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

 

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

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

At last we come to my favorite part of any Hunchback products, the costumes! Though to be honest wasn’t going to discuss the costumes but there are a few point I feel I need to mention about the King’s Academy production.  Now I was in a High School play once and I know they didn’t care about the costumes like at all and it was a fairly well regarded school for theater, though I’m not sure why. Anyway unlike my old middle/high school the King’s Academy did try in the costume area, it’s just some costumes are much better than others.

Let’s start with the negatives.

Frollo’s costume is boring. It’s just black vestments with a red stole. It’s not inherently bad, just dull. But it’s Quasimodo’s costume that leaves me  wondering. First off, he has no make-up for the facial deformities and I forgive that, I really do and I’m a heartless critical nitpicking monster but what I can not forgive or wrap my head around is the white label. Just why? It makes his costume looks so lazy.  Also I don’t really care for the costumes the dancers wear during Hellfire and yes this is a colossal nitpick. I mention it because I actually like the light up tutus the dancers wear in Heaven’s light. At first I thought they were cheesy but it works  with the song and the point of the dual songs is the light reference. I just wished the dancers looked more like fire in Hellfire. I think they were almost there but the pants should gave been red in tone and not black, though I suppose they could have been and the video just makes the look black.

Stuff I sort what like.

I like the tutus in Heaven‘s light, there are cheesy but I appreciate them.  Speaking of the dancers and the ensemble, I appreciate that they have the appreciate costumes for the roles they have.

Esmeralda’s costume is one of the few costume in the main cast that is pretty much a copy of the Disney costume but it’s done well and looks nice.

The gargoyles are the only costumes that look like they were made from starch for the production and in that sense they stand out in a good way.

Heaven's Light King's  Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Heaven’s Light King’s Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame

Next time Conclusion of the King’s Academy Production

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

Full Stage view during the Bells of Notre Dame King's Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Full Stage view during the Bells of Notre Dame King’s Academy Hunchback of Notre Dame

The stage that the King Academy used for their production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is divided into a few parts. The lowest level is used for dance number and one could say it represents the streets of Paris and a few of the principle cast use this level. Then there is a ramp to the next level with is sort of like Sanctuary of Notre Dame as well as other setting like Square of Notre Dame. Then you have the upper most level which is the Bell tower. There is also the sides which the ensemble uses but Esmeralda appears there during the Esmeralda song.

At first I thought the fact that most of the action takes place at the upper level would impede the viewing experience for an audience but I think I was wrong. From a video vantage point that could be true, if you are watching it from the camera’s angle but just in a wide shot the action in the bell tower would look remote. However from the audience they would be able to see the action clearer as they have to look up and there would nothing to block their view. I sort of recall seeing a play that had a similar height presentation and I’m pretty short so it worked out for me.

Otherwise the staging is fairly straightforward there are not too many surprises, a character sings and they pretty much stand still while the ensemble does a little choreography while singing and the dancers dance at the lowest level. Well, there was one surprise, the gargoyles are suspended and swing around a little bit but still pretty much in one spot but it was a nice touch.

Also before I end this, the Notre Dame set was really great.

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
Frollo:
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

Glockner
Phoebus:
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?

Frollo:
Once more my Duty calls
Paris is Burning
Lit to expose that furtive pair
Sneaking about
Out There
http://www.shipperland.de/miracles/

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.