This is a recent performance in Bari of Bella from the Italian Cast of Notre Dame de Paris. What is interesting about this cast is that is mostly the original cast from 2001.

Quasimodo – Giò Di Tonno
Frollo – Vittorio Matteucci
Febo – Graziano Galatone
Esmeralda – Lola Ponce

I never really discussed the Italian cast but I hope to go more in-depth of them someday. For many people it’s their favorite but for now I will just say that the Italian version is a little more Operatic than the Original French in terms of acting.

Also this version of Bella is spot-on, they are wonderful.

Anna Kendrick picture image

Anna Kendrick

It’s a fantasy of mine that one day there will be a great well done movie version of Notre Dame de Paris. Let’s just say for fun that someone in Hollywood banking on the success of Les Miserable wanted to make it who is an actress in Hollywood that looks the part of Esmeralda, can sing and is popular? Seems like a tall order but all signs point to Anna Kendrick.

Anna Kendrick as Cinderella Into the Woods Picture image

Anna Kendrick as Cinderella

Anna Kendrick has been a lot of successful/popular movies like the Twilight saga, thou we won’t hold that against her, as well as Pitch Perfect movies and Into the Woods. She also a very talent singer who has performed on Broadway. She was in High Society at the age of 12 where she earned a Theater World Award as well as nominations for Featured Actress in a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards and Tony Awards. Kendrick is a very effortless actress, meaning that very natural and it seldom feels like she is playing a role.

Anna Kendrick picture image

Anna Kendrick

Kendrick has a chameleon voice as she can easily to do many style of singing however her natural voice seems to be fairly low to middle range and I think she’s considered a Mezzo Soprano as she is a great belter. Esmeralda’s voice typically is in this range so it suits her voice but more than that, she would bring a bright warmth to the songs.

Anna Kendrick picture image

Anna Kendrick

Notre Dame de Paris Esmeralda run the gambit of looks but there is a standard which is she typically brunette or a red head. Her hair is often also wavy. That is pretty much Kendrick hair style, so it’s easy to envision her in the role.

Anna Kendrick picture image

Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick would make a ideal Esmeralda for a movie version as she a great actress/performer/singer and she just bring a likability to to her roles. But what do you think? Would Anna Kendrick make a good Esmeralda? And would you like to see her sing Esmeralda to a Taylor Swift Fleur de Lys?

Now that 2016 Award Season is over, let’s look at some gowns that are reminiscent of Esmeralda costumes, or something that an Esmeralda could wear. I’m 100% positive these gowns are in no way inspired by Esmeralda, it’s all coincidental.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon wearing Oscar de la Renta at 2016 Oscars Image Source: Getty / Steve Granitz picture

Reese Witherspoon wearing Oscar de la Renta at 2016 Oscars

This gown is an Oscar de la Renta wore by Reese Witherspoon at the 2016 Oscars. This gown has a lot of commonalities to Disney Esmeralda’s costume. First off, the color, it’s a lovely rich shade of purple. The silhouette is very similar to Esmeralda though longer.

The exposed corset details with the vertical boning is similar Esmeralda’s corset  especially with it being on the waist right below the bust.  The volume at the bust also invokes Esmeralda’s peasant blouse.

It being strapless also helps, as Disney Esmeralda had exposed shoulders.

Saoirse Ronon

Saoirse Ronon wearing a custom Calvin Klein at 2016 Oscars Image Source: Getty / Jason Merritt picture

Saoirse Ronon wearing a custom Calvin Klein at 2016 Oscars

This gown is a custom Calvin Klein that Saoirse Ronon wore at the 2016 Oscars. It is very reminiscent of Esmeralda costume in Notre Dame de Paris, in its color, deep v-neck and the abstract spiral pattern. This pattern which is created with sequins would be perfect for Esmeralda’s Notre Dame de Paris costume more than some those floral patterns they get for the costume.


Zendaya wearing Marchesa at 2016 Golden Globes Image Source: Getty / VALERIE MACON picture

Zendaya wearing Marchesa at 2016 Golden Globes

This gown was designed by  Marchesa and Zendaya wore it at the 2016 Golden Globes. I have made it clear I don’t care for Esmeralda wearing red but it is a go to color for her character so I can’t fight it. There is something about this gown that screams Esmeralda. It could be the tiers which is a very dancer type of silhouette which work for Esmeralda.

Zendaya in this gown looks very similar the the design of Esmeralda on the Notre Dame de Paris poster.  She might be a good candidate for Esmeralda actually if they ever did Notre Dame de Paris as movie or in States again or a general musical.

Jada Pinkett Smith 

Jada Pinkett Smith wearing Versace at 2016 Golden Globes VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images picture

Jada Pinkett Smith wearing Versace at 2016 Golden Globes

This gown was design by Versace and Jade Pinkett Smith wore it at the 2016 Golden Globes. This gown seems to be to like a merger of Esmeralda’s two Notre Dame de Paris costumes.  You have the color and slit of her first act costume with the cowl neckline and sleeve detail of her prisoner costume.

Rachel McAdams  & Sophie Tuner

Rachel Mcadams wearing an August Getty Atelier dress at 2016 Oscars Image Source: Getty / Jason Merritt picture

Rachel Mcadams wearing an August Getty Atelier dress at 2016 Oscars

Sophie Turner wearing Wearing custom Galvan at 2016 Oscars Image Source: Getty / Todd Williamson picture

Sophie Turner wearing Wearing custom Galvan at 2016 Oscars











These two gowns aren’t ones I would compare to Esmeralda’s Notre Dame de Paris costume, though the colors are on par her fist act costume but I wanted to note the slits on these two gowns, it how the slit on the NDdP costume should work. Not the ugly curved thing they do.


Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly wearing Gauri and Nanika at 2016 Grammy Awards picture image

Tori Kelly wearing Gauri and Nanika at 2016 Grammy Awards

Also the Gauri and Nanika gown that Tori Kelly wore at the 2016 Grammy Awards was the perfect Esmeralda color. The gown itself is lovely though it is not really  that reminiscent of Esmeralda.



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.