One of the most thrilling and engaging theatrical events in NYC, now in its seventh year led by astounding Lear deBessonet, is The Public Theater’s Public Works program. Hundreds of local tri-state area folks join Broadway stalwarts and hoardes of other creative people to flood the stage of Central Park’s Delacorte Theater with celebrations of community and connection. Past productions have included The Odyssey, The Tempest, and last summer’s Twelfth Night. This year’s production, in cooperation with Disney is a new adaptation of the animated movie Hercules (music by Alan Menken and lyrics by David Zippel – including five news songs - book by Kristoffer Diaz, choreography by Chase Brock, directed by Lear deBessonet).
The cast includes over 200 NY/NJ residents including Jelani Alladin (Hercules), Roger Bart (Hades), Jeff Hiller (Panic), James Monroe Iglehart (Philoctetes), Ramona Keller (Thalia), Tamika Lawrence (Calliope), Krysta Rodriguez (Megara), Rema Webb (Terpsichore), cameo groups 10 Hairy Legs, Passaic High School Marching Band, and a special featured performance by Broadway Inspirational Voices. Special shout-out to the immense puppets created by James Ortiz.
I was honored to be invited by Lear to attend dress rehearsal. What a moving experience! It was so much to take in and I hope this doodle captures just a bit of the joy.