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Sunday, March 15, 2015

F3Stage: The Hunchback of Notre Dame opens at Paper Mill Playhouse tonight

Film Flam Flummox

After a highly popular and acclaimed run at the La Jolla Playhouse last fall, Disney's North American premiere production of the stage adaptation of composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz's The Hunchback of Notre Dame makes its east coast debut at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey tonight, Sunday, March 15. The key creatives of director Scott Schwartz and librettist Peter Parnell return from that engagement, as do principal cast members Michael Arden (Quasimodo), Patrick Page (Dom Claude Frollo), Ciara Renée (Esmeralda), Andrew Samonsky (Captain Phoebus), and Erik Liberman (Clopin)--and early word from the preview period is that while certain adjustments have been made here and there to text, it is by and large the same piece that played in San Diego. That's a good thing if you ask me, for while it certainly had room for some further fine tuning, the La Jolla production was an unforgettable emotional sweep of an experience, blending the best qualities of the underrated 1996 Disney animated film, James Lapine's 1999-2002 world premiere production in Berlin, Victor Hugo's original novel, and a number of clever and inspired original touches into an intensely intimate yet spectacular whole. My full La Jolla opening night review from last November is here.

Michael Arden as Quasimodo; Ciara Renée as Esmeralda
(photo by Jerry Dalia)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is now running at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey through April 5, 2015.

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