The Hunchback of Notre Dame (musical)

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This article is about the Disney-produced musical. For the French musical, see Notre-Dame de Paris (musical).
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Hunchback of Notre Dame cast recording cover art
Music Alan Menken
Lyrics Stephen Schwartz
Book James Lapine (Der Glöckner von Notre Dame)
Peter Parnell (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Basis 1996 Disney animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame
1831 book The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
Productions 1999-2002 Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
2013 The King's Academy, Florida[1]
2014 La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego[2]
2015 Paper Mill Playhouse, New Jersey[3]
2016 Tuacahn Amphitheatre, Utah[4]
2016 Shiki Theatre Company, Tokyo[5]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a musical based on the 1996 Disney film of the same name, which in turn was inspired by the 1831 Victor Hugo novel of the same name.

The musical premiered in 1999 in Berlin, Germany as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame ("The Bellringer of Notre Dame"). It was produced by Walt Disney Theatrical, the company's first musical to premiere outside the U.S. It ran for three years, becoming one of Berlin's longest-running musicals.

The English-language musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame opened at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California on October 26, 2014 and ran until December 14, 2014.[6] Subsequently, the show went on to open on March 15, 2015 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey.[7] The show closed on April 5, 2015, after it was announced that the show would not move to Broadway.[8]

The musical relies on a series of musical leitmotifs which are reprised either instrumentally or vocally. Each of the central characters has a theme (Out There for Quasimodo, God Help the Outcasts for Esmeralda, Hellfire for Frollo, and Rest and Recreation for Phoebus). The Bells of Notre Dame acts as a narrative device to tell parts of the story.

Thomas Schumacher, President of the Disney Theatrical Group noted that the English adaption of the musical embraced the darker elements of the original source material by Victor Hugo, including its ending.[9]

Der Glöckner von Notre Dame[edit]

Wie aus stein: is sung by Quasimodo towards the end of the show, exemplifying the darker Gothic tone of the musical. The song pits him against the three gargoyles, who are figments of his imagination created due to loneliness. As they try to encourage him to stay strong, despite Esmeralda loving Phoebus, Quasimodo fights back arguing that they don't understand what he is going through because they are made of stone. He concludes, wishing that he too were made of stone so he wouldn't be able to feel the pain anymore.


Originally rehearsed in English, then retaught in German, the musical opened on June 5, 1999, for the opening of the Musical theater Berlin (now Theater am Potsdamer Platz).[10] After a successful run, it closed in June 2002.[11] Directed by Lapine, the German translation was by Michael Kunze, choreography by Lar Lubovitch, set design by Heidi Ettinger, costume design by Sue Blane, lighting by Rick Fisher, sound by Tony Meola and projections by Jerome Sirlin.[12][13][14]

This was Disney's first musical to premiere outside the US,[11] and it became one of Berlin's longest-running musicals to date. As with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame opened three years after the release of the movie on which it is based.

The musical is a darker, more gothic adaptation of the film. The gargoyles' names have been changed from Victor, Hugo, and Laverne to Charles, Antoine, and Loni - after actors who have played Quasimodo in the past. The gargoyles' comedy in the musical is greatly toned down; they sing in many more songs and they are also firmly established as figments of Quasimodo's imagination. Frollo's past is expanded to include the fact that he was a priest, which was featured in the original novel. Esmeralda's death is also retained and Quasimodo kills Frollo by throwing him, as opposed to the film version, in which Frollo merely loses his balance and falls.

According to translator Michael Kunze, he was " 'campaigning to allow Esmeralda to die at the end, as she does in the book. There was a feeling that the audience would be depressed if Esmeralda dies. I feel that a European audience would see this as a very romantic ending ... two lost souls finally find each other. People will cry, but they'll be moved.' "[15] The producers wanted to see how preview audiences reacted before making the final decision.[15]

The set for the production utilized many large hydraulically controlled boxes that can be placed at any height, onto which projections were used in every scene for scenery and effects.[16] The finale of act one shows Phoebus' plummet from a bridge over the Seine after being shot by an arrow.[17]


Act One[edit]

In 1482 Paris, Clopin, an elderly gypsy beggar narrates the origin of the titular hunchback ("Die Glocken Notre Dames" - "The Bells of Notre Dame"). A group of gypsies sneak illegally into Paris, but are ambushed by the Minister of Justice, Claude Frollo, and his guards. One of the gypsy women attempts to flee with her baby, but Frollo catches her and kills her outside of Notre Dame. He also tries to kill the baby, saying that it is a "child of Satan," but is confronted by the Archdeacon who accuses him of murdering the gypsy woman. Frollo accepts the Archdeacon's offer to raise the child in the cathedral's bell tower, naming him Quasimodo.

Twenty years later, Quasimodo develops into a kind yet isolated young man who dreams of seeing life outside the bell tower, but is told by Frollo that he is a monster and would be rejected by the outside world. A trio of living stone gargoyles: Loni, Antoine, and Charles serve as Quasimodo's only company and friends. The gargoyles encourage Quasimodo to attend the annually held Festival of Fools. He goes but is stopped by Frollo. The gargoyles urge him to disobey and venture out ("Zuflucht" - "Sanctuary"). After Frollo leaves, Quasimodo decides to go out for just one day ("Draußen" - "Out There").

While the Parisians continue their preparations for the festival, Clopin, King of the Gypsies, prepares his gypsies for the festival at their underground hide-out, the Court of Miracles ("Tanz auf dem Seil" - "Balancing Act"). Their attention is taken by a newcomer, a young gypsy dancer named Esmeralda. Meanwhile, Captain Phoebus arrives in Paris excited about his new promotion as Captain of the Guard ("Ein bisschen Freude" - "Rest and Recreation"). He flirts with a young girl but is suddenly interrupted by a fleeing gypsy accused of theft. The gypsy pleads innocence but Frollo arrives and orders his soldiers to arrest the gypsy. Frollo tells Phoebus that the city has become overrun by gypsies and that he plans to find the Court of Miracles and eliminate them all.

As the Festival begins ("Drunter drüber" - "Topsy Turvy"), Quasimodo, despite Frollo's advisories, attends the festival and he is celebrated for his bizarre appearance, only to be humiliated by the crowd after Frollo's men start a riot. Frollo refuses to help Quasimodo, but Esmerelda, a gypsy, intervenes, frees the hunchback, and uses a magic trick to disappear. Frollo confronts Quasimodo and sends him back to the cathedral.

Phoebus is dissatisfied with Frollo's methods and refuses to arrest her for alleged witchcraft inside Notre Dame and has her confined to the cathedral. Esmeralda, encouraged by the Archdeacon, offers a prayer to God to help her and the outcast ("Hilf den Verstoß'nen" - "God Help the Outcasts"). Meanwhile, Frollo orders Phoebus to post a guard at every door to ensure that Esmeralda does not escape.

Esmeralda befriends and follows Quasimodo to the bell tower and is captivated by the view of the city ("Hoch über der Welt" - "On Top of the World"). Quasimodo helps her escape Notre Dame out of gratitude for defending him. Esmeralda entrusts Quasimodo with a pendant containing a map to the gypsies' hideout, the Court of Miracles. Quasimodo expresses his feelings, as he has been touched by Esmeralda's kindness ("Das Licht des Himmels" - "Heaven’s Light"). Meanwhile, Frollo soon develops lustful feelings for Esmeralda and, upon realizing them, he begs the Virgin Mary (referring to her as Maria) to save him from her "spell" to avoid eternal damnation ("Das Feuer der Hölle" - "Hellfire").

After discovering that Esmeralda escaped, Frollo conducts a city-wide manhunt to find Esmeralda. Phoebus, now realizing Frollo's evil reputation, defies him after being ordered to burn down the home of an innocent family and is ordered to be executed but flees. Frollo and his men begin to search the city ("Esmeralda"). Phoebus is briefly injured and falls into a river but Esmeralda rescues him.

Act Two[edit]

The soldiers continue searching the city ("Trommeln in der Stadt" - "City Under Siege"). Having rescued Phoebus, Esmeralda tells him to seek refuge at Notre Dame while she returns to the Court of Miracles. Meanwhile, the gargoyles convince Quasimodo that Esmeralda finds him romantically intriguing, and they reassure him about her safety ("Ein Mann wie du" - "A Guy Like You"). The Archdeacon brings Phoebus to the bell tower and Phoebus, knowing Quasimodo to be a friend of Esmeralda's, asks Quasimodo to hide him.

Frollo returns to Notre Dame later that night and, realizing that Quasimodo helped Esmeralda escape, bluffs that he knows about the Court of Miracles and that he intends to attack at dawn. After Frollo leaves, Phoebus comes out of hiding and asks Quasimodo to help him find the Court of Miracles and warn Esmeralda. Quasimodo refuses to leave the cathedral again but Phoebus and the gargoyles teach Quasimodo the value of devotion and selflessness ("Weil du liebst" - "Out of Love").

Using Esmeralda's amulet as their guide, Quasimodo and Phoebus find the Court of Miracles to warn the gypsies. Esmeralda and Phoebus decide to leave the city together while Quasimodo, heartbroken, watches Esmeralda leave with the man she truly loves ("Weil du liebst" - "Out of Love" (Reprise)). However, Frollo follows and captures the gypsies present.

Esmeralda refuses Frollo's advances exchange for becoming his mistress. Quasimodo, tied up in the bell tower, refuses to help and tells the gargoyles to leave him ("Wie aus Stein" - "Made of Stone"). As dawn approaches, Esmeralda awaits her execution in the dungeon with Phoebus hoping that one day the world will be a better place ("Einmal" - "Someday").

Frollo prepares to burn Esmeralda at the stake, but Quasimodo, chained up inside the Bell Tower, manages to break free and unties her body from the stake, bringing her to the cathedral. Phoebus then frees himself and the gypsies and rallies the citizens of Paris against Frollo and his men, who attempt to break into the cathedral. Quasimodo calls upon the saints and the gargoyles before pouring molten copper onto the streets to ensure no one enters but Frollo himself successfully breaks in. In the cathedral, Esmeralda thanks Quasimodo for being a good friend and dies from smoke inhalation. Frollo arrives and, after asking Quasimodo if she is dead, tells the hunchback that they are finally free of her poison. Quasimodo pushes Frollo over the balcony's edge. Encouraged by Antoine, Quasimodo throws Frollo to his death in the molten copper. The gargoyles comfort Quasimodo and tell him the world is full of good as well as evil. The citizens watch as Quasimodo carries Esmeralda's body through the square with Phoebus by his side. Clopin appears again and asks what makes a monster and what makes a man ("Finale Ultimo" - "Grand Finale").


An original cast recording was recorded in German.[18]


Matt Wolf of Variety said that "The prevailing tone, indeed, is far and away the most somber of the three Disney film-to-stage shows yet." He wrote that "The design is likely to be the show's talking point in any language, coupling as it does the best of British and American talent with a new $100 million dollar-plus playhouse specifically adapted to accommodate the demands of the piece. The aquamarine stage curtain, Gothic tracery already encoded within it, rises to reveal set designer Heidi Ettinger's ever-shifting array of cubes that join with Jerome Sirlin's projections to conjure the medieval world of the Parisian belltower inhabited by Sarich's misshapen orphan Quasimodo, his unyielding master Frollo (Norbert Lamla) and a trio of very chatty gargoyles."[14] One minor criticism of the musical was the costume for Frollo, which was a big departure from what he wore in the film.[citation needed]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame[edit]


In 2008, lyricist Stephen Schwartz said, "I think we're starting up Hunchback of Notre Dame, hopefully, next year."[19] In a November 2010 interview, composer Alan Menken confirmed that he was working on an American production: "We're bringing that one back, too! ... we are still using James Lapine's book."[20]

On January 9, 2013, it was announced that the musical will finally be produced for a Broadway performance with a new book by Peter Parnell and new songs by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, who did the songs for the movie and the original musical.[21]

"These characters all come together, all with purpose, all trying to do the right thing facing extraordinary obstacles... We don't offer a solution, but we go to this place that you or others may call dark, that I would call life."

Thomas Schumacher, interview with State of the Arts NJ for the 2015 Paper Mill Playhouse production of Hunchback.[22]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame had a workshop in February 2014.[2][23] The musical began its North American premiere at La Jolla Playhouse on October 28, 2014 and ran through December 7, 2014, directed by Scott Schwartz. The production featured a 32-voice chorus, appearing onstage during the entire show.[24] The La Jolla Playhouse production transferred to the Paper Mill Playhouse from March 4 through April 5, 2015.[25][26]

The style of the show is a "Victor Hugo adaption with the score of Disney's Hunchback".[27] "The Bells of Notre Dame" is rewritten to include Frollo's past as a priest as well as his relationship with Jehan before becoming the cathedral's archdeacon. The gargoyles, Victor, Hugo, and Laverne (Charles, Antoine, and Loni in the Berlin production), who are the comic reliefs in the 1996 movie, are cut. Quasimodo speaks with a "strangled slur", rather than his pure voice in the movie. He relies on a form of sign language that he has invented, and while he is unable to articulate, the statues of Notre Dame serve as figments of his imagination which provide insight into his thoughts and attitudes as a Greek chorus.[28] Some of the original characters from the novel are added, as well as songs such as "The Tavern Song", "Rhythm of the Tambourine," "Flight into Egypt" and "In a Place of Miracles".

The ending was proposed by Paper Mill's Hunchback director Scott Schwartz, who turned to the originally source material for inspiration. After Michael Arden, who played the role of Quasimodo in this version, read the book and discovered that Quasimodo is actually deaf from bell-ringing, he incorporated this aspect into his character, including a sign language-based form of communication. He had to selectively choose the moments to forgo the ailment in order to sing, such as moments when Quasimodo is alone; from his perspective he does not see his deformities.[29] Michael Arden said of his part that he would retire from the role in future incarnations of the show.[30]


Act One[edit]

The story starts off in Paris, 1482. The audience is introduced to brothers Jehan and Claude Frollo, orphan brothers who were taken in by the priests of Notre Dame. Jehan is mischievous and deviant while Frollo is pious. After Jehan is caught with a gypsy woman named Florika in his room, he is kicked out of Notre Dame by Father Dupin. Jehan leaves with Florika, and is not heard from again in years. Frollo, meanwhile, becomes the archdeacon of Notre Dame. He then gets a letter from Jehan, pleading to meet him at another location. When Frollo arrives, he finds that Jehan is dying from the pox. Jehan explains that his wife had died 3 months ago from the same ailment and that his baby boy needs to be taken care of. When Frollo sees the deformed baby, he tells Jehan that he will get rid of him. Jehan dies and as Frollo is about to kill the child, he feels the glances from Notre Dame’s statues and decides against it, feeling that it is a test from God. He names the baby Quasimodo and forbids him from leaving the confines of Notre Dame’s bell tower ("Bells of Notre Dame").

Years later, Quasimodo, now grown up, has gone partially deaf from ringing the bells. He speaks to the objects in the cathedral such as the bells, statues, and gargoyles. He daydreams about going to the Feast of Fools. Frollo arrives at the bell tower and asks him who he is speaking to. When Quasimodo answers that he has been speaking to his friends, Frollo reminds him that stone cannot talk. They recite the biblical story of the flight into Egypt and Saint Aphrodisius, whose name Quasimodo has a hard time pronouncing. After that, Frollo complains about how he must attend the Feast of Fools ("Sanctuary Part I"). Quasimodo offers to accompany him for protection. Frollo rejects the offer and tells him that he must stay confined to his sanctuary, the bell tower, because the people outside will never accept him ("Sanctuary Part II). Quasimodo reminisces about his "sanctuary" and how he’d love to spend one day out there ("Out There").

Down below, the Feast of Fools begins ("Topsy Turvy Part I"). Meanwhile, Phoebus, the Captain of the Guard, arrives at the city and flirts with some women ("Rest and Recreation"). Frollo later welcomes Phoebus and tells him that there is no time for "rest and recreation" as they must get rid of the city’s scum. At the Festival of fools, Esmeralda is introduced and dances for the crowd ("Rhythm of the Tambourine"). After that, they get ready to crown the King of Fools, who ends up being Quasimodo, who was entered to the contest by Esmeralda ("Topsy Turvy Part II"). In the middle of the celebration, someone throws something at Quasimodo and mocks him. The entire crowd turns on him, ties him down, and whips him. Phoebus asks for permission to stop the cruelty, but Frollo forbids it as a lesson must be learned. Esmeralda appears at the scene and halts the beating. Quasimodo asks for water, which she gives him and then unties him. The crowd gets angry at Esmeralda for halting its fun, and she escapes in a puff of smoke, which Frollo believes is witchcraft. The people in the crowd attempt to harm Quasimodo again, but Frollo stops them and scolds them for being barbaric and tells them to go home. Frollo asks Quasimodo if he is now aware that he was right about how cruel and wicked the world is. Quasimodo tells him that he will never leave the bell tower again ("Sanctuary Part III").

Esmeralda enters Notre Dame and is in awe of its beauty. Frollo spots her and tells her that her kind isn’t allowed in the church and asks her why she is there. She tells him she is there to try to help Quasimodo. Frollo responds that he’s his responsibility. He tells her she is licentious and accuses her of black magic. Esmeralda asks if he has any charity, to which Frollo responds that he may be able to save her. After Frollo leaves to conduct mass, Esmeralda prays to the Virgin Mary and asks God to help the less fortunate ("God Help the Outcasts"). Phoebus finds Esmeralda and they both argue and fight. Phoebus tells her not to cause anymore trouble and that he’s simply following orders. She tells him to please let her go so that she may see Quasimodo. Phoebus tells her not to fight battles that cannot be won, but she says that she can’t help it.

Esmeralda runs up the stairs to the bell tower. Quasimodo frantically tries to hide, encouraged by the bells and gargoyles, but she catches up to him. She tells him not be afraid and that she is very sorry for what happened at the festival, but notices that he has a hard time hearing her. Quasimodo tells her that he is very good at reading lips, so as long as he can see her face, they can communicate. Quasimodo shows Esmeralda the view from the tower, which Esmeralda finds beautiful. The gargoyles and bells encourage Quasimodo to talk to her ("Top of the World"). Quasimodo rings the bells and tells them to "sing for her". Frollo runs up to the tower, confused as to why he is ringing them at completely the wrong time. Frollo is startled by Esmeralda’s presence because he thought she had left. He offers her shelter at the cathedral so that he may save her soul. She rejects his offer because she does not like the way he looks at her. Angered, Frollo tells Phoebus to escort her out of the church and that she is to be arrested if she ever sets foot in Notre Dame again. Frollo scolds Quasimodo for thinking that Esmeralda is kind and that he must get rid of impure thoughts. He tells him to never think of her again, as she is dangerous and was sent in from hell to tempt them.

Not able to cease to think of Esmeralda, Frollo starts to roam the streets every night. After walking down an unknown alley, he discovers the gypsies celebrating with wine and dance ("The Tavern Song (Thai Mol Piyas)"). Phoebus pays them a visit to have a little fun, and discovers that Esmeralda is there. The dancing resumes as Frollo, despite his efforts, is unable to look away.

Up at the tower, some of the objects tell Quasimodo not to think of Esmeralda because Frollo forbade it, while others tell him that no one should be able to dictate his thoughts. Quasimodo thinks about the many times he’s observed couples in love, and how he never thought himself worthy of being loved until now ("Heaven’s Light"). Frollo, meanwhile, is also unable to stop thinking about Esmeralda. He resents her for "casting a spell" and awakening impure thoughts within him. He now desperately needs her to be his, or she will otherwise burn ("Hellfire").

At the Bastille, Frollo arrives unexpectedly to ask King Louis XI for special powers to stop a gypsy witch in order to protect the citizens. The King tells him to do whatever he feels is necessary, but to be prudent. Having obtained the necessary permission, Frollo gathers the cathedral guards and Phoebus to hunt down Esmeralda. They look everywhere and offer money in return for her, and they finally end up at a brothel known for hiding gypsies. When they do not yield what he is looking for, Frollo orders Phoebus to burn it down. Phoebus refuses and Frollo orders his arrest. Esmeralda shows up to stop him, and a fight breaks loose. During the commotion, Frollo stabs Phoebus and blames Esmeralda after she picks up the knife. Esmeralda and Phoebus disappear into a puff of smoke with the help of Clopin. Frollo continues the hunt, while Quasimodo grows worried about her whereabouts ("Esmeralda").

Act Two[edit]

Esmeralda shows up at the tower of Notre Dame, and asks Quasimodo to hide Phoebus, who is badly injured. She gives Quasimodo a woven band which doubles as a map to the Court of Miracles, and she leaves. The gargoyles scold Quasimodo to not help Esmerelda in any other way, and he becomes inspired by the story of Saint Aphrodisius to go out to the world and help her ("Flight into Egypt").

Phoebus awakens and tries to get up, but Quasimodo carries him off to hide him before Frollo can find out. As Frollo arrives, he notices that Quasimodo is acting a bit strange. He tells Quasimodo that, if he were to know where the gypsy was hiding, that he must tell him. For the very first time, Quasimodo lies to him and denies knowing where she is. A guard comes up to the tower to tell Frollo that they know where the gypsy is. Frollo cheerfully tells Quasimodo that they will now be successful in capturing her and leaves.

Phoebus gets up to go help Esmeralda. Quasimodo offers to help which Phoebus scoffs at. Quasimodo reminds him that he can barely walk and that he has her map. Phoebus refuses to believe that the woven band is a map, causing Quasimodo lift him up over tower to give him a good view of the city, which makes Phoebus finally agree with him. After that, they both go into the streets of Paris to try to find Esmeralda's whereabouts.

When they land at the Court of Miracles located in the cemetery, they are greeted by its inhabitants who are displeased to see them. Clopin reveals that they will be hanged for their intrusion ("Court of Miracles"). Esmeralda arrives in time to stop the hanging and explains that both men are her friends. Phoebus discloses that Frollo will attack at dawn, and the gypsies start to pack up to relocate. When Phoebus asks Esmeralda to go with her, they embrace and acknowledge their love for each other. Quasimodo looks on, heartbroken that his love will never be returned ("Heaven's Light Reprise/In a Place of Miracles"). Frollo interrupts and thanks Quasimodo for helping him find the Court of Miracles. He arrests Esmeralda, Phoebus, and the rest of the people there. He tells Quasimodo that he is very disappointed in him and orders the guards to take him away and tie him up at the bell tower.

Frollo visits Esmeralda at her prison cell, and tells her that he can save her if she accepts being with him. When Esmeralda refuses, he threatens Phoebus' life as well. He tells her that his love for her burns like hot lead and attempts to rape her ("Sanctuary (Reprise)"). He halts when a guard shows up with Phoebus. Frollo thinks that allowing her to have a final conversation with Phoebus will make her rethink his offer. Esmeralda tells Phoebus that the only way to save both of their lives is to give herself up to Frollo. Phoebus pleads that she does it so that she may save herself, which Esmeralda refuses. They speak about a day when life will change for the better ("Someday").

At the bell tower, the gargoyles try to encourage Quasimodo to free himself so that he may save Esmeralda. Quasimodo tells them all to go away; he'd only make things worse. When they tell him that he doesn't believe that, he angrily informs them that they can know nothing of what he feels; they're only made of stone. He expresses that he wishes that he were also made of stone, so that he could cease to feel all the pain inside him ("Made of Stone").

Outside of the cathedral, Frollo reads off Esmeralda's crimes, which include: entering Paris illegally, stabbing a soldier of the church, and witchcraft. He declares that her sentence is death, but Frollo gives her one last chance to save herself and tells her to think of his offer. Esmeralda answers with spitting on his face. Angered, he lights the pyre to which Esmeralda is tied. Quasimodo is finally able to break free and runs down to save Esmeralda and takes her back to the cathedral. Phoebus convinces the people of Paris to fight against the guards, but they are still able to make their way to the cathedral and they try to break into it. Upon seeing this, Quasimodo dumps a cauldron of molten lead onto the guards. Quasimodo goes to Esmeralda and tells her that they have been victorious and that she is safe. Weak from inhaling too much smoke, she feebly thanks him for being such a great friend and dies. Frollo comes in and asks Quasimodo if she is dead, which he confirms. Relieved, he tells Quasimodo that they are finally free of her poison. Angry, Quasimodo hears the voices of the gargoyles encouraging him to kill Frollo. Despite Frollo's pleas, he throws him off of the cathedral.

In deep grief, Quasimodo realizes that everyone he's ever loved is now dead. Phoebus arrives and discovers that Esmeralda has perished and tries to carry her away but is unable due to his injuries. Quasimodo carries Esmeralda's body outside and sets her down in front of the crowd. Afraid he will be blamed for her death, he starts to retreat. A girl emerges, and twists her body to show that she is just like him. The rest of the crowd follows suit, accepting him at last ("Finale Ultimo").



On May 15, 2015, it was announced that the Paper Mill cast would be releasing a cast recording of the show.[32] Recorded on September 28–30 at Avatar Studios,[33][34] the album is being advertised without references to "Disney", and features a 25-piece orchestra, with a 32-strong choir.[35] The recording was released by Ghostlight Records in January 2016.[36] The cast album was released to critical and commercial acclaim.[citation needed]

Chart Peak position
Cast Albums 1[citation needed]
Top Album Sales 17[citation needed]
Billboard 200 47[citation needed]


The English version of the musical received positive reviews. NY Daily News wrote "This stage musical smartly excises comic relief from the film’s giggling gargoyles...The look of the show is also very good. Alexander Dodge’s lavish bell-tower, Alejo Vietti’s gritty period costumes and Howell Binkley’s dynamic lights lend to the atmosphere."[37] The New York Times deemed it a "surprising[ly] self-serious...polished but ponderous musical" with a "simultaneously impressive and oppressive" stage and "rich choral singing".[28] The Hollywood Reporter said "Menken's uncommonly complex, classically-influenced score often soars".[38] NBC New York notes Arden transform[s] into the hunchback before our eyes, much as Bradley Cooper did in "The Elephant Man."".[39] AM New York called the musical "an unusually dark and chilling piece of musical theater which explores physical deformity, religious extremism, sexual repression and even genocide".[40]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The run of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the La Jolla Playhouse was nominated for six Craig Noel Awards as determined by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle: Outstanding Resident Musical, Brent Alan Huffman for Outstanding Musical Direction, Patrick Page for Outstanding Featured Male Performance in a Musical, Howell Binkley for Outstanding Lighting Design, Alexander Dodge for Outstanding Scenic Design, and Scott Schwartz for Outstanding Direction of a Musical.[41] The show would win Outstanding Featured Male Performance in a Musical for Patrick Page, Outstanding Lighting Design, and Outstanding Scenic Design.[42]

Principal cast[edit]

Character Original Berlin Cast La Jolla Playhouse Cast Papermill Playhouse Cast
Quasimodo Drew Sarich[14] Michael Arden[14]
Esmeralda Judy Weiss[14] Ciara Renée
Phoebus Fredrik Lycke Andrew Samonsky
Clopin Jens Janke Erik Liberman
Frollo Norbert Lamla Patrick Page
Charles Valentin Zahn does not appear
Loni Yvonne Ritz Andersen does not appear
Antoine Tamàs Ferkay does not appear
The Archdeacon Carlo Lauber does not appear
Jehan Frollo does not appear Lucas Coleman Jeremy Stolle
St. Aphrodisius does not appear Neal Mayer
Choir n/a SACRA/PROFANA Continuo Arts

Other productions[edit]

In April 2013, an English production by The King's Academy Fine Arts Department was staged in West Palm Beach, Florida.[43] The company collaborated with Disney Executive Studios.[44] This version does not include all songs from Der Glöckner von Notre Dame or the later English adaptation, and excludes the deaths of Esmerelda and Frollo.

The rights to The Hunchback of Notre Dame are now available for professional theatre productions, licensed exclusively through Music Theatre International.[36]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame with composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz will play at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, ME, from July 13, 2016 through August 6, 2016.[45]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame will open at Utah's Tuacahn Amphitheatre on August 5, 2016.[46][47]

California Music Circus of Sacramento opened the musical for a week run in August 2016. The show was in the round and notably featured a deaf actor for the first time in the role of Quasimodo. John McGinty spoke in ASL during songs while Jim Hogan provided his singing voice.[48][49]

As part of their 42nd season, Upper Darby Performing Arts Center will present the musical in it's East Coast non-equity premiere in the summer of 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ YouTube. 
  2. ^ a b "Into the California Sunlight! Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame Will Have Its U.S. Premiere at La Jolla". 
  3. ^ "Full Cast Announced for the U.S. Premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Paper Mill Playhouse. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Tuacahn Amphitheatre schedule 2016" (PDF). Tuacahn Amphitheatre. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  5. ^ "【速報】海外新作ミュージカル『ノートルダムの鐘』、上演決定!". Shiki Theatre Company 劇団四季. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  6. ^ "2014 2015 Season". La Jolla Playhouse Official Website. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Full Cast Announced for the U.S. Premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Paper Mill Playhouse. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  8. ^ Purcell, Casey (April 6, 2015). "The Hunchback of Notre Dame Will Not Move to Broadway; Fans Sign Petition for Transfer". Playbill. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  9. ^ The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill Playhouse. YouTube. 28 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Simonson, Robert and Lefkowitz, David. "Disney's Berlin 'Hunchback'Will Rehearse in New York in Spring 1999", November 10, 1998
  11. ^ a b "'Der Glöckner von Notre Dame'", accessed January 28, 2011
  12. ^ "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Find Articles at, Variety
  13. ^ "'Der Glöckner von Notre Dame', Production History", accessed January 28, 2011
  14. ^ a b c d e Wolf, Matt. "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (Der Glockner Von Notre Dame)", Variety Magazine, June 21, 1999 - June 27, 1999, Section: Legit Reviews; Abroad; p. 86
  15. ^ a b Geitner, Paul. "Disney's 'Hunchback' Goes to Stage", Associated Press Online, May 26, 1999, Section: Entertainment, television and culture, Dateline: Berlin
  16. ^ Lampert-Creaux, Ellen."Bells Are Ringing", October 1, 1999
  17. ^ a b c Disney "The Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage production recording", at the musicalschwartz website
  18. ^ "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' Cast Album", accessed January 28, 2011
  19. ^ Haun, Harry. "Playbill On Opening Night: 'The Little Mermaid' — Starfish Express", January 11, 2008
  20. ^ Cerasaro, Pat. "Alan Menken Interview"., November 15, 2010
  21. ^ "Will Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame Swing to Broadway? | Broadway Buzz". 2013-01-09. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  22. ^ Barbra Streisand live MGM Grand November 2nd 2012 Q&A. YouTube. 5 November 2012. 
  23. ^ BWW News Desk. "BREAKING: Disney's HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME to Have U.S. Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse". 
  24. ^ Verini, Bob (2014-11-10). "Theater Review: Disney's 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-15. 
  25. ^ "Paper Mill Season Will Feature Can-Can, Hunchback, Ever After, Vanya and Sonia and More". February 26, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  26. ^ BWW News Desk. "Patrick Page, Michael Arden, Ciara Renee & More to Lead THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at La Jolla Playhouse!". 
  27. ^ Disney Podcast - PATRICK PAGE INTERVIEW, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME - Dizney Coast to Coast - Ep. 144. YouTube. 3 December 2014. 
  28. ^ a b Isherwood, Charles (2015-03-18). "Review: 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' at Paper Mill Playhouse". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  29. ^ "BWW TV: Inside Opening Night of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at Paper Mill with Michael Arden, Patrick Page, Stephen Schwartz & More!". 
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  31. ^ a b "The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Know Before You Go". 
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  37. ^ "Hunchback of Notre Dame review Disney dark-side article". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  38. ^ Scheck, Frank. "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame': Theater Review". Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  39. ^ ""Hunchback," at Paper Mill, Has Some Kinks to Work Out". Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  40. ^ "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' theater review -- 3.5 stars - am New York". Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  41. ^ "San Diego theater: 2014 Craig Noel Award nominees announced". Retrieved 2015-12-26. 
  42. ^ "2014 Awards - The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle". Retrieved 2015-12-26. 
  43. ^ Joy. "The King's Academy presents Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" - Christian Singles of Palm Beach (North Palm Beach, FL)". Meetup. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  44. ^ "The King's Academy Theatre Company Set to Premier Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame | The King's Academy". 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ Sound the Bells! THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME Heads to Utah Amphitheatre Broadway World, Retrieved October 19, 2015
  47. ^ "Tuacahn Amphitheatre schedule 2016" (PDF). Tuacahn Amphitheatre. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  48. ^ "EPIC NEW MUSICAL THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, BASED ON VICTOR HUGO CLASSIC, PREMIERES AT MUSIC CIRCUS AUG 23 - California Musical Theatre". 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-08-25. 
  49. ^ "Deaf actor in lead role for Music Circus' darker 'Hunchback'". Retrieved 2016-08-25. 

External links[edit]