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Hercules (Public Works)

From 65 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Ambitious, Funny, Great staging

About the show

Disney's animated musical comes to life in this new participatory staging by Public Works. The free, outdoor production features a cast of professional actors and community groups from across the city. More…

From the show:

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.

Member Reviews (65)


Entertaining, Delightful, Ambitious, Funny, Great staging
Avg Score

Great staging, Uneven performances, Engrossing, Brash, Joyous

See it if you want an entertaining, unsophisticated evening. Actors have as much fun as audience. Many good songs, well-staged. Pure, silly delight.

Don't see it if you want all actors to be professnl (is community effort). Many lyrics get lost (enunciate!) Kids' story, but clever book/nice message.

Funny, Great staging, Clever, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You want a show that has some substance yet will put a smile on your face at the same time. Lots of flash and fun, big dance numbers.

Don't see it if You’re looking for quiet and subtle. At times they fill the entire stage and the aisles too!! It’s loud, brash and in your face fun.

Also I had never seen the movie before seeing this show so I don’t know if ... Read more Read less

Great staging, Delightful, Ambitious

See it if Funded stage adaptation of the Disney animated film. The tough guy's gotta sing.Five additional songs.Everyone's included. Accept its terms.

Don't see it if Rushed to rehearsal. For everyone to have a role, everyone must step onto the stage and often, all at the same time.

Also Look for this to probably transfer with a different cast.

Moving, Uneven, Exciting, Fun, Silly

See it if you're excited to see a celebration of the way art can unite and empower communities.

Don't see it if you're expecting a super-polished, high-production-value Disney Production.

Fluffy, Disappointing, Entertaining, Great staging, Cliched

See it if You’re seeking a family show that is very community driven, utilizing both professional actors and members of the NYC community.

Don't see it if You’re hoping for a big Disney show. There are a lot of people on stage, but this is still very much an unfinished work.

Park extravaganza with disney flourish

See it if Delightful, but not the best of the Labor Day Public Works. Loved the costumes and puppets, but the choreography was unfocused. Great band

Don't see it if Jelani Alladin is so charming and talented. He also hugged everyone at the stage door. Roger Bart was terrific. Jeff Hiller is a riot.

Ambitious, Funny, Delightful, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if uplifting musicals, based on Disney animated film, wonderful performances incl. Alladin, Rodriquez, Iglehart & Bart as a funny Hades

Don't see it if don't want giant ensembles, nonprofessional ensembles (even though excellent)

Also the large size of the ensemble (with its great diversity of ages) as w... Read more Read less

Epic, Great acting, Great staging, Clever, Ambitious

See it if you enjoyed the Hercules movie, you didn’t enjoy the Hercules movie, you’re a human on Earth, you have a pulse, ANY reason. A must-see!

Don't see it if you want to miss Jelani Alladin’s charming, hilarious star turn as Hercules or James Monroe Inglehart’s equally stellar support.

Also THEY HIT IT OUT OF THE (Central) PARK! Including the stupendous Roger ... Read more Read less

Community theatre, Family-fun, Funny

See it if you liked the Disney movie or enjoy family-friendly shows. Large (200+) community cast.

Don't see it if You want a Broadway-ready production. This is a great Public Works production, but it has a few bumps. Overall a fun night!

Disney, 90s nostalgia

See it if Super 90s nostalgia + great singing and staging = a night of joy. Some updates on casting and focus on values relevant to today.

Don't see it if Very Disney story, music, corny jokes fall flat for you. Dislike changes from cartoon.

Also Diversity: Black Hercules, parents, and Muses. Adoptive parents are Bl... Read more Read less

Cluttered, Some good music, Funny moments, Mediocre, Banal

See it if you loved Disney movie & want to evoke memories. Otherwise, this is mediocre staging with 1-2 strong performances (e.g., Bart, Rodriguez).

Don't see it if you want great musical theater. This is mediocre story-telling, cluttered staging, with a few good songs. Clearly for diehard fans of movie.

Refreshing, Great singing, Delightful, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if Superb union of veteran Broadway with community in a real life Disney extravaganza.

Don't see it if You can't put your brain in park and just revel in a thrill ride of costumes, marching band and staging.

Also Try to see this because everybody will be talking about this for years... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Must see, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if You love theater that demonstrates the talents of lay & professional performers. A joyous musical; a life-celebrating treat in Central Park!

Don't see it if You prefer sitting indoors.

Fun, Overrated, Delightful

See it if you want to see a staged version of the Disney movie (for the most part). It is a staged "Disney on Ice" essentially.

Don't see it if you are looking for more than an extravaganza.

Entertaining, Joyous, Must see, Ambitious, Delightful

See it if You want to experience the Public Works program in all its glory. This is a great example of what makes the program great.

Don't see it if You dislike productions that are self-referential, break the fourth wall, or reference other musicals.

Also "Songs should have an infectious melody and rhythm," he says. They "sh... Read more Read less

Fabulous production, Impressive, Must see, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you want laughs, charm & entertainment in an everything-but-the-kitchen sink, glittering collage of a show; great singing, awesome props

Don't see it if you're an old grouch who wants to see a classic Greek play; can't relax enough for a cartoonish, over-the-top total feast for the senses

Also Great performances by Roger Bart & James Monroe Ingelhart; Jelani Alla... Read more Read less

Harmless, Cute

See it if you can.

Don't see it if would you honestly pass this up if you had the chance?

Also I heard “it felt like a community theatre production” numerous times a... Read more Read less

Funny, Slow, Fluffy, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if you can get a ticket - it's free, and it's a mildly entertaining night at the theater.

Don't see it if you want a more serious and/or unpredictable show. This is a pretty paint-by-numbers plot.

Great singing, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if you like the story, want to see an outdoor musical, or want to support the theatre community.

Don't see it if you want to see a polished Disney show on stage.

Fun, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if An entertaining family musical with a delightful score & terrific lead performances. It has a community theatre feel with lot's of heart.

Don't see it if You're looking for a well polished Disney musical spectacle. However, with a bit of tinkering this would do very well on Broadway.

Ambitious, Delightful, Great music, Fun, Endearing

See it if you can get a ticket! This was worth the efforts. It's a big, fun, heartwarming spectacle. Perfect marriage between Disney + The Public.

Don't see it if you're expecting a fully-realized, polished Disney production. This is still a Public Works show. (But that's not a bad thing at all.)

Also I really hope this has a future life on Broadway. But I've gotta say, ... Read more Read less

Quirky, Great singing, Entertaining, Nostalgic, Delightful

See it if you enjoy a true spectacle. They went all-out. They held the integrity of the score with a few additions with an amazing cast.

Don't see it if you're looking for something complex. The plot is straight forward & it's possible adults might not like it if they don't know the film.

Refreshing, Great staging, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if you love the Public Theater and New York City. This is what enjoying the theater in NYC is all about. Great cast, staging, community, FREE!

Don't see it if you want to see a heavy and cerebral show. It's kind of silly and light. Predictable Disney extravaganza. Not all professional.

Joyful, Refreshing, Great staging, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if you want to see the Disney classic with a refreshing, community minded twist.

Don't see it if you expect to see the movie translated exactly. The mission of Public Works wins the day here, and to great effect.

Fun, Poignant, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if enjoy great musical theater in a magical setting with great acting of a modern version of a classic.

Don't see it if you enjoy traditional Shakespeare, don't enjoy musicals or being at an outdoor venue.

September 2nd, 2019
CRITIC'S PICK "Review: Public Works Finds the Heroism in ‘Hercules’ With shrewd casting and amateur performers joining professionals onstage, a middling 1997 animated Disney musical becomes a pageant of civic engagement."
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September 3rd, 2019
"The Strengths and Weaknesses of a Free Public 'Hercules'"
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September 2nd, 2019
"Community theater of the most spectacular kind."
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September 2nd, 2019
B+ "Hercules musical is a stage adaptation filled with heroics and heart"
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