Disney recently posted a casting call, inviting performers to audition for principal roles in a new “limited run” musical production at the Hyperion Theater, leaving many fans debating if the subject of the show will feature the demigod Hercules or the supersoldier Steve Rogers as featured in the fictional play “Rogers the Musical.”
The Hyperion Theater opened at Disney California Adventure Park within the Disneyland Resort in 2001, with a facade based on the Los Angeles Theatre and enough seating for 1,984 Guests. Over the years, it has hosted many different Disney productions, from Steps in Time to Blast!, and most famously, Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, followed by Frozen! Live at the Hyperion, a precursor to Frozen the Broadway Musical.
Unfortunately, Disney shuttered the theater doors in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with all productions remaining on hiatus even after the theme park reopened. Now, it seems like a new show might be coming to the Hyperion soon, drumming up tons of excitement from Disney and theater fans, many of which assume it will be a stage version of Hercules (1997), the blockbuster film inspired by the Greek mythological hero with music by Alan Menken.
A new listing aimed at “SINGER/ACTORS who move” recently appeared on the DisneyCareers website, casting for five principal roles. Moreover, the listing describes the upcoming performance as follows:
This new musical project will come to life through the creativity of Disney Live Entertainment in partnership with book writer Hunter Bell, star and book writer of the Tony Award-nominated [title of show] and featuring music by Emmy-nominated and Grammy-winning composer Christopher Lennertz.
So, what are the roles being cast? Let’s break them down, shall we? Role #1 calls for three female-identifying roles, with actors between twenty and fifty and all vocal types encouraged to apply so long as they are “proficient with harmonization and ability to sing in many styles from Destiny’s Child to Andrew Sisters.” Of course, the nod to the classic 90s girl group, as well as the note that “these three performers are a fun, energetic and musical sisterhood that acts as the occasional ‘Greek Chorus,’” has many assuming they will play the Fates or perhaps even the showstopping Muses.
However, the Andrews Sisters were a popular vocal group during the 1940s… which just so happens to be the setting of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), a Marvel film about Steve Rogers’ origins that features its own vintage-style musical number penned by Menken, “The Star Spangled Man,” as sung by USO showgirls.
Moving on, Role #2 asks for a female-identifying mezzo-soprano in her mid-twenties to early thirties with a contemporary musical theatre style for a “brave, resourceful, and intelligent” character. Although people assume this description matches Megara, Hercules’ strong-willed but eventual love interest, one other note does not fit: Disney notes this actress “must have a strong English accent.” Now, why would the infamous anti-damsel-in-distress originally voiced by the American star Susan Egan need that? Meg probably wouldn’t, but Peggy Carter, the English-born SSR agent who partners with Steve Rogers during the Second World War in more ways than one, would!
In addition, Role #3 asks for a male identifying tenor aged seventeen to twenty with the same contemporary musical style to play a “young man coming into his greatness,” which absolutely sounds right for the titular character Herc, the original “Zero to Hero.” On the other hand, this definitely describes Steve Rogers’ own transformation from a sickly army reject to the world’s first-ever Supersoldier, courtesy of the SSR’s Project Rebirth and a machine created by none other than Howard Stark.
Speaking of… Role #4 calls for a male identifying baritone or tenor in his thirties to forties to play a “decisive, capable, and principled” character who “leads others with attitude and swagger” and “a wry sense of humor.” While this description could match Hercules’ sassy and sarcastic villain, Hades, it seems to more aptly align with Howard himself or even his son, Tony Stark, who famously insults Steve Rogers upon meeting him in The Avengers (2012).
Lastly, the fifth and final role seeks yet another male identifying tenor or baritone in his mid-twenties to early thirties for “a noble, loyal, idealistic, and romantic do-gooder, who does not give up easily.” Of course, this doesn’t really match Phil, Hercules’ wizened and grouchy mentor, the only other main character with a speaking role in the film. While it’s possible Disney could be reimagining Herc’s companion Pegasus in a human, or simply speaking, role, it feels more likely this describes someone like Steve Rogers’ best friend turned Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes.
Yes, Disney indeed announced both a Hercules live-action film and Broadway-style stage show last year, but the Hyperion also sits directly adjacent to the Disney Park’s Avengers Campus area, making it the perfect spot to debut a real version of Rogers: the Musical, the autobiographical production of the first Captain America as hilariously featured in Hawkeye (2021) on Disney+, and brought to life at the D23 Expo. Unfortunately, Disney has since removed the listing from the Disney Auditions site, suggesting it wasn’t ready to announce this casting call.
Still, it’s exciting to know live shows could return to the Hyperion very soon, whether that’s for Hercules or Rogers: the Musical! Which would you prefer?