What brings you to this corner of the internet?
Are you, perhaps like me, interested and intrigued by Disney's version of the Victor Hugo classic "The Hunchback of Notre Dame...?"
Did you know that it has been turned into a stage musical? Following in the same vein as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid and (most recently) Aladdin, Disney Theatrical transformed its animated masterpiece into a live musical theatre event. The only problem... It only ever played in Berlin.
Have you ever heard of Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame? It ran from 1999-2002. If you were interested in the production, you might have happened upon my website. It became quite popular during those years!
(It looked like this)
For years I tried to get any information I could about a transferal to an English-speaking production. I mean, it's Disney! The entire musical was written in English before being translated to German!
But Disney showed a strong reluctance to open a new production of the musical, apart from its very strong showing in Berlin, where it ran successfully for years. The reason is likely that the show is dark. Especially dark for a Disney production. It is not a show for children. Taking inspiration from the original book, the show removed a lot of the wacky humour from the movie and maintained the dark themes and added an even more menacing tone.
How do I know all this? Because I saw it! On the 6th of December 2001, I not only sat in the audience and watched this show that I had been obsessing over, but I also got a special backstage tour and got to hang out with the cast. (Told you my website had become popular!) It's a memory I hold very dearly. I shall blog about it more in the future.
BUT THE GOOD NEWS!!
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is finally, FINALLY seeing an official English release. The new production has a rewritten script by Peter Parnell, and it's being directed by lyricist Stephen Schwartz's son, Scott Schwartz!
(The new logo)
There are two out-of-town tryout seasons planned for this brand new production. The first will be playing at the La Jolla Playhouse, just outside of San Diego California, from the 26th October to the 7th December. After that it will transfer to the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey from the 4th March to the 5th April next year. If the show is in good shape and audiences are loving it after those two seasons, Disney will consider bringing it to Broadway.
Because I'm a little bit obsessive (and probably a little bit crazy) I will be flying over to California (from Australia!) for a week in November to see this new production. I'm extremely excited about it, and I hope to be able to share the whole experience with YOU, dear reader!
That's all for now. I shall blog as I go. There's so much I want to say, but I've got to save it for future posts. Until next time, may you get all your hunches back.