When I planned these posts, i.e. weakest/strongest posts I thought I would be more on the side of the stronger but when I was thinking about the strongest aspects I came up with more of the weakness than strengths. I feel a bit sad that I’m more mixed with siding more on the side of not being as in love with it as some other people. But oh well. I’m going to TRY to be as positive as I can.
So what did the musical do well? Well the music and the score were amazing. I mean you can’t go wrong with Alan Menken and a requiem mass inspired music. It also does well when it’s doing it own thing. Like Thai Mol Piyas
I will say that Esmeralda and Phoebus were well done. The irony here is that Esmeralda is left pretty much untouched from her Disney persona and the book persona didn’t really enter into her characterization. Phoebus however is a great combo between the two which gives him an arc. He starts out closer to the book and then turns more of Disney character. I think this what they tried to with Frollo and it just didn’t work.
The performers also do a great job, as in they sing well. I will say Arden does a good job with Quasimodo in parts. His weird attempt at sounding deaf boarders on sounding mentally disable. I get that he is deaf and lacks self-codience but really?
And also there were no gargoyles, that was a plus. Still not sold on the chorus as it seem kinda of high school or some day camp but still no gargoyles.
I agree that the Greek chorus was overdone and made the show seem more amateur. While the music is amazing, I do feel like the sets and some of the humor used were more along the lines of community theater. I know it’s supposed to be minimalist and the creators of the show wanted the story and music to more or less speak for themselves, but there is a such thing as being too minimalist.
As much as I love the music and want to see a theater/musical adaptation on Broadway, I am kind of disappointed in the stage show (viewed it on YouTube) and I can understand why this didn’t go to Broadway.
I agree, there are some Minimalist shows that still get in the spectacle of the theatre experience. For instance I think Notre Dame de Paris does it well although it’s very much stylized in the aesthetic of the late nineties.
Given that they didn’t make the minimalism work since there is a cluttering of the stage with the chorus and other reason I understand too why it didn’t go to Broadway and went to regional smaller theaters. The show needs a retooling if ever wants to go Broadway.