Deaf Actor to Play Quasimodo in THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME's Los Angeles Premiere

Deaf Actor to Play Quasimodo in THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME's Los Angeles Premiere

La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts & McCoy Rigby Entertainment will present the first show of its 2016-2017 season, the Los Angeles premiere production of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Peter Parnell, musical direction by Dennis Castellano, choreography by Dana Solimando and directed by Glenn Casale.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME will preview on Friday, September 16, 2016 (with a press opening on Saturday, September 17) and run through Sunday, October 9, 2016 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.

This brand new musical is the only stage collaboration from two masters of American musical theatre, Alan Menken (Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin). With a lush, emotionally rich score and beautiful choral arrangements, it's a dramatic retelling of the epic but tragic Victor Hugo novel. Darker than the Disney film, closer in plot to the novel, the musical showcases the film's Oscar-nominated score and introduces stunning new songs. For the first time, Quasimodo -- who is deaf in the original novel -- will be played by a deaf actor.

Parental discretion is advised.


Glenn Casale (Director) is thrilled to be back at La Mirada Theatre with THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME after directing its most recent production, Disney's The Little Mermaid. Broadway: Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby (Tony Award nomination, Best Revival), filmed by A&E (two Emmy Awards). Off-Broadway: The Property Known as Garland, Dragapella at Studio 54 (Lortel Award nomination, Outstanding Musical.) International: Disney's THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and Beauty and the Beast (Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Russia). Tours/regional: Doctor Dolittle, Ballroom starring Tyne Daly and Charles Durning, Wrestlers starring Mark Harmon and George Clooney, From the Topstarring Carol Burnett, Camelot starring Michael York, The Prisoner of Second Avenue with Jason Alexander. TV: "The Faculty" starring Meredith Baxter, "The Wayans Bros." Glenn is artistic director for California Musical Theatre in Sacramento.

Dana Solimando (Choreographer) Most recently choreographed the acclaimed Onstage production of American Idiot here at La Mirada Theatre. Most recent LMT/MRE credits include: Rent, Spring Awakening and Billy Elliot (2015 LADCC Award nomination). Other favorites: Ragtime (2015 Ovation Award Nomination), Parade (2103 Ovation Nom), Damn Yankees (2014 Ovation Nom), The Addam's Family, Hairspray, All Shook Up, Swing! (2004 and 2006 L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation awards- Best Choreography). Miss Saigon at the Macau International Arts Festival/MRE (2012 Ovation nom), Jesus Christ Superstar - national tour (NAACP Theatre Award nomination). Hair, La Cage Aux Folles, and The Wizard of Oz (Sacramento Music Circus), Little Miss Scrooge (world premiere), Little Shop of Horrors and Buddy. Dana is also co-writer/director/choreographer for MAESTRO and Rt. 66on Crystal Cruises and director/choreographer for the world premiere/national tour of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Musical.

DENNIS CASTELLANO (Musical Director/Conductor) returns to La Mirada having conducted our productions of Dreamgirls, Mary Poppins, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, Grease, Annie, Guys & Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun and The Unsinkable Molly Brown,the latter two starring Cathy Rigby. During the summer months, Dennis is the musical supervisor for the Sacramento Music Circus where he has conducted Show Boat, The Producers, Funny Girl, Spamalot, Sweeney Todd, Ragtime, and La Cage aux Folles. Other credits include The Light In the Piazza, Cloudlands, Ordinary Days, Putting It Together, A Little Night Music and Sunday In the Park With George for South Coast Repertory; South Pacific, Oklahoma!, Hairspray, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The King and I for Musical Theatre West; and A Chorus Line and Me and My Girl for Musical Theatre of Wichita. Dennis heads the music theatre program at UC Irvine and is very proud of his students working on the stages of Broadway and around the country.

Alan Menken (Music) Stage credits: Aladdin, Sister Act, Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, A Christmas Carol, King David, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Leap of Faith, A Bronx Tale, Real Life Funnies, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravits, and Weird Romance. Film credits: "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "Newsies," "Pocahontas," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Hercules" and "Home on the Range." Other achievements: A Billboard #1 album ("Pocahontas") and #1 single ("A Whole New World"). Awards include eight Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, 10 Grammys, the London Evening Standard Award, the Olivier, the New York Drama Critics Award, the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical.

Stephen Schwartz (Lyrics) was born in New York City on March 6, 1948. He studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School of Music while in high school and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968 with a B.F.A. in Drama. Upon coming back to live in New York City, he went to work as a producer for RCA Records, but shortly thereafter began to work in the Broadway theatre. His first major credit was the title song for the playButterflies Are Free; the song was eventually used in the movie version as well. In 1971, he wrote the music and new lyrics for Godspell, for which he won several awards including two Grammys. This was followed by the English texts, in collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, for Bernstein's MASS, which opened the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The following year, he wrote the music and lyrics for Pippin and two years later, The Magic Show.

At one point, Godspell, Pippin, and The Magic Show were all running on Broadway simultaneously. He next wrote the music and lyrics for The Baker's Wife, followed by a musical version of Studs Terkel's Working, to which he contributed four songs, and which he also adapted and directed, winning the Drama Desk Award as best director. He also co-directed the television production, which was presented as part of the PBS "American Playhouse" series. Next came songs for a one-act musical for children, Captain Louie, and a children's book, "The Perfect Peach." He then wrote music for three of the songs in the Off-Broadway revue, Personals, lyrics to Charles Strouse's music for Rags, and music and lyrics for Children of Eden.

He then began working in film, collaborating with composer Alan Menken on the scores for the Disney animated features Pocahontas, for which he received two Academy Awards and another Grammy, and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." He also provided songs for DreamWorks' first animated feature, "The Prince of Egypt," for which he won another Academy Award for the song, "When You Believe." He most recently collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's "Enchanted." Mr. Schwartz provided music and lyrics for the original television musical, "Gepetto," seen on The Wonderful World of Disney and recently adapted for the stage as "Gepetto & Son." He has released two CDs on which he sings new songs, entitled "Reluctant Pilgrim" and "Uncharted Territory." Mr. Schwartz's most recent musical, Wicked, opened in the fall of 2003 and is currently running on Broadway and in several other productions around the United States and the world. In 2008,Wicked reached its 1900th performance on Broadway, making Mr. Schwartz the only songwriter in Broadway history ever to have three shows run more than 1900 performances. A book about his career, "Defying Gravity," has recently been released by Applause Books. Under the auspices of the ASCAP Foundation, he runs Musical Theatre Workshops in New York and Los Angeles, and serves on the ASCAP Board; he is also currently the President of the Dramatists' Guild.

Peter Parnell (Book) most recently wrote the new book for the Broadway revival of Lerner and Lane's On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, starring Harry Connick, Jr. and Jessie Mueller. His plays include Trumpery (Atlantic Theatre Company), QED starring Alan Alda (Mark Taper Forum, Vivian Beaumont, LCT), a two-part stage adaptation of John Irving's The Cider House Rules (Seattle Rep, Taper, Atlantic, American Theatre Critics Association Award). His other plays, Sorrows of Stephen, The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket, Romance Language, Hyde in Hollywood, Flaubert's Latest, and An Imaginary Life, were first produced by The Public Theater and at Playwrights Horizons. For television, Parnell was a co-producer for "The West Wing" (two EMMY Award citations), and a producer for "The Guardian," "Inconceivable," and "Six Degrees." His children's book And Tango Makes Three, co-authored with Justin Richardson, was an American Library Association Notable Book, a Henry Bergh Award winner, and has either headed or been on the ALA'S Top Ten List of Most Banned Books from 2006-2012. Parnell has served on the Literary Award Committee of PEN, and has taught writing at Dartmouth, the New School, Columbia, the Yale School of Drama, and currently at NYU. He proudly serves as Vice-President of The Dramatists Guild.

The Cast for THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME features John McGinty as Quasimodo, Dino Nicandros as the singing voice of Quasimodo, Cassie Simone as Esmeralda, Mark Jacoby as Frollo, Keith A. Bearden as Clopin, Eric Kunze as Phoebus and the ensemble features: Brandon Burks, Doug Carfrae, Cherrie Badajos Cruz, Emily Dauwalder, Rachel Farr, Lance Galgon, Hannah Madeleine Goodman, Devon Hadsell, William Martinez, Kevin McMahon, Shanon Mari Mills, Shannon Stoeke, Stephanie Thiessen and Paul Zelhart.

The Design Team for THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME is as follows: Scenic Design by Stephen Gifford; Lighting Design by Jared Sayeg; Sound Design by Josh Bessom; Costume Design by Marcy Froehlich; Hair/Make-Up/Wig Design by Leah J. Loukas. Casting is by Julia Flores, and the Production Stage Manager is John W. Calder, III.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME will preview on Friday, September 16, 2016 (with a press opening on Saturday, September 17) and run through Sunday, October 9, 2016 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.

Performances are 7:30pm on Wednesdays & Thursdays; 8pm on Fridays; 2pm and 8pm on Saturdays; and 2pm on Sundays. There will be no performances on Saturday, September 17 at 2pm. Talkbacks with the cast and creative team will be on Wednesday, September 21 and Wednesday, October 5.

Tickets range from $20 - $70 and can be purchased at La Mirada Theatre's website, or by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or(714) 994-6310. Student, Senior, Child and group discounts are available.

LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, near the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue where the 91 and 5 freeways meet. Parking is free.

Winner of the L.A. Stage Alliance OVATION AWARD for 2012-2013 "Best Season of the Year," LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, now in its fourth decade, has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the best Broadway-style houses in Southern California." This beautiful state-of-the-Art Theatre has been producing quality productions for its Southern California audiences since 1977. The theatre has produced several national tours and is the recipient of many accolades including Ovation and Emmy Awards and Tony Award nominations. The theatre is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, California, near the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue. Parking is theatre-adjacent and free. For further information call 562-944-9801 or visit

Celebrating its 22nd Anniversary season at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, McCoy Rigby Entertainment (MRE), is one of the world's premier theatrical production companies. Headed by Executive Producers Tom McCoy and Cathy Rigby, MRE has produced over one hundred musicals, plays, and concerts featuring some of the biggest stars in the industry today.

In addition, MRE has launched several Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated Broadway, international, and national touring productions including: Peter Pan, Seussical the Musical, and Annie Get Your Gun, all starring Cathy Rigby; Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll and Hyde starring American Idol contender and Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis along with Grammy Award nominee and R&B superstar Deborah Cox; Jesus Christ Superstar starring Carl Anderson and Sebastian Bach; Camelot starring Michael York and Lou Diamond Phillips and Happy Days written by Gary Marshall and Paul Williams. Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby has made four stops on Broadway and received four Tony Award nominations including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical. The A&E TV network premiere of "Peter Pan," starring Cathy Rigby, received one Emmy Award and four Emmy Award nominations. MRE's other credits include numerous award-winning documentaries and stadium events.

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