Disney’s 1997 animated hit “Hercules” will flex its muscles as a stage musical, set to debut this summer at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park in New York City.
Composer Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel, who earned an Oscar nomination for “Go the Distance” from the film, have written additional songs for the production, which will feature a new script by Christopher Diaz (“GLOW”) and choreography by Chase Brock (“Be More Chill”).
Lear deBessonet, founder and resident director of the theater’s Public Works initiative, will direct the production, set for a limited run from Aug. 31 to Sept. 8.
No casting is set for the show, which follows the adventures of the half-God, half-mortal Hercules as he goes through a series of test to reclaim his place on Mount Olympus beside his father, Zeus.
As with last summer’s Public Works production of “Twelfth Night,” the production will include performers from community groups from all five boroughs of New York City — to, in the words of the Public Theater’s statement, “deliberately blur 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.”
The production will feature scenic design by Dane Laffrey; costume design by Andrea Hood; lighting design by Tyler Micoleau; sound design by Kai Harada and Jessica Paz; wigs, hair, and makeup design by Cookie Jordan; and music supervision and arrangements by Michael Kosarin. “Hercules” is presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.
In addition to “Hercules,” the Shakespeare in the Park summer series will feature two revivals of the Bard: director Kenny Leon’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” slated to run from May 21 to June 23, and director Daniel Sullivan’s take on the bloody “Coriolanus,” set for performances from July 16 to Aug. 11 in Central Park.