One of the things that makes Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park so special is that it genuinely feels like walking into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are superheroes walking around, the Avengers Quinjet is perched at the top of a building, and Spider-Man is leaping from structure to structure.
This summer, the experience becomes even more immersive with the introduction of “Rogers: The Musical,” a 30-minute musical production inspired by Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye. I had the opportunity to attend a special preview of the musical and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser for fans of both Marvel and musical theater.
In the Disney+ series, Hawkeye himself, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), attends a performance of the musical and watches part of his life story told on stage. It’s a hilariously fun moment that many fans adored, naturally leading to numerous calls for Marvel to bring the in-universe musical to life.
Disney and Marvel have heeded those calls, and the result is a hugely entertaining and surprisingly polished musical production. In a tight 30-minutes, “Rogers: The Musical” tells the story of Steve Rogers and his adventures as Captain America in the MCU. While it’s not an exact re-telling of the films, the creative liberties are well done, including an emotionally satisfying scene between Captain America in his prime and an aged Steve Rogers reminiscent of the version we saw in Avengers: Endgame.
The sets and the performers are exceptional, with bright and colorful costumes and backgrounds that again, make you feel like you’re actually in the MCU. Much like the production in Hawkeye, “Rogers: The Musical” is not overly serious. It’s light, fun and at times silly.
The two performers who play Steve Rogers (pre and post super soldier serum) are exceptional, and are bolstered by a strong supporting cast. Peggy Carter plays a significant role in the musical’s story, adding a touch of romance.
The standout character that we didn’t get to see much of in the Disney+ version is definitely Nick Fury, who takes Samuel L. Jackson’s bravado, takes it up several levels. Fury in this musical is truly hilarious and, considering the serendipitous timing of Secret Invasion, is sure to be a fan-favorite.
In contrast, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Rogers’ best friend, Bucky Barnes. While Barnes appears early in the story, he isn’t heard from again, which means that the beloved bromance between the two characters is absent from this retelling. Missing completely, aside from a visual in the background, is Steve’s other best buddy, Sam Wilson. It’s a strange choice to leave both characters out of the story, especially considering that the two are effectively carrying Steve’s legacy in the current MCU.
What I did appreciate is that the production maintained a diverse group of Avengers. Beyond Fury, there is a Black performer as The Hulk and even Loki, as well as an Asian performer as Hawkeye (which is true to what we saw in the Disney+ version of the musical).
Overall, “Rogers: The Musical” is a delight and a great way to introduce new audiences to the MCU. It’s a unique experience that the whole family can enjoy and even Clint Barton would approve.
“Rogers: The Musical” is scheduled to perform several times per day, Tuesday through Saturday most weeks during its limited-time engagement, June 30th to August 31st. It takes place in the Hyperion Theater, which is a surprisingly large theater. Although I’ve sat in that theater in the past during visits to the park, I never fully appreciated just how many audience members it can seat. The grand size of the theater adds to the almost Broadway like feel of the musical, and you just might find yourself wishing that it lasted longer than 30-minutes.
The new musical will also be commemorated by themed food and beverages, merchandise and more – available for a limited time.
“Rogers: The Musical” is an all-new, 30-minute one-act musical theater production inspired by the fictional Broadway musical theater sequence from the Disney+ series “Hawkeye”. “Rogers: The Musical” features a talented cast of singers and dancers telling the story of Steve Rogers – Captain America – joined by Peggy Carter, Nick Fury and select members of the Avengers. The musical will take the audience on a journey from Steve’s humble beginnings during World War II to becoming Captain America, leading the Avengers and beyond. It’s a classic tale of heroes, time travel, and romance. Oh… and Nick Fury sings.
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 will feature five all-new songs with music by Grammy-winning composer Christopher Lennertz and lyrics by Jordan Peterson, Christopher Lennertz and Alex Karukas. Plus, fan-favorite songs “Save The City” from the Disney+ series “Hawkeye” (with music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman), and “Star Spangled Man” from the film “Captain America: The First Avenger” (with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by David Zippel).
Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture. He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.