BREAKING: Disney's HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME to Have U.S. Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse

By: Jan. 24, 2014
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With the Broadway premiere of Disney's Aladdin just around the corner and a recent revelation that a staged musical adaptation of the hit Disney animated film Frozen will be heading to the Great White Way, it looks like the House of Mouse is now ready to bring the musical adaptation of Disney's 1996 animated film "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," stateside.

A Broadway workshop is taking place this month, featuring Michael Arden, Patrick Page and more.

The musical debuted in Germany in 1999, yet never made it across the Atlantic until now, when it will premiere as part of the 2014-15 season at La Jolla Playhouse.

The musical, written 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), will feature a book by Peter Parnell (The West Wing, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) and will be directed by Scott Schwartz(Playhouse's Jane Eyre, Broadway's Golda's Balcony). Smash's Josh Bergasse will choreograph. Produced by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, the musical will run October 28 - December 7 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.

Said La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, "With great anticipation, I look forward to collaborating with the powerhouse creative team of Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, Peter Parnell and Scott Schwartz to bring Victor Hugo's classic story to life. I am particularly intrigued by the musical's themes of love and aloneness, obsession and heroism - themes that still resonate with our audiences today. Like Peter and the Starcatcher, this potent new work explores new theatrical forms, one of the hallmarks of the Playhouse's mission,"

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 Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Little Shop of Horrors 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 finds 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. The creative team also includes Josh Bergasse (Smash), choreographer; Michael Kosarin (Newsies), music supervisor and arranger; Michael Starobin (Tangled), orchestrator; Alexander Dodge (Playhouse's Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin), scenic design; Alejo Vietti (Beautiful), costume design; Howell Binkley (Memphis, Jersey Boys), lighting design and Gareth Owen (A Little Night Music), sound design. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is produced by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, who earlier had developed Peter and the Starcatcher at La Jolla Playhouse as part of the Page To Stage Play Development program before it went on to win five Tony Awards on Broadway.