La Jolla Playhouse has announced the cast for its upcoming U.S. premiere musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, featuring a score by the multiple Academy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning team of composer Alan Menken (Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors) and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin), book by Peter Parnell (The West Wing, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) and direction by Scott Schwartz (Playhouse's Jane Eyre, Broadway's Golda's Balcony). Produced in association with Paper Mill Playhouse, by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, The Hunchback of Notre Dame will run October 26 - December 7, 2014 in the Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre.
"We are excited to welcome this knock-out company of local and national talent to the Playhouse - many of whom have delighted San Diego audiences for years," said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. "They will give full-throated life to Victor Hugo's classic story of love, obsession and heroism as reimagined by this truly powerhouse creative team."
The cast features Michael Arden (Broadway's The Times They Are A-Changin', Big River) as "Quasimodo," Patrick Page (Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, The Lion King, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!) as "Frollo," Ciara Renée (Broadway's Pippin, Big Fish) as "Esmeralda," Andrew Samonsky (Playhouse's Little Miss Sunshine, Broadway's The Mystery of Edwin Drood) as "Phoebus" and Erik Liberman (Broadway's Lovemusik) as "Clopin."
Five San Diego-based actors will be part of the ensemble: Lucas Coleman, Mary Joe Duggan and Anise Ritchie, along with UC San Diego M.F.A. students Brian Smolin and William Thomas Hodgson. Additional ensemble members include Julian Decker, Ian Patrick Gibb, Beth Kirkpatrick, Samantha Massell, Neal Mayer, Nora Menken, William Michals, Vincent Rodriguez and Richard Ruiz. As previously announced, the acclaimed local choir SACRA/PROFANA will serve as the show's on-stage chorus.
The creative team also includes Chase Brock (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), choreographer; Michael Kosarin (Newsies), music supervisor and arranger; Brent-Alan Huffman, Music Director; Michael Starobin (Tangled), orchestrator; Alexander Dodge (Playhouse's Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin), scenic designer; Alejo Vietti (Beautiful), costume designer; Howell Binkley (Memphis, Jersey Boys), lighting designer; Gareth Owen (A Little Night Music), sound designer and M. William Shiner, production stage manager.
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and featuring the Oscar-nominated score from the 1996 Disney animated classic, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the only stage collaboration from two masters of the American musical theatre, composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Celebrated for such beloved and award-winning works as Menken's Newsies, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin and Schwartz's Godspell, Pippin and Wicked, their artistry reaches its zenith in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Featuring a lush, emotionally rich score, this brand-new production from acclaimed director Scott Schwartz highlights the music's orchestral power and choral beauty in an intimate retelling of the famous love story. Librettist Peter Parnell crafts a bold, highly-theatrical take on the moving tale of the scorned bell-ringer Quasimodo, the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda and the dashing Captain Phoebus in 15th century Paris.
Casting for the Paper Mill Playhouse engagement of The Hunchback of Notre Dame will be announced at a later date.