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THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME Comes to MCCC's Kelsey Theatre, Today


THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME Comes to MCCC's Kelsey Theatre, Today It's 1482 Paris and life is dark and difficult. The gypsies who occupy the edges of society are in a constant struggle with city officials and the soldiers charged with protecting the citizenry. Thus begins "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," an epic tale set to a sweeping musical score, to be presented by The Pennington Players at Mercer County Community College's (MCCC's) Kelsey Theatre. Dates and show times are Fridays, Oct. 20 and 27 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Oct. 21 and 28 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Oct. 22 and 29 at 2 p.m.

Kelsey Theatre is located on the college's West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Oct. 20. (This show is not recommended for children.)

Based on the Victor Hugo novel, the show seeks to answer the question, "What makes a monster, and what makes a man?" The deformed bell-ringer Quasimodo, orphaned as a baby, has been raised in the confines of Notre Dame's bell tower under the reluctant supervision of Judge Claude Frollo, Paris's Minister of Justice. With only a trio of stone gargoyles as his advisors, Quasimodo, now 20, is curious about life below his tower. He decides to escape for a day during the Feast of Fools, setting off a series of events that will test the limits of courage, friendship, love, morality and justice. What does fate have in store for Quasimodo, the free-spirited gypsy Esmeralda, the handsome Captain Phoebus, and Judge Frollo in this harsh and volatile world?

"Hunchback" is the only stage collaboration between two masters of American musical theater: Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. With a chorus that appears onstage throughout the show, the score includes songs from the Disney animated film and additional numbers that add depth and richness to the unfolding drama.

The show stars CJ Carter of Somerset as Quasimodo; Alicia Rose Dishon of Toms River as Esmeralda; Gregory Newton of Jamesburg as Frollo; Scott Johnson of Lawrenceville as Phoebus; and Andrew Timmes of Princeton as Clopin.

The vocal ensemble of statues and gargoyles includes Heather Corson of Philadelphia, Pa., Matthew Dawson of Flemington, Shawn Doremus of East Windsor, Elizabeth Ferrara of Princeton Junction, Lucinda Fisher of Flemington, Michael Gearty of Langhorne, Pa., Peter Sauer of Yardley, Pa., Joan Schubin of Hamilton, Aidan Stallworth-Glitz of Hamilton, and Katrina Tammaro of Bensalem, Pa.

The People of Paris dancers are Kaitlyn Anthony of Bordentown, Tia Brown of Lawrence, Allison Giles of Basking Ridge, Emily O'Sullivan of Hamilton, Sasha Saco of Trenton, Daniella Tamasi of Lawrenceville, Kale Thompson of Trenton, Rob Veith of Mount Laurel, and Michael Zweig of Philadelphia, Pa.

Choir members include Jessalyn Aderhold of Hamilton, Shaughn Aderhold of Hamilton, Allyson Alzate of Dayton, Rachel Benoit of Wrightstown, Tom Bessellieu of Lawrence, Jessica Chiara of Roebling, Justin Derry of Langhorne, Pa., Laurie Gougher of Newtown, Pa., Wayne Irons of Princeton, Kristin Keenan of Columbus, Alyssa LaPierre of Eastampton, Nicholas LaRussa of Hamilton, Jessica Marcinkowski of Columbus, Jaimie McMillin of Bordenton, Gina Migliaccio of Hamilton, Cheryl Mills of Hamilton Square, Alan Naidoff of Princeton, Linda Newton of Jamesburg, Andrew Reiman of Yardville, Katherine Rittenbach of Freehold, Matthew Robertson of Yardley, Pa., Jeff Rosenthal of Dayton, John Russell of Hamilton, Debbie Ryan of Robbinsville, Sally Sohor of Manalapan, Joseph Stockette of Langhorne, Pa., NiCole Wagner of Hamilton, Michelle Williams of East Windsor, and Kaitlyn Young of Robbinsville.

The production team includes Producer Jenn Gregg, Director Frank Ferrara, Music Directors Shannon Ferrara and Mike Gilch, Choreographer Rachel Tovar, Stage Manager Vianna Fagel, Assistant Stage Manager Brittany O'Brien, and Movement Director Jon Martin. Set design is by Bryan Schendliger; lighting design is by Vicki Kaiser; sound design is by Eric Collins; and costume design is by Sally Sohor.

Tickets are $20 for all and may be purchased by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333 or online at Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children's events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

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Photo Caption: Hunchback_CJ_Carter
CJ Carter, of Somerset, is Quasimodo in The Pennington Players' "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," a musical version of the Victor Hugo novel featuring a sweeping score by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. The show comes to MCCC's Kelsey Theatre Oct. 20-22 and 27-29. Tickets are available by calling 609-570-3333 or online at (Not recommended for children under 13.) Photo by Kyrus Keenan Photography.

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