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BWW Feature: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at Overture Center


BWW Feature: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at Overture Center

Capital City Theatre (CCT), regional theatre in Madison, Wisconsin, has a reputation for casting talented, nationally recognized equity actors for its leads, and Hunchback is no different with five of its cast members hailing from New York. The production features Hamilton's Syndee Winters as Esmeralda. Among her Broadway credits, Ms. Winters recently appeared on the NBC live broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Also featured is original Hunchback cast member and Broadway performer, Julian Decker as Quasimodo. When Decker, who has played the role twice before, learned that there was a theatre wanting to do the very first concert version of the show, he knew he had to be involved. "There is something so fulfilling, as a performer, about taking on a show with a score like this."

CCT Co-founder and Musical Director Andrew Abrams fell in love with THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME when it played at the Paper Mill Playhouse. While the show didn't make it to Broadway, it has always been on his mind. "It has the best choral writing in a musical that I'd seen in years. I was so moved by it. The Orchestra is sweeping and it's a beautiful story that will move people."

In addition to the leads are sixteen featured ensemble members who portray narrators, gypsies, and gargoyles, as well as sing along with a 35-member chorus plus a 23-piece orchestra all on stage! The orchestra includes members of the symphony, chamber orchestra and University of Wisconsin. It's a very professional group of artists.

This is a staged concert so the cast will not be in full costumes--there will be suggestive elements of costumes, and the set will be simple but functional. The chorus sings in seventy-five percent of the show. "The epic sound is a cross between a Puccini Opera and the Verdi: Requiem, only it's Alan Menken. It hits you over the head sometimes," Abrams says.

This season was about acceptance of people who are different. Hunchback is a story of cruelty, love, and kindness still relevant today in Victor Hugo's novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The story tells of Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer, who is confined to the bell tower of the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century France by the evil Archdeacon Frollo. He longs to experience the outside world but finds that world which he hungers to be a part of to be even more cruel. Gypsy, Esmeralda, befriends him but finds her own life in danger form the wicked Frollo.

Capital City Theatre (CCT) brings the stage adaption, based on the novel and including Academy Award-nominated score from the Disney animated feature, to the Capitol Theater in Overture Center for the arts. Music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Peter Parnell, directed by Brian Cowing and musical direction by Andrew Abrams.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME will run Friday, June 1, 7:30 pm; Saturday, June 2, 7:30 pm; and Sunday, June 3, 2 pm; at the Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St -Madison WI 53702

Tickets are available for $25-$45 at or at Overture Box Office (608)258-4141. Recommended for ages 10 & up.

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From This Author Angie Stanton