Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical performing Esmeralda picture image

Ensemble performing Esmeralda

Last time we talked about the overall set from the American version and in general I liked it. It was a good simplifying of Notre Dame itself. Click here to read that post. However the problem that arises from fairly stationary main set piece is they way other scene outside of Notre Dame are communicated to the audience and in some case even the faced of Notre Dame itself. The American version of the Disney musical used moving set pieces as well as lighting. This also the approached that Notre Dame de Paris used and still uses today, albeit they have less set pieces and use more lighting and abstraction.

Hunchback of Notre Dame Set picture image

Hunchback of Notre Dame Set

While I do like the primary set, all the other such i.e the set pieces, the extras and the cast does make for a lot of chaos on the stage and makes it at time seem like a cluttered mess. There is just too much and to be fair the differing patterns of the floor with the Rose window of the backdrop doesn’t help. If anything, it like the use of the extras made it lack focus.

On Top of the World Der Glockner von Notre Dame. picture image

On Top of the World Der Glockner von Notre Dame.

The American Musical version’s closest other version besides the movie, is the 1999 version musical Der Glockner von Notre Dame. Glockner also had a lot of moving parts but in a a very different way. To communicate the height of the Cathedral they used hydraulic lifts with screens and projections.

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Papermill production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

Both approaches is an apple and oranges kind of thing and not every production can have hydraulic lifts, moving set pieces are an easier more flexible approach. By I won’t pretend that I don’t like hydraulic lifts, they are cool to see in action. However there is a price, having your character higher in the high makes them higher from the audiences and it easier to loose that characters connection to the audience.

Michael Arden as Quasimodo, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michael Arden as Quasimodo, Musical Production of Hunchback of Notre Dame

The use of the American Musical moving set pieces isn’t the issue, the issue is how clutter it made things. And when compare to Der Glockner which has it levels and tier that coalesce better and seem more purposeful, it does seem like American version once again could have use some editing.

And again if haven’t voted in the poll for the next version you still can.

What should be the next version?

  • Quasimodo d'el Paris (53%, 9 Votes)
  • The Dingo Version (35%, 6 Votes)
  • Other (PLEASE say what it is in the comments) (12%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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And I still sick so I’m sorry this post is more confused than normal.



Since this is the very last Tuesday of 2014, I thought I would do a mini look back and see what version was the best and which was the worst. This past year we have looked at like 3 versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The 1986 version, the Enchanted Tales version and the 1997 version. Technically we touched on the lost films back in January but since I can’t even pretend I watched them they don’t count toward reviews.

Melody Enchanted Tales Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image


The worst version is without a doubt the Enchanted Tales version. A handsome Quasimodo and a terrible moral, yuck. But you know I could deal with the handsome Quasi and the perplexing moral if the animation and songs were decent and not a painful bowel movement  but alas this version says fuck good anything. I will say that this versions was my favorite to tear a part because that is the only thing it has going for it. Also this version was technically the first hunchback version I got screen caps for back in October of 2010, two months before the blog launched. I actually have more pictures that I didn’t use.


Esmeralda Dancing 1986 Hunchback Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda Dancing

For best version of this year, that is hard one as we only have the 1986 and the 1997 versions left.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Both versions have their strengths and weaknesses. If I were to judge solely on keeping to the book, I would say the 1986 version is better but if I going on what is debatably the more entertaining movie, I would say the 1997 version. It just so hard because both films’ flaws are so apparent that it’s hard to overlook them but I will say the 1997 version is marginal better.

I can’t wait for 2015! I hope to look at some famous/infamous versions.

Esmeralda, Quasimodo, and Laverne King's Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda, Quasimodo, and Laverne King’s Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame

Having been in a High School production once I know that King’s Academy put a lot effort into their production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Do I wish somethings were different? Yes, like I wished Phoebus sang and I wish his name was Phoebus but in all honesty I don’t think this production was meant for me. It was meant for the students, family, and the school and that is fine. It’s a decent re-telling of the Disney movie and the German musical Der Glockner von Notre Dame and really that is all it needed to be.

I will say that while the kids are all talented, the real stand-outs are the girls who play Esmeralda and Laverne.

Next Version – I can’t say right now as I’m debating between two, It’s between a good version and a bad version and even if I did know 100%, it’s a secret.

Also I’m going to take a break, reviews will resume in January.

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame


Frollo, Quasimodo and Ensemble performing Esmeralda King's  Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame   picture image

Frollo, Quasimodo and Ensemble performing Esmeralda King’s Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame

The King’s Academy version of the Hunchback exist as step between Der Glockner von Notre Dame and the official American musical version of La Jolla and Papermills. The King’s version has some core differences of Glockner and even the Disney movie. Also Please note, I’m working off of memory, I had hope to re-watch it and make a list but I couldn’t do that so I probably will miss things.

So the big difference and something that I find a unforgivable is Phoebus or rather not Phoebus. This version calls him Edgrick, I’m not sure why they changed his name. The did change the gargoyle names back to there original Disney name of Victor, Hugo and Laverne instead of the Glockner names Charles, Loni and Antoine. Also in this production Phoebus does not sing. This Phoebus’ signature song of Ein bißchen Freude or Rest and Recreation does not occur. Also Out of Love is cut which is also cut from the La Jolla version. He also doesn’t sing in Esmeralda instead Frollo sings Phoebus’s part which doesn’t make that much sense as the Frollo asks why he hears her words inside his head I have no idea what he would be referring to, though the lyrics have been changed somewhat.

King’s version
Why do I long for Esmeralda?
Why do I hear her words inside my head?
Why do I think of Esmeralda?
With all the Gypsies Beggars left for Dead

Yes my Duty calls for
Paris is Burning
Lit to expose that furtive pair
Sneaking about
Out There

What have I done for Esmeralda?
Why do I hear her voice inside my head?
Why do I think of Esmeralda?
With my career and prospects left for dead?

Once more my Duty calls
Paris is Burning
Lit to expose that furtive pair
Sneaking about
Out There

I wish Phoebus or Edgrick had sung in Esmeralda be it harkens to the basis of the book three guys and how they hearts are made different with regard to one woman. Plus it adds rich to the big act ending song.

Another cut song from the Glockner version is Tanz auf dem Seil or Dance on the Rope which served as Esmeralda’s introduction. Instead she appears dancing before a crowd like in the movie. The La Jolla version also cut Dance of the Rope and opted for keeping the dance angle but added the song Rhythm of the Tambourine.

The King’s Academy also cut Tanz der Zigeuner, Dance of the Gypsies and reintroduced The Court of Miracle from the original. Minor change really.

Clopin doesn’t narrate the tale as a beggar which he does in Glockner. In the King’s versions he is in his jester costume at the start. Minor change.

However the big change is at the end, no one dies and I mean no one, well except Quasimodo’s mother. But Frollo lies, he is about to attack Quasimodo and Esmeralda but he just walks off. This could be because he said care for the child.

A curious addition and not really a change but it needs to be mention is Djali isn’t in this version but one of Hugo’s lines mention Djali not by name but he does say “the one in the dress ain’t bad either” referencing to the nonexistent Djali.

Again I’m probably missing other difference between the shows but those are the one I remember and can find

Next Time -Direction and Staging

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Ensemble performing God help the Outcast King's  Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame   picture image

Esmeralda, Quasimodo and Ensemble performing God help the Outcast King’s Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame

So the La Jolla production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame musical is in full swing and the Papermill playhouse show is on the horizon. The La Jolla veriosn is considered to be the American debut of the German musical Der Glockner von Notre Dame which was based on the Disney movie. But you know it was not the first time the musical was adapted in English.

Esmeralda and Quasimodo singing On Top of the World King's  Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda and Quasimodo singing On Top of the World 

In 2013 the musical was performed at King’s Academy in Palm Beach County Florida which is private catholic high school. The musical was done in collaboration with the school and Disney. However it has some differences with the Glockner version that warrant discussing.

As I have already discussed the Disney version and the Glockner version before and I hope to discuss the musical more in future (hint hint) I’m not going to spread too long talking about it and as the performers are high school students (or at least were), I’m going to go easy them in terms of acting and singing.

So for the next five weeks, we will look at this version.

Also please note, the whole thing was on youtube a few weeks ago and I did watch it  but now most of it not available but I won’t let that stop me, Gwahahahahahaaa.

These are the two posters from the Stage production of the Disney version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. A note, the poster for La Jolla is used on their website and it may not be the official poster.

One is from the German version Der Glöckner von Notre Dame and the other is the poster from the upcoming La Jolla English language version.

Both posters are quite different. While both do have bells imagery Glöckner’s only hints at one while La Jolla’s makes it a focal point.

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Der Glockner von notre Dame German Musical of Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Glöckner’s simplified Quasimodo gives the illusion that the show could have an upbeat tone but its lack of color does add a flavor of melancholy. I reviewed the show but I have not seen it but the show is bright and colorful but does have a sad ending. The square and vertical text work echos Notre Dame in a way. Otherall the poster is simple yet interesting.

La Jolla Hunchback Poster picture image

La Jolla Hunchback Poster

Where the Glöckner’s poster used a cool purple and black gradient for it overall color, La Jolla is the opposite, opting for a warm yellow tone. While the color yellow is typically cheery and bright this poster seems to have a shade of sadness. It’s a bell on a wooden bean with the logo on the bell. Behind is a setting sun. Setting suns usually indicate death. Moreover the lines on the bell and the wood make it look old and broken. There is no characters on it just the bell.

I like both posters in different ways. I like the singular bell of the La Jolla poster and I like the sad little Quasimodo figure. Both are very simple and that is their strength. If I had say what I dislike about them I would I say I don’t really like the shadow on Glöckner’s and I think the glow on the sun is too strong and white on the La Jolla poster.

Which poster do you like better, Glöckner or La Jolla?

Esmeralda der glockner von notre dame azalea doll Heroine game picture image

Esmeralda from Der Glockner von Notre Dame using Azalea Heroine Doll Game

Esmeralda dancing Der Glöckner von Notre Dame Picture Image

Esmeralda Dancing Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Auditions have started for the Broadway version of the German musical version of the Disney movie version of Hunchback of Notre Dame……. (blinks) yay!

Alright so what types are they looking for?

Quasimodo has to be a strong tenor but dextrous and flexible.

Frollo is an old Baritone with a rich register. I too want rich register ^_~.

Esmeralda has to “ooze with sexuality.” Sigh, she’ll probably have a red costume to match her secreting sexuality. I just hate overly sexy Esmeraldas, hate hate hate. They seem to want the actresses to sing contemporary pop theatre. That could annoying.

Clopin and Phoebus are both tenors though Clopin is high tenor.

Curious, there is no mention of the Gargoyles. I wonder if they will be like the German version or the Disney version. OR in this version at all? WE can dream can’t we, though they were not as bad in the German version.

I must despite my jabs, I’m very happy that this is coming to Broadway. Maybe I will get to see it ^^.

Read more; 

From this you can get the scope the of the first act. The sets are very well done with lots of levels. I will say I’m a bit disappointed in the costumes but this production has lot of people to dress and chorus and dancer I’m sure have several costume changes so I’m will let that go.

This really does seem like an English version of Der Glockner von Notre Dame.  They have Zuflcht (Sanctuary), Hoch uber der Welf (High above the World), and Esmeralda. I can’t help wondering what changes were made from Glockner to this musical version  as this show was called collaboration between the school and Disney. So I while I’m not against an straight version I do hope that this version has its own spin to it.


On April 18th  2013, The King’s Academy will perform “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Disney collaborated with the school to adapt the movie into a stage show. Now I’m basing this post on the preview.


First off, this is a high school performance so I’m not going to get into the singing or acting. I’ll just say what I find interesting and what I dislike. I will say that the singing is quite good in general .

This stage version seem to very similar to the german Der Glockner Von Notre Dame. Clopin doesn’t have a puppet, Frollo says that Quasimodo will hopefully “think like him” instead be of “use to him”, and Quasimodo sings “God Help the outcast.” Now I mention  in my Glockner review that I hated that Quasimodo is shoe-horned into that song,  depriving Esmeralda of her only solo song. But who knows, maybe she will this version, though I doubt it. My guess is that this show will follow the movie more than Der Glockner did. I can’t imagine a high school production killing Esmeralda but then again, I was in a High School production of Oliver Twist and Nancy dies, so maybe.  Unlike Glockner “The Court of Miracle” remains in the show but I think it doesn’t work with a full chorus that is trying to sound pretty. It should have been a smaller group singing more roughly.

Now some nitpicks, Clopin is pronounce wrong. It’s not “Clo-pin”, It’s “Clo-pan”. Disney got it right but perhaps the kid was nervous. But did he call Phoebus “Edgerick”?  I can’t respond to that? That is so wrong.  Did they change the name and think no one would know?  Who ever wrote shame.  Edgerick? What kind of name is that? Maybe I miss heard that.  Also, I personally don’t care for the chorus’ arm choreography. I get what they’re doing, it’s just silly. ‘

I hope the songs from Glockner are in the show mainly “Someday” and “Esmeralda.”


I can’t really review this since it’s a preview as I can’t see the full scope of the show and I really don’t like being overly critical to teenagers who can sing well.


If there a full version of play on youtube I will review it  more in depth but as I live no where here  Florida and lack the means to fly there I can’t see it live. But if you do,  visit here from more info. And then tell me all about it ^_~