SAY AMEN! Disney’s Hercules may be coming to the stage.
According to Playbill, Oscar and Tony-winning composer Alan Menken has revealed that he is currently working on a stage musical of the underrated Disney classic.
You definitely already know the story, based loosely on Greek mythology, but in case you don’t: Hercules, the son of god Zeus and goddess Hera, is stripped of his immortality as a baby and must become a “real hero” to reclaim it. The Disney movie featured the voices of Danny Devito, James Woods, and Tate Donovan, as well as various stage stars, including Susan Egan, Lillias White, Roz Ryan, and Tony-winner LaChanze. Tony-winner Roger Bart sang “Go the Distance,” a tune that earned Menken and lyricist David Zippel an Oscar nomination.
As of now, details about the possible stage adaptation are scarce, with its development only a glimmer in Menken’s eye, it would seem. While the composer told California’s Orange County Register, “Actually, I’m working on a stage version of Hercules,” a representative for Disney Theatrical Productions has stated, “Hercules is one of many great Menken scores, but no stage adaptation is in development at this time.”
So what exactly is the (gospel) truth? Hopefully just that Menken simply hasn’t told Disney Theatrical Productions that he’s cooking up a stage version yet.
When you really boil down Disney and the theater, it seems like a natural marriage. While there are those who bemoan the news of yet another Disney stage adaptation, let’s be honest: Disney musicals have all the makings of a bona fide theater production: solid storytelling, humor, spectacle, catchy songs—and they’re family friendly, to boot.
The trend isn’t likely to die out any time soon, especially given Disney’s track record on Broadway stages already, from Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, to The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. With Frozen coming to an NYC stage next spring, a Hercules adaptation certainly seems like a definite possibility.
But for now, let’s just keep our fingers crossed.