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

A very silly addition of Spot the Difference with Notre Dame de Paris. There are 10  difference.

Notre Dame de Paris Spot the Difference  picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Spot the Difference

The Original Picture

Helene Segara, Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori Original cast Notre Dame de Paris pciture image

Helene Segara, Garou, Daniel Lavoie, Patrick Fiori Original cast Notre Dame de Paris

For many,  many people (myself included) Belle is the first song they ever heard from Notre Dame de Paris. Belle is the “Phantom of the Opera” of the show as  it’s the hallmark song of the show.

I first heard Belle rather randomly back in April, 2009. It was sunday and I on “Oh No They Didn’t”.  There was post of on the top 25 Disney songs so I decided to read it. In the comment section someone posted Belle, so I watched it. My initial impression of it was confusion, since out of context I didn’t know what was going on or what lead up to that point in show.  It was out of that confusion and curiosity that I watched the whole show on youtube.

Anyway enjoy Belle.

Pictures are of the Original cast of Der Gloeckner Von Notre Dame

Drew Sarich as Quasimodo in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Drew Sarich as Quasimodo in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Quasimodo in this version is not deaf but he has trouble expressing himself in verbal communication. He is however able to express himself when he sings. He seems to have a more of a morose attitude than he had in the Disney version but he is still pretty much the same.

Judy Weiss as Esmeralda in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Judy Weiss as Esmeralda in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Esmeralda is a young dancer who is a newcomer to the Court of Miracles. She gets very frustrated with inequality. She a has a difficulty keeping her thoughts to herself which is why she had to move to Paris and why she gets in trouble with Frollo. She is not a sassy  or as sexual aware as she in the movie but she does come off sweeter and naive, which is more like the book.

 

Norbert Lamla as Frollo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Norbert Lamla as Frollo Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Frollo was a priest in his youth and decided that Paris needed to be save so he became a became a Judge. He hates Gypsy and believes that they are sole the problem with Paris. He takes care of Quasimodo  as a act of contrition for killing Quasimodo’s mother. He hopes Quasimodo will think like him and his emotional abuse is something that he is unaware of. Frollo becomes consumed with lust for Esmeralda which drives him insane. He thinks the cure is  either to possess her or destroy her. He seems to have  intensity than he has in movie. I would also point out that Frollo being a former priest  is only mention once. (Then again I can’t find the copy of the script I found ages go and I didn’t  read the whole thing, so it could have been mention several time in the dialogue  portion {that’s the problem with not have a public DVD recording of the show}).

 

Fredrik Lycke as Phoebus in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Fredrik Lycke as Phoebus in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Phoebus is the newly promoted Captain of the Guards. He hopes the job will offer him some rest and relaxation. He also enjoys flirting with girls. After meeting Esmeralda he decides that he rather be good than obey Frollo’s insane orders and becomes a criminal. I rather like that Phoebus starts off similar to the book more or less a playboy type and then betters himself.

 

Jens Janke as Clopin in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Jens Janke as Clopin in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Clopin is the story teller, leader of the Court of Miracles and the Festival of Fools. Clopin does very little for the plot but he seems to enjoy regaling the tale to the audince and providing exposition. In his storyteller role he dresses like an old begger which further separates his character into two distinct characters unlike the movie where he does as pretty the same person.

 

Tamas Ferkay as Antoine in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Tamas Ferkay as Antoine in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Valentin Zahn as Charles in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Valentin Zahn as Charles in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Yvonne Ritz Andersen as Loni in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Yvonne Ritz Andersen as Loni in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gargoyles are Quasimodo’s imaginary friends. They try to encourage Quasimodo to leave Notre Dame and recuses Esmeralda. They also try to comfort him after Esmeralda dies. They don’t have the over the top personalities that their Disney counterparts have nor do the make pop culture references or fart jokes. Their levity is light-hearted and subtle. I don’t think the production could really take these character away nor could they make them akin to Disney movie characters if they wanted to achive a dark tone . So making them subtle and completely imaginary was a good way to handle them, though they are still a bit annoying but no where near the level they are in the movie.

*Trivia – Gargoyles names are taking from Famous actors who played Quasimodo:
Loni- Lon Chaney (1923)
Charles – Charles Laughton (1939)
Antoine – Anthony Hopkins (1982)

 

Carlo Lauber as the Archdeacon in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame picture image

Carlo Lauber as the Archdeacon in Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

 

The Archdeacon guilts Frollo into taking care of Quasimodo. He also orders Frollo to leave Notre Dame when he tries to arrest Esmeralda. He is also the one who asks Quasimodo to hide Phoebus after he is shot. Like the Disney movie he does have that much personality. He does seem to do a bit more in the play than the movie but not much.

 

Original Cast of Notre Dame de Paris in Kiev December 13 2011 picture image

Original Cast of Notre Dame de Paris in Kiev December 13 2011

Just like in 2010 the Original Cast of Notre dame are set to perform another Notre Dame de Paris Concert in Kiev this evening December 2011. That means there are at least two peformance of the show, the Original cast and the Asian Tour Cast, Kind of Neat Huh?Hopefully we’ll get to see some decent video on Youtude ^^