Interview: Benét Monteiro of DISNEY HERCULES at Neue Flora Hamburg

Hamburg's Leading Man is talking Hamilton, Hercules, and much more.

By: Feb. 24, 2024
Interview: Benét Monteiro of DISNEY HERCULES at Neue Flora Hamburg
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Disney's newest "From Screen to Stage" Musical Adaption is coming to Hamburg this spring, opening to the world at the beautiful Stage Theatre Neue Flora. Hercules rehearsals are in full swing; the city is getting increasingly excited about this brand-new show. Staring as the eponymous Hero is Benét Monteiro, who just finished the run as Alexander Hamilton in the critically acclaimed German production of Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Revolution.

From Hamilton to Hercules, from the Revolution to the Olymp, is quite a journey for Monteiro, more than reason enough to sit down and chat with Hamburg's Musical Leading Man.


BWW: First of all, congratulations, you jumped from one Musical Blockbuster
show right into the next one, from the critically acclaimed German
production of Hamilton to Disney's Hercules. The highly anticipated Opening
Night in Hamburg is getting closer, with you as the show's Hero. Have you
got some time to enjoy your bliss, or is your day filled with everything
about the show?

Benét Monteiro: Hi! Thank you for your kind words. I am always focused on what must be done, which is the reason why the excitement of the goals I have already achieved hits me later. The first weeks of rehearsal I was still stuck with “letting Hamilton go”.
 

BWW: Before diving into Hercules's world, recap your Hamilton journey. Many
critics feared the show might lose its magic by getting translated into
German. We were all surprised at Opening Night; it felt like witnessing a
familiar yet brand-new show. How did it feel to star as the leading man in
the musical theatre sensation of a generation?

Benét Monteiro: The Hamilton experience changed my life. I became a different person after being blessed by everything surrounding that absolute masterpiece. The music, the creative team, the whole story, the role, the brilliant cast. We were not just colleagues; I found a family there. We are connected for life.

As a highlight, Lin Manuel Miranda himself watched our premiere and had a chat with all of us. That was surreal. Alex Lacamoire had the biggest smile on his face after watching our very last show. These guys are living legends, and I was among them. I experienced the most beautiful and powerful moments on stage with Hamilton. Sometimes I watched videos of the show and cried, not because of sadness but of being overwhelmed by all the energy on that stage for an entire year.
 

BWW: You moved houses from the Operettenhaus, where CATS once opened, to
the Neue Flora, once home to Phantom Of The Opera. Both houses are filled
with fond memories and are coming with a huge responsibility. Audiences
expect a special night out when entering the doors; what can we expect from
Hercules?

Interview: Benét Monteiro of DISNEY HERCULES at Neue Flora Hamburg
Benét Monteiro ©Morris Mac Matzen/Stage Entertainment Germany


Benét Monteiro: You can expect something completely new. Something that Disney had never put on stage before. I don´t want to tell too much, but I can truly say that everyone is putting their heart into it. Casey Nicholaw, our director, is making miracles happen! Watching him bring scenes to life is just inspiring.
 

BWW: You are working (again) with some of Broadway's finest artists, being
in the room where it happens. I have been waiting for Hercules to come to
the stage for a long time. Whenever discussing future shows with people
from the industry, and someone (mostly me) came up with Hercules, most said
it's almost impossible to adapt the movie for the stage. So, in your
opinion, what has changed, or what has taken so long to bring Herc from the
screen to the stage?

Benét Monteiro: That is a good question. I´ve heard that repeatedly as well: Hercules has to be on stage. I don´t know why it took so long to be honest, but I am glad this is finally happening. And it is happening when I am alive and being able to be a part of it instead of just witnessing it.
 

BWW: Alan Menken has written some beautiful tunes, some already released on
the show's website, hopefully more to come. They are touching and full of
heart and dreams. Is that what the show is all about? Finding your place in
the world, with loads of love, laughing, and surrounded by loved ones?

Benét Monteiro: The show is about finding your own path and beyond. I love how Phil decides to teach Hercules and helps him become a better version of himself. He shows Hercules how to face the challenges of life and is like a father figure to him he never had (Despina raised Hercules all by herself in this version), which is also an important element of the show. I mean, how many women are fighting to raise their kids by themselves these days? It is so powerful to have five black women as the leading storytellers of this show with so much grace and soul. I absolutely adore the muses.

Interview: Benét Monteiro of DISNEY HERCULES at Neue Flora Hamburg
Benét Monteiro, Mae Ann Jorolan and the Muses ©Morris Mac Matzen/Stage Entertainment Germany


BWW: Opening Nights are always magical. There is tension and excitement,
and the room is filled with many familiar faces. How do you prepare for
this particular night when everyone is watching?

Benét Monteiro: This time, I just want to enjoy this experience. I was often very concerned about whether people liked my work or not. But this premiere is happening only once in my life, and I am ready to enjoy it and celebrate this wonderful story.
 

BWW: Thank you for your time; we are thrilled to see what you and your cast
members prepared for us. Have a great time with the show.

Benét Monteiro: Thank you for having me! See you next time!

Hercules is celebrating its World Premiere on March 24th at the Stage Theatre Neue Flora in Hamburg. For further information, visit www.musical.de or click here to get a first look at the show's set design.

Click here, to follow Benét on instagram.




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