‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is a classical Disney movie. Released in 1996, the story was based in a novel by Victor Hugo, who wrote ‘Les Misérables’ too. The amazing music was created by Alan Menken, composer of lots of popular Disney movies like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ or ‘The Little Mermaid’; and lyrics were written by Stephen Schwartz, composer of the successful ‘Wicked’. Now, it’s a massive project of Disney Theatrical Productions.
The first stage adaptation of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ was presented in Berlin in 1999 and it ran there for three years. It was the first time that a Disney musical was presented outside the United States. The story was closer to the book than the movie. Everything was dark, obscure, mysterious and dramatic.
Since then, different English productions of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ have been made. But not a Disney production in Broadway yet, which is probably coming soon. It’s exciting because if it’s successful, who knows if it can come to Europe? The American premiere of the show started a few weeks ago, on the 28th October 2014 in La Jolla Playhouse, in San Diego. It will be there until 14th December 2014. Then it will be transferred to the Paper Mill Playhouse, in New Jersey, next year.
The American production is based in the Berlin’s musical. So, the story is a little bit different from the popular movie (don’t worry, no spoilers). And some important changes have been done. Some of the reviews are very good. Apparently is a very good show, with spectacular scenery, where you can see the bells of Notre Dame, and a chorus singing in Latin. The songs are more or less the same, with some new or some changed, adapted to the new story. As you can imagine, the opening is longer, for example.
Let’s see how is the new production of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ in the United States. Sure is amazing, shocking and startling as all Disney adaptations. Hopefully is coming to London some day.