L’Ombre (The Shadow)

Daniel Lavoie as Shadow Form Frollo with Patrick Fiori as Phobus performing L’Ombre Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Shadow Form Frollo with Patrick Fiori as Phobus performing L’Ombre

I always found this song a little more than silly as Phoebus asks why his shadow is wearing a coat and a hat. I get that it’s lyrical but I would buy that Phoebus would wonder why his shadow was a better dresser that him. Also Frollo’s pose is kind of funny as he holds up his arms.

Again, L’Ombre is a bridge songs to get us to the encounter scene. It’s taken from the book which is called something like the Goblin Monk. It’s not as funny as the chapter. Frollo and Phoebus don’t have their witty banter where Phoebus wants to fight and is broke and Frollo offers to pay for the room but wants to watch.

The song is ok. I like the beats and melody. The Lyrics are a little weird. they start silly but then Phoebus aska who would follow him and them asks if he’s a man of god and he likes of course. So I have no clue if Phoebus knows who the shadow is or if he just being dumb. But it’s a good bridge song and it’s really the only song in Notre Dame de Paris that is suppose to be humorous.

Le Val d’amour

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

Literally means Valley of Love but it’s a brothel. What kind of guy would ask for a tryst at a brothel? Phoebus, what a charmer. My guess is that because he a frequent visitor, he gets a discount for the room.

This scene is a vast departure from the book as Phoebus meets Esmeralda at a inn type house called Pomme d’Eve (or something like that). I guess that isn’t as romantic of a name. Le Val d’amour brothel was mentioned in the book however as the place Jehan goes to for some paid loving.

Le Val d’amour itself is a fun number. Gringoire sings it and sells it as THE brothel to visit when you’re in town as it offers good quality for low, low prices. He even gives detailed directions which is so Victor Hugo. It’s also a great number for Gringoire as he back into his fun party mood like in the Feast of Fools number. Plus this also really the last fun number in the show, so enjoy it.

The dancing is very sensual but in the Italian version is even more sexual. Also when I first heard the original London version I swear I heard the lines “Guitars implore Ga-Glor-ka-Glor.” Not really sure how to spell what I heard….

La Volupté (The Sensuous)

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus in La Volupté with his prize winning Smug look Notre Dame de Paris  picture image

Patrick Fiori as Phoebus in La Volupté with his prize winning Smug look

I’ll be blunt, I have never really liked La Volupté. The only thing I have really liked about is Phoebus’ smug look and that could just be Patrick Fiori. That being said I don’t think it’s a bad song, it didn’t make my hit list.

The music is fine and it has a nice sensual electric guitar thing but everything that is silly about the scene in the book is gone, except for that smug look. Also the song indicates that Esmeralda should have a darker skin tone than Phoebus, so at least with original cast, it takes me a little out of things but that is a major nitpick.

But you know what is NOT a major nitpick, we see shadow Frollo stab Phoebus but you also see Gringoire make the same gesture down stage. What this is meant to indicate is that Gringoire is telling the story and is pantomiming the actions, but it gets a little lost as it looks like Gringoire is the one doing the stabbing even though he is not.

All in all, it’s a okay song for moving the plot along but it’s a bit confused in execution. Thank goodness for that almighty smug look.

Fatalité (Fatality)

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

Bruno Pelletier as Gringoire singing Fatalité

Again like La Volupté, Fatalité is not my favorite. But it is one of the few songs in Notre Dame de Paris where all the principle leads are on stage together. I think Belle is the other time unless you want to count the encore.

Again Fatalité has that nice guitar riff that is heard in La Volupté. It is very dramatic as Gringoire sings about how no can escape Fate. It’s a nice closer to Act I but it seems a little lacking if I were to compare it to Le Mis (One Day More) or Phantom (All I ask of you reprise) or even Der Glockner von Notre Dame (Esmeralda). I mean it’s fine but it’s not a song I’m inclined to listen to a lot.

I’d give it a B- as a grade, though I’m not grading the songs so that doesn’t really mean that much.

End of Act I!

All in all, despite my criticisms, Act I is great.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

Finally Google Alerts gives me something I can use.

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

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

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Exclusive-THE-HUNCHBACK-OF-NOTRE-DAME-Cast-Album-in-the-Works-20150515

Basically we’ll get that cast album, I’m very happy.  I still hope it will go to Broadway someday but it’s better than nothing.

 

 

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

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

I thought the point of the musical performance at La Jolla and Papermill was a Broadway preview there is a petition for a Broadway version.

Sign the Petition Here , I did.

EDIT – Ok, I found the reason for the petition.  According to an article on Playbill that cited Patrick Page a.k.a Frollo, the show was NOT going to be transferred to Broadway hence the petition. Read article here.

Also I just watched a video of  Someday, got say I wish they had kept the song going up till Esmeralda goes to the pyre, it was just so powerful in Glockner but maybe they didn’t want to wait the epic music.

I have not been keeping up on this  but here are two  videos.

Ok I didn’t really want to interject my thoughts BUT if this musical production is “bare” what does that make Notre Dame de Paris? Non-existentant? I will also say that the videos I have seen from the shows are really good, the singers convey the emotions very well and I like play with the ensemble in Out There, gotta love the no gargoyles stance.

Also Bonus, in case you missed it,
Josh Groban is doing a cover of Temps des Cathedrales on his new album Stages
http://www.idolator.com/7584158/josh-groban-new-album-stages-kelly-clarkson

Would you believe this is like at least the second time I have written a synopsis of the plot of Notre Dame de Paris ( here)? Also this is a synopsis of the original French product. In 2001 the show had some changes. I will at some point talk about the different casts (to the best of my ability) but for now the original French is the default since it’s most convenient version I can review.

Helene  Segara as Esmeralda and Patrick Fiori as Phoebus Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda and Phoebus Notre Dame de Paris

Act 1
The show opens with Gringoire, the story teller, as he regals the crowd with cathedrals and their important to the world and their demise from importance as books in stone and glass. The scene then shifts to Clopin and his group of refugees who want sanctuary in Notre Dame. His pleads fall on deaf hears as Frollo, the archdeacon of Notre Dame who orders the captain of the King’s Archer, Phoebus to arrest them. Phoebus corners pretty Gypsy lady. Phoebus is instantly attracted to her and ask her about herself. She tells him that she is a bohemian and her parents are gone but she dreams of returning to Andalusia someday though her fate is already determined. Clopin, her care giver then warns her that she is grown now and to be wary of men. We are then introduced to Phoebus‘ fiancee, Fleur de Lys who is fourteen and is quite smitten with the dashing captain.

Garou as Quasimodo Notre Dame de paris picture image

Quasimodo as the Pope of Fools

The Feast of Fools begins with Gringoire leading the revelry. Quasimodo then pokes his head out from the cathedral and is crown the Pope of Fools by Esmeralda. Quasimodo then asks the crowd, especially Esmeralda if she will love him, but she doesn’t really care. Quasimodo curses his parents that abandoned him. Frollo then breaks up the fun and calls out Esmeralda for being a witch and evil. Froll then decides that they will kidnap her. Quasimodo tells Frollo that he will do anything for Frollo since he took Quasimodo in and gave him the bells. But despite that he doesn’t know Frollo’s heart but he belongs to Frollo and loves him as dog loves his master.

Juie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys & Helene Segara as Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris Original Cast, picture image

Fleur de Lys & Esmeralda

Gringoire tries to follow Esmeralda after the feast but lost her. He then tells us that nighttime in Paris is a dangerous and lustful place. Quasimodo then set out to Kidnap Esmeralda as she warms herself but he stopped by Phoebus. Phoebus offers to take Esmeralda outside the city to where the other Gypsy live and he sort of puts the moves on her. Esmeralda tells him that she isn’t that sort of girl however when her asks to meet her the following night at Val d’Amour (a brothel) she does not say no. We then are thrown in to the Court of Miracles where the vagrants live and Clopin rules a world with no heaven, no hell, no country, no creed. Gringoire wanders in and going to hang but Esmeralda marries him to save. Gringoire is all for this match but Esmeralda asks what Phoebus means and that it the name of the man she loves. Gringoire tells her it means the sun. Esmeralda likes this name and entertains girly ideas about what kind of man he is while Fleur de Lys knows him a little more. Phoebus then tells us that two women love him and this the bestest thing ever as he figures he can have both and it will be awesome.

Frollo and Esmeralda during Belle, Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Frollo and Esmeralda

The next day, Frollo and Gringoire meet and Frollo find out that Gringoire and Esmeralda are married which is disapproves of and tells Grngoire that he must not touch his wife but I mean really want husband would really want to touch his wife. Gringoire shows Frollo the work Ankaria which engraved on the wall and asks what it means. Frollo tells him it means fate. They then see Quasimodo being taking away. (That songs last for 42 seconds). Quasimodo tries to a pillory and asks for a drop of water. Esmeralda gives him some and he calls her beautiful. Quasimodo, Frollo and Phoebus then tell us about their own desires for Esmeralda. After the crowd clears, Quasimodo invites Esmeralda in to Notre Dame and tells her she can be save their and it can be her home. Esmeralda then prays to Mary for protections against the people in power and the fools of the world as Frollo watches her and becomes more bewitched by her and knows she will destroy him and he is ok with that.

Gringoire Val d'amour Notre dame de Paris picture image

Gringoire at Val d’amour

Frollo follows Phoebus to Val d’Amour and tries to scare him away but Val d’amour is way too sexy and Phoebus meets with Esmeralda for a night of loving. They don’t make it very far when Frollo stabs Phoebus, such is fate.

Act II

Quasimodo with a Bell Les Cloches Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Quasimodo with a bell

Frollo and Phoebus meet again and regal us with the changing world and how the snazzy new printing press with destroy architecture. They hear silence as the bells or Notre Dame no longer ring. Quasimodo is sad because he rings the bell for everyday and for everyone except himself and he wants to hear the bell ring out his love for Esmeralda. Esmeralda is also missing and Gringoire, Frollo and Clopin mourn her absence. Frollo asks where she has gone but Gringoire doesn’t tell him but tells Clopin that she has been arrested and will be hanged.

Esmeralda in jail les oiseaux qu'on met en cage  Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda in jail

Esmerlada in jail asks for Quasimodo to save her. Quasimodo is also missing her as they share a strong bond. Clopin then tries to recuse Esmeralda but is arrested himself. Esmeralda is put on trail but Frollo for wounding Phoebus. She then tortured and confesses to loving Phoebus which seems to be enough to condemn her to death. Esmerada then wishes Phoebus would save and take her to Andalusia while Frollo laments about being a priest and loving a woman.

Fleur de Lys La Monture Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys is at her wit’s end and is feud up with Phoebus’ cheating but she is whiling to forget it if Phoebus can ensure Esmeralda’s death, which is going to happen anyway so Phoebus agrees and claims that Esmeralda bewitched him anyway but he is ready to be 100% faithful.

Helene Segara as Esmerada & Daniel Lavoie as Frollo, un matin tu dansais from Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmerada & Frollo

The bells ring in the early morning as Frollo informs Esmeralda that in an hour she will die. She asks what she did to him to make him hate her but he confesses that he Loves her and gives her an ultimatum, the grave or Frollo’s bed. Esmeralda rejects him but Frollo tries to force himself on her. Just then Clopin saves Esmeralda as Quasimodo released everyone.

Gingoire lune Notre Dame de Paris  picture image

Gingoire and the moon

Quasimodo takes Esmeralda, and I guess the rest of the Court of Miracles. Gringoire then regales the audience and the moon with how consuming the power of love can be. Quasimodo gives Esmeralda a whistle and tells her not to leave Notre Dame. As Esmeralda drifts off to sleep, Quasimodo laments that God made the world wrong as Esmeralda will never love him but loves Phoebus. Esmeralda wakes up and tells us how she doesn’t want to die but she wants to live. She wants to live for love.

Esmeralda and Clopin l'attaque de notre dame notre dame de paris picture image

Esmeralda and Clopin

Clopin claims sanctuary but Frollo orders right if sanctuary broke Phoebus to expel them from Notre Dame. Clopin is killed and Esmeralda rushes to him but is recaptures and sent to the gallows, which pleases Fleur de Lys. Quasimodo begs Frollo to save Esmeralda but he refuses as she rejects him. As she hanged Frollo laughs and Quasimodo kills Frollo and then demands Esmeralda be returned to him.

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

Quasimodo with Esmeralda

 

Quasimodo holds Esmeralda’s body and begs her to dance for one final time and vows that in death they will be united in the universe.

Don’t you just feel happier now?

Next Time more on the Plot

Belle Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Belle

It’s Time!

The Hunchblog is 4 years old so it’s time to look at Notre Dame de Paris. Notre Dame de Paris is a French Musical of novel which premiered on September 16th, 1998. It was a huge success and made musical fashionable in France. It also has been translated into a lot of different languages with a lot of difference casts. In fact there in a French Cast going on right now, in Korea.

Original Cast Belle NOtre dame de Paris picture image

Original Cast Belle

Notre Dame de Paris is the version that got me to love the story of the Hunchback, so it is close to my heart. Does that mean I think show is beyond reproach? Oh Goodness no, it has flaws, oh boy does it have flaws.

I should warn everyone just used to this version because I will be talking it about for a while. There is just too much to talk about and so many casts @@.

Next time – Le Plot

Esmeralda and Clopin Notre Dame de Paris

Esmeralda and Clopin Notre Dame de Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes, Fight Choreography Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical La Jolla  picture image

Behind the Scenes, Fight Choreography

http://fuckyeahhond.tumblr.com/post/104731695671

 

This link is to a video of behind the scene of the Hunchback Musical of fight choreography.  I can’t say I know what scene this is or the characters but I think that Esmeralda appears in it. If you know, leave a comment.

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

 

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?

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.