Last week I posted the Promo video of the La Jolla production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame on the blog’s Facebook page, so some of you have seen this already.

These are my reaction to the video, what I like and what I dislike. This might be  my only chance to discuss this since it’s looking unlikely that I will make the Paper mills  prodution this spring and who really know if this show will get an audio recording, or go to Broadway or La Jolla will just magically send me a video recording of the show for christmas but anyway here we go.

Ciara Renee and Michael Arden in the Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee and Michael Arden in the Jolla Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

What I liked:

No Gargoyles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES! Yeah sure they have their place in a kids movie in a franchise that has character like this but in a musical that is boosting being closer to the original story, no, just no.

The Sets- the sets are lovely. As silly as this might sound, I really like the floor. It’s not only accurate to Notre Dame but ti’s a nice visual statement.

The cast looks like they are having fun – I know this a ploy, if the cast is having fun then I the audeince will have fun, take my nonexistent money, (I’m a broke blogger). But I do enjoy the fun the seem to be having.

The Costumes – Across the broad these costume look great.  A few of the ensemble‘ costume caught my eye one being yellow and having an  most painterly touch to it and the other had leather-like components which is great but the two costume I really want to take about are Esmeralda’s costume. The promo video doesn’t show her in the prisoner costumes so we can’t talk about that but it does show her casual and performance dress. Her performance dress reminds me of across between Bollywood and Ren-faire, I don’t mean that in a negative way. They is something about the fabric or the sparkles just reminds of costume I seen in Bollywood film specific movies that features courtesans who are performing a dance number.  However the neckline reads more medieval, I dunno I think it works and it’s pink though if it were red I don’t think I would have minded. That being said I’m sick of seeing Esmeralda in red or pink as her primary color and for that reason Esmeralda’s casual  costume here is a breathe of fresh air for  me. It’s mostly blue which is a color she does wear in the novel although I think turquoise was color to the novel. The costume is very similar to the Disney costume as it the same basic cut, she also wears a purple skirt and her corset had gold stripes. The hip scarf is devore blue velvet and ti reminds me a little bit of Esmeralda costume in Notre Dame de Paris, whether this was intentional or I’m just making a connection that is not there it’s still a nice touch that adds a bit of texture to her costume. I wished her sleeves had been more puffy, it would have made a nice visual for the audience but that is a nitpick. Also I like that her knife is back though now that I think about, Esmeralda must have had a knife in the Disney version so it’s a null point. I wouldn’t I love her costumes but I appreciate them.

What I didn’t like:

Quasimodo’s makeup – It just looks like two lines of his face, it’s lackluster. Considering the scope of this production it just very underwhelming. Now to be fair, the promo video make not have a good shot of it but it seems like the deformity is coming more from the actor making a face than makeup. In a show like Notre Dame de Paris where everything is minimal, they can get way this the deformity being implied rather than realized but here I don’t think they can. And considering Quasimodo’s characterization in any version is wrapped up in his deformities, it’s not a little thing.

Hmm, only one thing I didn’t really like, either the video was too short or I’m going soft.

What did you think of the promo video?

2 Thoughts on “Reactions to the La Jolla Promo Video

  1. Laurel on 02/06/2016 at 10:19 pm said:

    The fact that the makeup is only two lines on his face comes from the fact that during the opening number, Quasi comes out and sings the “What makes a monster and what makes a man?” line without the deformity, and he smears the two lines across his face and Frollo + an ensemble member help him put on the hunchback.

    Here’s a link to a Youtube video of it: (it’s towards the end)

    With the cast album out and clips scattered all over Youtube, do you believe you’ll write a full review of the production, or is there not enough info to work with? I love your blog, have a nice day!

    • jess on 02/06/2016 at 10:47 pm said:

      Thanks for sharing that video ^^.

      Given that transformation is live on stage and it meant for a purpose of the man vs monster riddle, I can excuse the make-up. Though I find it a little too on the nose but that’s just me.

      I had planned on doing a review of the cast album but there is a fairly good chance I that will see a production of the show this Summer so probably will review the original show to some degree and the version of the musical that I’m planning on seeing.

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