saranno sempre di Alan Menken e David Zippel.
* Per il ruolo di Ercole si pensa ad un attore di colore.
* Al momento come per il Gobbo di Notre Dame non è previsto uno spettacolo a Broadway. Potrebbe però arrivare. Anche Aladdin, ad esempio, non è nato come musical per Broadway ma dato il successo è poi stato portato.
* Le ultime notizie indicano Jelani Alladin (che interpreta Kristoff in Frozen, il musical di Broadway) e Ashley Park sono in lizza per i ruoli di Ercole e Megara.

Dal sito D23:


This summer, Hercules will once again go the distance—but this time, our hero will go from Mount Olympus to New York City! Today, The Public Theater announced it is bringing Hercules to the stage, continuing its 57-year tradition of offering free performances in Central Park. Part of Shakespeare in the Park, Public Works’ new adaptation will close out the 2019 season.

The stage show, presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, will feature songs from the beloved animated classic, as well as new musical numbers by Disney Legend Alan Menken and David Zippel; it will also include a new book by Kristoffer Diaz and original choreography by Chase Brock. Directed by Public Works Founder Lear deBessonet, the Hercules musical will run August 31 through September 8.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lear deBessonet back at the helm of our Public Works initiative for the first time since 2015,” said Oskar Eustis, artistic director, The Public Theater. “Alan Menken is one of the great musical geniuses of our time; it is an honor to welcome him, David Zippel, and Kristoffer Diaz to the Delacorte. Our Public Works community promises to connect this brilliantly conceived story back to the earth from which it sprang: the people. What a grand and unlikely experience this will be!”

“Many generations of our Public Works families have embraced Disney musicals as a shared American canon,” said deBessonet. “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.”

Based on Disney’s Oscar®-nominated 1997 film, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the stage production has also recruited scenic designer Dane Laffrey; costume designer Andrea Hood; lighting designer Tyler Micoleau; sound designers Kai Harada and Jessica Paz; wigs, hair, and makeup designer Cookie Jordan; and music arranger and supervisor Michael Kosarin.

If a trip to New York City is on your agenda this summer, visit for more details and ticketing information.

Dal sito Public Theater:

Public Works:
Delacorte Theater
August 31-September 8

The Public Theater’s initiative that invites communities across New York to create ambitious works of participatory theater is closing out the summer in truly epic fashion. Public Works will present the glorious story of HERCULES, brought to vibrant life by professional actors and community groups from across the city. Directed by Public Works founder and Resident Director Lear deBessonet, this summer’s production, based on the Disney animated film, will feature 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 to participate in a joyous musical that celebrates the heroes found in all of us.

PUBLIC WORKS is a national and international initiative of The Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Led by Founder Lear deBessonet and Director of Public Works Laurie Woolery, Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well.

Join the Partners Program to guarantee your reserved seats to HERCULES. A limited number of additional reserved seats will be made available at a later date.

HERCULES is presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.

Lead support for PUBLIC WORKS is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and The Tow Foundation. Additional support is provided by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., The One World Fund, David Rockefeller Fund, The SHS Foundation, New York Community Trust, and New York State Council on the Arts. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Public Works’ Musical Adaptation of

Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by David Zippel
Book by Kristoffer Diaz
Choreography by Chase Brock
Directed by Lear deBessonet

Based on the Disney film written by Ron Clements, John Musker, Donald McEnery, Bob Shaw, and Irene Mecchi, and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.

Scenic Design Dane Laffrey
Costume Design Andrea Hood
Lighting Design Tyle Micoleau
Sound Design Kai Harada and Jessica Paz
Wigs, Hair, and Makeup Design Cookie Jordan
Music Direction Michael Kosarin

Dal sito Broadway World:

Breaking: Bless My Soul! Public Theater Will Stage HERCULES at the Delacorte Theatre This Summer

Hercules is about to go from zero to hero of your 2019.

BroadwayWorld has just learned that The Public Theater will present a stage adaptation of the Disney classic this summer at the Delacorte Theatre. The musical, which features music by Alan Menken, lyrics by David Zippel and a book by Kristoffer Diaz, will be directed by Lear deBessonet and choreographed by Chase Brock.

The Public Works production is set to begin performances on August 30 and will run through September 8. A reading is set to take place this April.

According to a casting notice, the role of Hercules will be played by an African American actor.

Hercules is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation for Walt Disney Pictures. The 35th Disney animated feature film and the eighth animated film produced during the Disney Renaissance, the film was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. The film is loosely based on the legendary hero Heracles (known in the film by his Roman name, Hercules), the son of Zeus, in Greek mythology.

Hercules was released on June 27, 1997 to positive reviews from film reviewers who praised James Woods's portrayal of Hades. Despite the positive critical reception, the film under-performed in its theatrical release notably in comparison to its predecessors before ultimately earning $252.7 million in box office revenue worldwide. Hercules was later followed by the direct-to-video prequel Hercules: Zero to Hero, which served as the pilot to Hercules: The Animated Series, a syndicated Disney TV series focusing on Hercules during his time at the Prometheus academy.

PUBLIC WORKS is a major initiative of The Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Working with community partner organizations in all five boroughs, Public Works invites members of diverse communities to participate in theater workshops, to attend classes, to attend productions, and to become involved in the daily life of The Public. Founded by Resident Director Lear deBessonet, Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well.

Dal sito Broadway World Forum:

"The guy playing Hercules is gonna be amazing." Jelani? I’ve heard it’s Jelani.

Also been hearing Ashley Park is Meg.

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messaggio 8/9/2019, 0:33
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Dal sito Esquire una recensione sul musical Hercules:

This Live-Action Hercules Should Be the Formula For All of Disney's Future Remakes

The Public Theater’s production of the animated classic is the perfect example for how reboots should be done.

This has been a tough year for Disney (not that you’d know it from their profit and loss statements, of course). The House of Mouse has been pummeled by critics and fans alike for churning out a cavalcade of soulless live-action remakes, from The Lion King to Aladdin. Despite its all-star cast, The Lion King was denounced as a bland if visually stunning do-over, and Aladdin flopped critically for its plodding, charmless retelling of a larger-than-life story.

Yet over at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Public Theater’s Public Works Program has mounted a spirited stage production of Hercules--one that Disney should study closely as they continue barreling down the risky path of rebooting classic films from their golden age. Adapted from the beloved 1997 film by the same name, this Hercules is lively, political, and unmistakably contemporary. It retains everything viewers know and love from the original, while also introducing new material to enrich the themes and deepen the character work. With five new songs from Alan Menken and David Zippel, who wrote the music and lyrics for the film, this production rewards fans without falling into the trap of fan service, ushering the familiar story into the twenty-first century with the added intrigue of a more populated, democratic interpretation. This should be the way forward for Disney—keep the good, chuck the outdated, and lean into the themes that make these stories endure.

Keep the good, chuck the outdated, and lean into the themes that make these stories endure.

For those who miraculously don’t know the story, a refresher course: Hercules is born to Zeus and Hera, king and queen of the Greek gods, then kidnapped in his infancy by minions of Hades, the god of the underworld who seeks to kill him for fear of a prophecy predicting that Hercules will thwart his plan for cosmic domination. The bumbling minions fail to kill Hercules, leaving him sapped of his immortality on a hillside, only for a kindhearted couple to find him and raise him as their own, despite his inexplicable, godlike strength. After 18 years of feeling like an outcast, Hercules discovers his true lineage, and Zeus delivers an ultimatum: Hercules can only return to Mount Olympus, the home of the gods, if he becomes a hero. With the help of Philoctetes, a world-weary, wise-cracking trainer, Hercules embarks on a storied journey to become a hero.

Jelani Alladin (best known before now as Kristoff in Broadway’s Frozen) stars as Herc himself, infusing the role with athleticism, humor, and a winning, boyish dorkiness. In his Hercules, we see new layers of vulnerability and interior life, as in a moment when he weeps to Phil that nobody cares about him as a person—they only want him if he’s a hero. Alladin’s Hercules asks us to question heroism as an archetype versus a lived experience, to ask how the heroes we know through stories must have felt as they lived their trials.

Krysta Rodriguez (of Smash and Spring Awakening) is sensational as Megara, the tough-talking servant of Hades unwillingly working against Hercules. Meg has long loomed large in Disney fandom as a feminist hero, and this production smartly foregrounds that characterization while updating it for 2019’s discourse. In a new song, a pants-clad Meg imagines a world without men, envisioning it as a utopia where she could do as she pleases. A dopey, lovestruck Hercules, seeking to demonstrate his feminist credentials, replies clumsily, “My mom’s a woman.” Much like Hercules, this Meg is more raw than her on-screen counterpart, as we see in her bitter tirade about the worthlessness of friendship and love, where she snarls that it’s best to go through life alone so as to avoid hurt and disappointment.

In the Disney film, the Greek townspeople are accessories to Hercules’ journey, brought into the frame only to cheer, jeer, and crack wise where appropriate. Yet in this play, over 100 New Yorkers from ages 5 to 78 appear as the townspeople, and they’re far from sidelined. When Hades releases the Titans, a mythic group of ancient gods out for blood, the townspeople say to Hercules, who’s been sapped of his powers, “You were there for us. Let us be there for you.” In a departure from the film, which sees Hercules fight the Titans single-handedly, the play leaves him out of the fray altogether, allowing the townspeople to save the day.

In the story’s familiar penultimate moment, when Hercules is invited to return to Olympus and forsake his mortal life, the play reimagines the weight of that choice by peopling the scene not just with Meg, as in the film, but with his adoptive parents and the townspeople, who have become a chosen family, of sorts. The scene juxtaposes this group against the family he was born into, who aren’t the warm, goofy gods you remember from the film—they’re strict, imperious taskmasters whose affection is entirely conditional, predicated on Hercules’ achievements rather than his inherent worthiness of love. When Hercules chooses a mortal life with the lovely new line, “To be human is divine,” it’s as much a romantic choice as it is a personal one. It’s a choice to remain with his “real true friends,” as he calls the townspeople, who love him for who he is, not for the deeds he’s done. On this level, the play deepens the film’s touching resolution, allowing Hercules to choose selfhood and friendship in addition to romantic love.

The play’s updates aren’t just thematic—they’re political, too. In an early scene, after Hercules has clumsily caused a ruckus at the market in an accidental use of his superhuman strength, two armed soldiers force him to his knees and tie his hands behind his back, calling to mind our culture’s rampant police brutality. Later, when Hercules arrives in Thebes, the “Big Olive” of Greece, to offer his help to the downtrodden townspeople, one woman cracks, “Can you help me find affordable housing?” Another asks that Hercules work to improve their civic discourse; still another wants him to solve income inequality. Meanwhile, shades of Donald Trump appear in Hades, who sings about “the art of the deal” in a new song about how no one can outsmart him. In a line that swipes at our do-gooder celebrity culture, Zeus admonishes Hercules, “You’ve become a celebrity. That’s not the same thing as being a hero.”

Indeed this production leans hard on of-the-moment updates, but it also zeroes in on that timeless question at the story’s core: what makes a hero? For this production to cast a black actor in the role of Hercules is no accident, nor is it a lark that the people of Thebes, young and old, male and female, are the ones who fight the Titans, as opposed to Hercules. Like the film, the play argues that heroism is about heart, but it expands the definition of who a hero can be—it argues that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and that heroism has as much to do with communities banding together as it does extraordinary acts by individual people.

In considering the Disney remake-aissance, it’s important to remember that the original films we know and love are already remakes. Disney stories don’t exist in vacuums—in fact, many of them are already retellings as it is, derived from mythology, fairy tales, history, Shakespeare, and other such sources. The joy and purpose of art isn’t just the making of it, but the remaking—the reimagining, the tinkering, the adapting for new cultural context. This is why we tell stories to begin with—so that we may retell them, again and again.

It’s no crime for Disney to recycle its beloved cultural properties, but to do so with the profound corporate soullessness of films like The Lion King and Aladdin is criminal indeed. Why does Disney insist on tying one hand behind its back, on limiting itself to shot-for-shot remakes when the rewards of reinterpretation are so much greater? Art exists in conversation, as The Public’s Hercules understands, and Disney can only benefit from loosening its chokehold on the wheel. If Disney doesn’t consider how these stories should live, breathe, and change for a new generation of fans, there’s no telling the damage they’ll do to the august reputation they’ve worked so hard to build.

Up next, Disney is remaking Mulan, The Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, The Sword in the Stone, and Lilo and Stitch. Here’s hoping they think outside the box.

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