I know very little about fashion, most of the time I dress is sweats because I like being comfortable and warm which are the stereotypical banes of fashion. But I had an idea for a blog post which I will do at the end of the month but the idea gave me another idea finding a high fashion/couture evening gown that was similar to Disney Esmeralda’s costume but in that up I found more which resembled the Notre Dame de Paris costume which I know most people don’t really like and have gown down recently. So here are some gowns that resemble the costume wore by Esmeralda and Fleur de Lys.

Oddly these are all Ellie Saab which I swear was not intentional.


Emerald Gown by Elie Saab Spring 2012 picture image

Emerald Gown by Elie Saab Spring 2012

Esmeralda’s costume is a weird green color with some kind of print be it abstract or floral. It has a v-neck with asymmetrical bell sleeves. There is also sequins or beads on it. Ideally the costume should move when but that is not always the case. This gown has a lot of the basics down. The color is so perfect that is Emerald. Sleeves are tough to come by in gown so that is a pass but this one does have caps so that is something.  Just take away that belt and add a slit and this would be perfect.

 Green Gown by Elie Saab Eall-Winter 2013-2014 picture image

Green Gown by Elie Saab Eall-Winter 2013-2014

As an alternate, and yes there are a lot more gowns out there that would fit the bill but for today with other one by Elie Saab would do nicely. It’s a darker color of green but that is fine. This one also has the plunging v-neck and the beading creates a nice pattern. I like this one because it looks like it have more movement than the other one but that is due to the cut. Though again, gotta lose the belt though it doesn’t bother me as much.



Blush Gown Elie Saab Spring 2011 picture image

Blush Gown by Elie Saab Spring 2011

This gown really inspired the post. This one just to me captures Fleur de Lys from Notre Dame de Paris. It has a grace and primness but there is more to than just a good noble lady. I just wish the bottom was a little bit different not because it’s not pretty but that type of slit is so Esmeralda. It could work for Fleur de Lys given the waistline though and her more edgy moments in the musical.

Also speaking as someone who likes the original Esmeralda costume, I really don’t like a lot more recent remakes. The shortness doesn’t look good it, just weird and the print which tries to mimic the original never looks as interesting. I think some better update need to be down,

Notre Dame de Paris, Secret of the Hunchback, Hunchblog New Years 2016

All the Hunchback Versions that have been reviewed this past year.

There has actually been some decent amount of Hunchback related stuff that popped up in 2015 opposed the last few years where there has been much other that Josh Brolin popping up to say something about his movie that will never be I’m guessing.

So 2015 started off with the sad news. On October 24th 2015 Maureen O’Hara, who played Esmeralda in the 1939 movie version of Hunchback passed away at the age of  95.  The 1939 version is considered to be one of the best Hunchback version. It was also O’Hara’s American debut.

Musicals next; The Notre Dame de Paris 10 year anniversary tour in Korea which was French language. Notre Dame de Paris in Asian isn’t anything new but this was the first time in a while for a French Production to be presented.  There also a new Italian cast the uses member from the original cast. But that is set not next year, but this cast has been catching my attention and just recently did that cast come out so yeah, I’m including it here.

There was also the Disney Hunchback musical at the Paper mills Play house in March and April. Since it didn’t go to broadway there will more local productions so keep an ear out if one should be performed near you and it still might go to broadway someday, never say die. Also the cast recording of the Paper Mills and Lo Jolla casting is coming out next month so preorder here.

Also in April, Josh Groban did a cover of Le Temps de Cathedral on his Stages album. I wouldn’t say it did much to help Notre Dame de Paris’ popularity but people who didn’t know might have heard it so that is great.

Let’s what else. Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling named their baby Esmeralda which they directly sited Hunchback as being a favorite novel of their. First is a little funning because I a while ago I was looking up Celebrities and their favorite books and Hunchback never came up. Les Mis did. I sort of abandoned the idea due to how pretentious and/or how self severing their picks were, so I’m glad some actors liked the book.

But the BIGGEST news of the year is that there are 2, not one but 2 Hunchback movies in the works. One has been in the works for a while and is a independent movie from some actor who was in the second Sex and the City movie, Max Ryan. This version I don’t even know what to say. Everyt ime I try to make sense of it I’m reminded that there is a giant and a figment in the cast list and The Mask directors is going to direct so my expectations for this movie are low to hoping ti hilariously bad, but we’ll see maybe we’ll be surprised and it will be a really good version. Strangers things happen.

The second movie seems to be an off-shot of an idea for Once Upon a Time from 2013, a movie for Esmeralda’s POV, which I’m excited about. There hasn’t been a Esmeralda centric Hunchback version since the 1950’s and that was mostly a French movie. For Hollywood there has been a Hunchback version focusing on Esmeralda since Theda Bara’s 1917 movie The Darling of Paris. Not much is known about this movie other than it’s being spearhead by Peter Cherin and will focus on Esmeralda. I hope this movie is good and happens, you never know with movies.

Let’s hope 2016 has more Hunchback stuff!

To get ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and Christmas the Hunchback characters are doing a secret santa.

Quasimodo picked Frollo and got him Opteka 650-2600mm High Definition Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras for Stalking Esmeralda better.

Esmeralda picked Clopin and got him Southpole Men’s Marled Full-Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt, so her can be fashionable and warm but it’s a shallow girt.

Frollo picked Fleur-de-Lys and got her a Selfie Stick, He doesn’t know her at all.

Ben Sherman Novelty Socks picture image

Ben Sherman Novelty Socks

Phoebus picked Quasimodo and got him Ben Sherman Novelty Socks, socks, not thoughtful at all.

Gringoire picked Master Florain and got him Plant Theatre Herb Garden Seed Kit , Gringoire thought he was being clever but I can’t see the deaf judge caring for it.

Clopin picked Sister Gudule and got her Zalman King’s Red Shoe Diaries Movie #15: Forbidden Zone, Clopin is being wicked with this one.


Outdoor Gargoyle statue picture image

Outdoor Gargoyle statue

Fleur-de-Lys picked Notre Dame de paris and got her Design Toscano Florentine Gargoyle Statue, Notre Dame could use a new cute statue.

Jean picked Djali and got her Caution Attack Goat Sign, gag gift

Sister Gudule picked Phoebus and got him 1 X Snowman Mug w/ Shovel Spoon – Christmas Decor, she know he liked a good drink but it’s super misguided

Djali picked Esmeralda and got her Quiddler, Djali likes words.

Notre Dame de Paris picked Gringoire and got him Une Nuit De Noel a Notre Dame De Paris CD, who wouldn’t ant a new Christmas CD

Master Florain picked Jean and got him Corkcicle Chillsner Beer Chiller, It’s useful but Jean won’t use it.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame Ma Maison c'est ta maison garou helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame

Despite its flaws Notre Dame de Paris is the one of the best adaptions of the novel. It captures the spirt of Hugo and the characters better than any other version to date. Is it perfect? No but you don’t get much closer to the book and it does it own thing very nicely. And it brought musicals back to France.

Notre Dame de Paris Belle Esmeralda Helen Segara, Garou Quaismodo, Frollo Daniel Lavoie Phoebus Patrick fiori picture image

Belle with Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori and Helene Segara

Easily this my favorite version. To be honest, I could spend more time on Notre Dame de Paris since I didn’t really get into the any of the other casts. In fact that is something I have always wanted to do even before thehunchblog officially started. I more than likely will return to Notre Dame de Paris and discuss the various casts more probably on Wednesdays at various interval, since Wednesdays are like a free-for-all day. Heck, there is a new Italian tour going on so there are a lot of casts to get through and I would like to discuss more about the costumes.

Garou as Quasimodo & Helene Segara Danse mon Esmeralda,Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo and Helene Segara performing Danse mon Esmeralda

So this isn’t good-bye but a see you later Notre Dame de Paris.

Next month is a theme month (Guess the theme if you dare), so there won’t be a version starting in October. Next version starts in November and trust me when I say it’s one of the infamous bad ones.

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire singing Fatalité Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire singing Fatalité

Before we concluded with the review proper of Notre Dame de Paris I want to discuss the editing on the original DVD. For the most part, the cuts and shots are serviceable. They showcase the musical by showing the the singers and stage in a a fairly balanced manner and it moves things along. In the practical capacity it does its job. However the editing at times tries to be artsy or at the least interesting with overlays.

Overlay of Phoebus Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Overlay of Phoebus

These overlays are dumb. Either the expressions are just bad like the overlay of Phoebus between Beau comme le Soleil and Dechire or they are not executed well has with the overlay of Gringoire at the end of Le Temps de Cathedral where it has a harsh line at the bottom that should have been softened. It’s also small and off to the side of the shot so it looks more silly than intentional. There are also these kind of overlay through Le Temps and the run time of the DVD. Florence has a lot of these type of overlays too.

Overlay of Gringore Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Overlay of Gringoire

Then we have the subtitles. The are not that great on the translation end of things. There are a lot of youtube comments just about how the subtitles are wrong and typically they blame the person who uploaded the video. No, the official subtitles on the DVD are bad.

However subtitles are hard thing to get right, one has to get the idea of words in a short time and make it quick to read. It’s more of a art form than a science. If you don’t speak French they are fine so for most people it’s not a big issue and if you do speak decent French you need the subtitles. So it’s just a youtube thing but really you need not waste your time complaining on about the subtitles, complain about the overlays.

French Original Cast Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Original Cast

We have been discussing Notre Dame de Paris’ style for awhile, not just in the look of the show but in the music too. What I never said about the show’s music in so many words is that unlike other musicals in the world, Notre Dame de Paris has a decidedly “pop” take on the music.

Gringoire singing Le Portes de Paris Bruno Pelletier Notre dame de paris picture image

Gringoire singing Le Portes de Paris

This is made clearer by the fact that of the original cast only Daniel Lavoie  and Bruno Pelletier have been in other musicals. They are singers not exactly stage performers. This is not the case with other casts but it’s interesting to note.

Original Cast Belle NOtre dame de Paris picture image

Original Cast Belle

But does this mean? Why does Notre Dame de Paris have such a different look and vibe compared to other musicals of the world? Well I’m sure it has been mentioned that for a while, in France musical were not that fashionable and Notre Dame de Paris brought them back. Before 1998 people didn’t go to them and they didn’t perform them. I really can’t site the source that claimed this as it on wiki with no source and there was something in a program about the behind the scenes of Notre Dame de Paris that mentioned too. However looking at French produced musicals and looking at the years they came, I found there is something like 51 French Musicals and of though 51 shows only 8 were produced before Notre Dame de Paris with the closest one before being produced 1990, a good eight years before Notre Dame de Paris. So yes, it’s true.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame Ma Maison c'est ta maison garou helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame

The musicals after Notre Dame de Paris have kept the same Pop music style. You do not hear that stereotypical musical belting tone or that kind high pitched nasal tonality. The sets however of some shows are more typical of musical. Like the have sets changes and look grander.

Garou as Quasimodo & Helene Segara Danse mon Esmeralda,Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo and Helene Segara performing Danse mon Esmeralda

It really comes down to the French aesthetic which I can’t really speak to but consider this Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, one of the biggest musical in the world has not, as of 2015 ever had a French version. The French style is defiantly geared toward the pop rock musical which is what Notre Dame de Paris presented. Perhaps the not-complicated simplicity but edgy sets and costumes of the show mixed with its high emotions were just what the French wanted from a musical.

Helene Segara, Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori Original cast Notre Dame de Paris pciture image

Helene Segara, Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori Original cast Notre Dame de Paris

Unlike other musicals, Notre Dame de Paris has a very different take on costumes. Like every interpretation of costumes, it’s part the current style, in this case late 90’s in France and the period the story, which takes place in 1482. However, the costume designer, Fred Sathal didn’t seem take much from the fashions of story’s period, she pretty much did her own thing.

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris design by Fred Sathal

Helene Segara as Esmeralda design by Fred Sathal

Fred Sathal is a couture fashion designer who got her start in theater. Her designs are described a luxury bohemian and she likes sequins and beading and has unique techniques on fabric manipulation. Her point of view is clear in Notre Dame de Paris’ costumes.

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Helene Segara as Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris

The costumes in Notre Dame de Paris are really polarizing. I have seen some hate, down right hate, on Esmeralda’s green dress and I can see where that comes from. The original dress doesn’t move very well and the details on it, with its unique swirled velvet-like fabric, patched work seams that are dyed slightly different and sequins, get lost and aren’t that notable. The costumes have so many little details that they aren’t that well suited for a stage show.

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Garou as Quasimodo

These costumes just don’t read as medieval. They do seem to have more of a late 90’s couture vibe while sort of relating to the characters. I would say that as a standard representation of a costume, Quasimodo’s is the best. That being said I do like the characters have some color coding, they wear a mostly a single solid color so that a member of the audience can identify the character from far away.

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris

The costumes differ somewhat from show to show, cast to cast especially both of Esmeralda’s costumes and Fleur-de-Lys‘ to a fair degree. It’s kind of amazing how much the green dress differs when they try so hard to keep it the same. The exception is the Italian version which is similar in concept but very different, it has more movement and is more exaggerated. Really I could spends weeks discussing these costumes in depth, hell I could spend weeks just talking about the fabric of the green dress, but I will not.

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire in Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire

This costume are more representation of the characters rather expressing grandiose musical costume preferences while maintain the designer style and the minimal nature of the show. If you like them, great, so do I and if you don’t than it’s understandable.



Fun Fact-  Phoebus’ chain mail shirt is real chain mail and Patrick Fiori lost like ten pounds running around while wearing it

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Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame Ma Maison c'est ta maison garou helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo in Notre Dame

Compared to other musicals in the world, Notre Dame de Paris is VERY minimal for something that is marketed as a spectacle. As far as sets, set pieces and props, there isn’t really much going on in the show.

Luc Merville Clopin and the Court of miracles and the Attack of Notre Dame Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Clopin and the Court of miracles and the Attack of Notre Dame

The bulk of the set is really just a rock climbing wall that fills in for Notre Dame as well as some pillars that help sell the set as the cathedral when the scene demands. This puts a heavy burden on the lightening to change the scene as well as the mood.

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Esmeralda as Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image Visite de Frollo à Esmeralda

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Esmeralda as Helene Segara

I won’t pretend I’m a lighting wizard who knows about filters and gels and what not, my experience in the theater ended in 8th grade and my teachers didn’t teach the students anything of backstage tech or even acting methods but Notre Dame de Paris does some great things with the lighting. It’s moody when it needs to be and warm and bright to communicate the outside. It has some nice patterns of cobblestone and rose windows. I don’t think that is too complex of an effect but it’s a nice touch throughout the show.

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with dancer during Le Val d’amour Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire with dancer during Le Val d’amour

Then there is the dancing and acrobatics which is probably where most of the marketed “spectacle” lives. The dancing is sort of a mixed bag in terms of conception because without it the show is less a musical and more of a glorified concert but at some points it gets in the way of the show.

Not too often does the dancing do this but at some points it’s overkill, though I will admit that could a side effect of the editing on the DVD. I mean it’s not like I can just go to a place whenever and see the show, it hasn’t been in North American since 2005 and only has been performed in my country for one cast run in 2000 for six months. Am I bitter? Yes!

Garou Helene Segara Quasimodo and Esmeralda Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda

This post has gotten away from me. Anyway the staging, it’s fine for what it is, stylized minimalism.

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame (Attack of Notre Dame)

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris picture image

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris

This songs just hits like a ton of bricks after Vivre. Maybe that was the point but like I have said half the songs in the show are bridge songs that lead into the next song. Maybe that was the point to lull the audience in with nice flow and then break it but it seems to me that songs or scenes were cut between Vivre and L’Attaque de Notre-Dame and that whistle line was proof enough of that.
However how is L’Attaque de Notre-Dame? As a song it’s has a cool melody, though it’s mostly Le Sans Papier with another melody overlay over.

The song has two parts the first part is mostly Clopin and Phoebus singing. Phoebus and Frollo attack Notre Dame to get the Court of Miracles out as both Frollo and Phoebus want Esmeralda dead because Frollo couldn’t get some and Phoebus wants some, (wink wink.) Frollo at the start has a part where is gives Phoesbus the right to break the right of sanctuary, because he can do that. Phoebus’s main part is line line about outing the outlaws while Clopin sings the chorus of Le Sans Papiers.

The first part ends when Clopin is beaten to death and before dying asks Esmeralda to take over The Court of Miracles. Esmeralda then takes over singing Le Sans Papiers and Gringoire sings some verses from La Sans Papiers. However Phoebus and crew win.

While the music is very powerful, there is a weird context issue. Considering how accurate this version is regarded, this part is one of the least faithful versions. I’m not saying it doesn’t work within the show but I must mention it.

-Frollo in the book makes up the rumor that sanctuary is being suspended for a day but in the musical he can just do it.
-In the book the Court of Miracles attacks Notre Dame to save Esmeralda and get riches but in musical they are the ones defending the Cathedral with Clopin leading the charge.
-In the book Quasimodo defends Notre Dame to protect Esmeralda from people he thinks want to harm her but in the musical Quasimodo is not in this number at all.

I think for me that is a big little misstep, Quasimodo who loves Notre Dame isn’t there to protect it. It works in the musical but it seems off. The whole of this scene feels off, it’s a cool number but it is rushed and odd.

Déportés (Deported)

Esmeralda about to be hung Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda about to be hung

The bad guys win! Everyone who wants Esmeralda to die got their wish. In this song Phoebus passes the sentence on Esmeralda and the Court of Miracles. The Court are all deported and Esmeralda is dragged off to be hanged. Fleur-de-Lys and Phoesbus leave together happy with their scheme and Gringoire is powerless to help. This is the last we see of these characters in the show.

Frollo has moment of remorse but he is too far gone.

Déportés isn’t that much, just really two lines, exile and deported but Phoebus and the chorus sing the the lines with coldblooded authority that it’s crushing and chilling. It’s an effective number that gets you into a less than happy mood.

Mon Maitre, mon sauveur (My Master, My Savior)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon saver Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon sauveur

More death. As dawn breaks, Quasimodo begs Frollo to stop Esmeralda’s execution but Frollo reveals to Quasimodo that he organized the hanging. As Esmeralda dies Frollo laughs and Quasimodo pushes him to his death. In the show it’s down the stairs instead of off Notre Dame de Rock Climbing wall.

Mon maître, mon sauveur is a simple song without a lot of orchestration but that gives way for Frollo’s craziness to come through. There much to it except the deaths of Esmeralda and Frollo. Esmeralda is harnessed and lifted up so the sight of seeing her hanging lifeless in the air is disheartening. Frollo’s death is done with a silhouette falling down various stairs of Notre Dame. I’m going to guess it was done with doubles tumbling on cue and Lavoie appears out the bottom.