Today's Riedel: Disney planning to bring THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME to the U.S.

Broadway Star
"Hunchies" - I guess we already have the equivalent to NEWSIES' "fansies," lol.

Updated On: 1/9/13 at 04:42 PM
showchoirguy Profile Photo
Broadway Star
I keep seeing Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Quasi. I don't know why, but it appeals to me.
bdn223 Profile Photo
Broadway Star
First Andrew Keenan-Bolger is going to reprise his role of Apu in Aladdin, or whatever it was, and he cannot will Quasi. This is because the contract his parent's signed when he was born stated he will appear in every Disney production that call's for a cute and lovable sidekick, and unfortunatly for him Quasi is the lead,
bdn223 Profile Photo
Broadway Star
First Andrew Keenan-Bolger is going to reprise his role of Apu in Aladdin, or whatever it was, and he cannot will Quasi. This is because the contract his parent's signed when he was born stated he will appear in every Disney production that call's for a cute and lovable sidekick, and unfortunatly for him Quasi is the lead,
PattyO'Furniture Profile Photo
Featured Actor
jimmycurry01 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I love listening to the German Cast recording, and I don't know a lick of German. Hopefully they bring Drew Sarich back for it when it comes around.
metropolis10111 Profile Photo
Leading Actor
I love this score, I do. I think it is the most layered of the Disney movie stage scores. The show was outstanding in Germany when I saw it and as much as I long for it to be here ... it's not a good idea. The movie was not a hit over here so there is not as big a built in audience for it. The piece (when done right) is a bit heavy for kids. While I do hope it makes it here just to get a new recording of the show I dread the end results.
ageorges3 Profile Photo
I'm sure Disney has the same reservations many are expressing here about its sell-ability, but I think a pattern will emerge where the Disney titles that seem least likely to succeed become hits.

I remember reading Schumacher's foreword in that beautiful "Pride Rock on Broadway" coffee table book. He was terrified about bringing Lion King to the stage - he thought it was ill-suited for the theater, and would end up being a bunch of actors parading around in those cartoony Disneyland-esque costumes, putting on a pale imitation of the movie. Disney had (an almost arrogant) confidence in the ability of Tarzan and Mermaid (two movies that seemed surefire hits the family crowds Disney relies on) to succeed. Both flopped. Sounds like many of the reservations Jordan and others have about Hunchback are the similar to those that Disney and the Broadway community had with Newsies.

It wont succeed if they just bring the European production over and mount it here as-is. But, if they get the right creative players and do something so truly avant-garde like The Lion King (not gimmicky avant-garde, which is always a risk, but honest avant-garde), this could be the surprise hit of the decade.

Just some casting ideas:

Patrick Page as Frollo - Page has that insane bass voice, and he's one of the most brilliant stage actors of all time.

Let Paul Kandel play Clopin on stage - his vocal work in the movie is INCREDIBLE and one of the most amazing vocal performances in any animated film ever. He's a great stage actor as well, and should be working a lot more.
Updated On: 1/9/13 at 06:28 PM
darquegk Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
The role of Clopin in the musical as it stands is, much like the character in the animated film, a rather physically demanding one: lots of dancing, stunts and such. Kandel has never exactly been a dancer or a clown, though his vocals are amazing.
SporkGoddess Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Nooo. The music is beautiful. But the story is too sanitized yet still too dark for little kids.

I usually don't like onstage versions of Disney movies, though. Beauty and the Beast was the only one I liked, but I still preferred the film.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
Brave Sir Robin2 Profile Photo
Brave Sir Robin2
Broadway Legend
I think HUNCHBACK needs a redesign to be more modern - the projections and platforms need to be state-of-the-art. I think this could be a huge hit for Disney if the show is well-done. If it becomes a critic's darling, then it could be huge! They'll probably change it to the film ending with ***SPOILER*** Esmerelda not dying, but I'm fine with that. I just hope that Aladdin is good enough to warrant closing Mary Poppins.

Also, I really want Disney to do a classic film for a musical, such as a ballet/musical
Sleeping Beauty hybrid or if Jungle Book came to Broadway or even off-Broadway. Also, a revival of Aida in the next 10 years and a revival of Little Mermaid in the next 15.
Jordan Catalano Profile Photo
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
jv92 Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Jordan, though HUNCHBACK is quite "un-Disney", it has a marvelous song score, and the best underscore Menken's ever written. (Then again, that's the movie.) I don't think this will be a Disney smasheroo, but I'm glad it's happening. I genuinely love Menken and Schwartz's work on this.

kikki327 Profile Photo
Leading Actor
Chad Kimball as Quasimodo. anyone?
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
Does anyone else picture Jeremy Jordan starring in Hercules or is it just me?

NO. I really don't want to hear him WHAYL through another score.

Hunchback is probably the most theatrical of the Disney animated films. And Disney has proven they can find success n stage productions that are not specifically targeted to children (Aida), or a successful film (Newsies) or adhere to film's original appearance (The Lion King) or screenplay (Mary Poppins). Tarzan and Little Mermaid were mostly victims of poor design. And having seen Hunchback in Berlin, I think it was mostly the design that kept it from Broadway. It was apparently VERY expensive to run and from what I saw, little visual payoff. There is a lot of potential in Hunchback to be a gorgeous dramatic theatrical production. I just hope they can get it right.

Third is there is way too much deus ex machina in them to leave a modern theatrical audience happy. Adding off that point the characters are extremely dated and one dimensional.

And decade after decade, they have NEVER lost an audience, old or young.

I would actually like to see Cam Mac attach himself to HUNCHBACK.

I'd rather see John Napier attached to Hunchback.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
ReggieonBway Profile Photo
Broadway Star
I don't see Jeremy Jordan in this role, but I gotta love the assumption that he's only a screlter.
Broadway Legend
I think they could keep the film's ending but keep some elements from the Berlin production like the Gargoyles being a figment of Quasimodo's imagination.

JohnyBroadway Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Chorus Member
I have LOVED the German album for YEARS!
Cannot wait!

How about after this they skip Dumbo and go straight to Hercules!
Visceral_Fella Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
I hope they keep the dark ending.

I really want Tangled to be a Broadway musical. I just might go into debt if that happened and if it were good.
Kad Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
As they as they cut the gargoyles. Didn't the German production do that much?
Broadway Star
No, they weren't cut. The talking gargoyles were altered to be figments of Quasimodo's imagination - a change that I really like and hope they keep.

Updated On: 1/9/13 at 11:47 PM
RippedMan Profile Photo
Broadway Legend
Who says they have to go the normal route for a Disney show? They didn't put their name above the title of Peter and the Starcatcher, and that seemed to work out fine. It was an adult show, but with childish elements. I think this could work as the same idea. I just hope they pick people with some creativity. Tarzan and Mermaid were marred by some awful creative choices.
Broadway Star
Oh, you can guarantee the Disney logo will be above the title on this one - even if it is dark. It's to much of a classic in their cannon that they developed, and, since the Walt Disney Company oversaw the entire development of the film, I would think it would legally have to be there. But, it might look more like it does with THE LION KING where, instead of saying "Disney's... or Disney and then the show logo, it would read "Disney presents THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME."
Broadway Legend
Think it'd be more likely be Disney The Hunchback of Notre Dame rather than Disney presents, it's become a recent thing where they brand everything from films to Broadway shows with Disney above the title, only exceptions is Peter and the Starcatcher where Disney isn't lead producer or Mary Poppins which is a co-production.
Broadway Star
Yeah, I agree Jonwo. I just like how "Disney presents" sounds, haha. I think it suits their Broadway shows.


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