Jelani Alladin, a star of the Broadway musical Frozen, will take on the title role in this summer’s new stage adaptation of Disney’s Hercules, with Roger Bart – who provided the singing voice of Hercules in the 1997 film version – cast as the villainous Hades.
The casting – see the other roles below – was announced today by The Public Theater for the previously announced adaptation of Disney’s animated film. The musical, to be presented as part of the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park season, will feature six songs from the Oscar-nominated Alan Menken/David Zippel film score in addition to new songs by the songwriting team.
Hercules will include a new book by Kristoffer Diaz (Glow), choreography by Be More Chill choreographer Chase Brock, and direction by Lear deBessonet. The musical will run for seven nights – Aug. 31-Sept. 8 – at Delacorte Theater, concluding this summer’s free Shakespeare in the Park season.
Also in the cast announced today: Jeff Hiller (Panic), James Monroe Iglehart (Phil), Ramona Keller (Thalia), Tamika Lawrence (Calliope), Krysta Rodriguez (Meg), and Rema Webb (Terpsichore). The musical will feature a special performance by Broadway Inspirational Voices, the 2019 Tony Honor Award recipient celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Alladin originated the role of Kristoff in Broadway’s Frozen last year. He’s repped by Buchwald and manager Cyd LeVin & Associates.
Hercules will be based on the Disney film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker and written by Clements, Musker, Donald McEnery, Bob Shaw, and Irene Mecchi.
As part of the theater’s Public Works initiative, Hercules will feature an ensemble of more than 200 New Yorkers from all five boroughs, choreographed by Brock. Other recent productions that have utilized the participatory approach include last summer’s popular and acclaimed Twelfth Night with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub.
“Many generations of our Public Works families have embraced Disney musicals as a shared American canon,” said deBessonet, Hercules director and the Public Works founder. “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.”
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 puppet design by James Ortiz.
Hercules is presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.