Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus performing Someday, La Jolla cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus performing Someday, La Jolla cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

When I planned these posts, i.e. weakest/strongest posts I thought I would be more on the side of the stronger but when I was thinking about the strongest aspects I came up with more of the weakness than strengths. I feel a bit sad that I’m more mixed with siding more on the side of not being as in love with it as some other people. But oh well. I’m going to TRY to be as positive as I can.

So what did the musical do well? Well the music and the score were amazing. I mean you can’t go wrong with Alan Menken and a requiem mass inspired music. It also does well when it’s doing it own thing. Like Thai Mol Piyas

I will say that Esmeralda and Phoebus were well done. The irony here is that Esmeralda is left pretty much untouched from her Disney persona and the book persona didn’t really enter into her characterization. Phoebus however is a great combo between the two which gives him an arc. He starts out closer to the book and then turns more of Disney character. I think this what they tried to with Frollo and it just didn’t work.

The performers also do a great job, as in they sing well. I will say Arden does a good job with Quasimodo in parts. His weird attempt at sounding deaf boarders on sounding mentally disable. I get that he is deaf and lacks self-codience but really?

And also there were no gargoyles, that was a plus. Still not sold on the chorus as it seem kinda of high school or some day camp but still no gargoyles.

 

 

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

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

Topsy Turvy Part 1–  Topsy Turvy  is broken up  into two parts to allow two songs to happen as a mean to introduce Phoebus and Esmeralda. Though technically Phoebus makes his first appearance in this song where we learn that last name of his. More on that soon.

The first 30 second is pretty much identical to the movie. However then Quasimodo sings a bit along with some new lyrics sung by the Chorus. His part has a slight reprise to Out There to it. Also the whole of Quasimodo part  feels very musical-y  and also rhyming Now with Now? You guys could have done better.

The Clopin’s a part start and it’s again it’s identical to the movie, though I do admit I prefer Paul Kandel’s sining. The song again shifts to Phoebus appearing in the crowd after The sixth of January line or “Januervy.” And he pretty much announces himself to everyone, Frollo and Jehan did the same thing In Bells so I guess it just a thing the musical does though I don’t really care for people narrating themselves, though the chorus joins in to tells us that “he has a haunted look in his eyes.”  Anyway this part leads in to the next song…

Rest and Recreation – This song was in the German version and now it’s back. It uses Phoebus’ march from the movie.  Much like in the movie Phoebus is back from the Front.   But you know I have to ask what war? What Front? Phoebus says that he has been gone four years and seems a bit shaken up from it as they  mention cannon fodder.  I’m no expert on European Wars but France wasn’t in wars in 1482. The wars that France was in that were the closest to 1482 were The War of Castilian Succession  of 1475 to 1479 and The Burgundian War of 1474 to 1477. It could be a simple matter that the musical doesn’t take place in 1482 except they say it did. Song mentions a siege and bodies in a trench which are probably more like hot words than actually referring to a war or battle. I can deal with unnamed War in the Disney movie but here it’s a harder pill to swallow since the musical is truing to be more like the book. I mean did the say which war it was in musical?  But this backstory takes me out of the song.

So back to the song. Phoebus also mentions that he’s on furlough but then he gets his new promotion as Captain of the Cathedral Guard. I’m going to real with you guys, that is the stupidest thing. I get what they are doing. Phoebus has to be Frollo’s minion for his character arc and Frollo is now a Priest so the tidiest way to handle this is to make Phoebus the Captain of the Cathedral Guard. BUT Cathedrals didn’t have private guards. This even goes against the book where the Sanity of the Church was respected, even Disney movie Frollo respected it.

Anyway  the I haven’t really discussed the song yet. Much like in German version Rest and Recreation tries to amalgamate book Phoebus with movie Phoebus. Book Phoebus was womanizer and movie Phoebus is nobel and gallant. Since Phoebus is described as having “a dashing manner and bold swagger” we know he got those personality down but the song gives us a reason why Phoebus wants the ladies, because he been away at the unnamed Fantasy war. Despite the war and Notre Dame guard the song is successful at give the blending of Phoebus’s characterization and setting up his character in this version.

Rhythm of the Tambourine – This song is Esmeralda’s introduction song which is also her dance number during the festival. It is also the first new song of this musical version. Judging from the lines Phoebus, Frollo and Quasimodo sing about “who is she” I’m going to guess Esmeralda and Quasimodo didn’t have their little moment where Quasimodo crashes into dressing room, but I could wrong, I’m probably wrong.

Rhythm of the Tambourine is very staccato which I would guess is for said tambourine but it does nothing for me. Also is just me or is this song reminiscent  of Carol of the Bells? Wonder if that was one purpose?   I do like her attitude on dance that it just for fun as she ask “What can it hurt?” Such delightful irony. We also get a Belle moment as like I said Phoebus, Frollo and Quasimodo sing about her. Frollo likens her to a devil, classic him. Phoebus and Quasimodo liken her to an angel but Phoebus goes on to say that she dances with Fire.

It’s decent song and clearly gets across Esmeralda’s love for dance which she REALLY didn’t have in the Disney movie as well as the guys views on her.

 

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.

You might recall this Fan-art of Esmeralda by Jirka Vinse Jonatan Väätäinen.

Esmeralda Real Life Rendering by Jirka Väätäinen Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda Real Life Rendering by Jirka Väätäinen Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Well fairly recently Väätäinen did a set of the same style but for the Disney male heroes and here is the one done for Phoebus.

Phoebus, Real Life Rendering by Jirka Väätäinen Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Phoebus, Real Life Rendering by Jirka Väätäinen Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Unlike the set of the Disney Princesses+ characters I can’t quite identify who they are basing the rendering on but it’s spot on from the Disney design.

I hope they do more Disney Villains next, they only have Ursula so far.
Check out more by Väätäinen at http://jirkavinse.com

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame (Attack of Notre Dame)

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris picture image

L’Attaque de Notre-Dame Notre Dame de Paris

This songs just hits like a ton of bricks after Vivre. Maybe that was the point but like I have said half the songs in the show are bridge songs that lead into the next song. Maybe that was the point to lull the audience in with nice flow and then break it but it seems to me that songs or scenes were cut between Vivre and L’Attaque de Notre-Dame and that whistle line was proof enough of that.
However how is L’Attaque de Notre-Dame? As a song it’s has a cool melody, though it’s mostly Le Sans Papier with another melody overlay over.

The song has two parts the first part is mostly Clopin and Phoebus singing. Phoebus and Frollo attack Notre Dame to get the Court of Miracles out as both Frollo and Phoebus want Esmeralda dead because Frollo couldn’t get some and Phoebus wants some, (wink wink.) Frollo at the start has a part where is gives Phoesbus the right to break the right of sanctuary, because he can do that. Phoebus’s main part is line line about outing the outlaws while Clopin sings the chorus of Le Sans Papiers.

The first part ends when Clopin is beaten to death and before dying asks Esmeralda to take over The Court of Miracles. Esmeralda then takes over singing Le Sans Papiers and Gringoire sings some verses from La Sans Papiers. However Phoebus and crew win.

While the music is very powerful, there is a weird context issue. Considering how accurate this version is regarded, this part is one of the least faithful versions. I’m not saying it doesn’t work within the show but I must mention it.

-Frollo in the book makes up the rumor that sanctuary is being suspended for a day but in the musical he can just do it.
-In the book the Court of Miracles attacks Notre Dame to save Esmeralda and get riches but in musical they are the ones defending the Cathedral with Clopin leading the charge.
-In the book Quasimodo defends Notre Dame to protect Esmeralda from people he thinks want to harm her but in the musical Quasimodo is not in this number at all.

I think for me that is a big little misstep, Quasimodo who loves Notre Dame isn’t there to protect it. It works in the musical but it seems off. The whole of this scene feels off, it’s a cool number but it is rushed and odd.

Déportés (Deported)

Esmeralda about to be hung Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Esmeralda about to be hung

The bad guys win! Everyone who wants Esmeralda to die got their wish. In this song Phoebus passes the sentence on Esmeralda and the Court of Miracles. The Court are all deported and Esmeralda is dragged off to be hanged. Fleur-de-Lys and Phoesbus leave together happy with their scheme and Gringoire is powerless to help. This is the last we see of these characters in the show.

Frollo has moment of remorse but he is too far gone.

Déportés isn’t that much, just really two lines, exile and deported but Phoebus and the chorus sing the the lines with coldblooded authority that it’s crushing and chilling. It’s an effective number that gets you into a less than happy mood.

Mon Maitre, mon sauveur (My Master, My Savior)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon saver Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo and Garou as Quasimodo performing Mon Maitre, mon sauveur

More death. As dawn breaks, Quasimodo begs Frollo to stop Esmeralda’s execution but Frollo reveals to Quasimodo that he organized the hanging. As Esmeralda dies Frollo laughs and Quasimodo pushes him to his death. In the show it’s down the stairs instead of off Notre Dame de Rock Climbing wall.

Mon maître, mon sauveur is a simple song without a lot of orchestration but that gives way for Frollo’s craziness to come through. There much to it except the deaths of Esmeralda and Frollo. Esmeralda is harnessed and lifted up so the sight of seeing her hanging lifeless in the air is disheartening. Frollo’s death is done with a silhouette falling down various stairs of Notre Dame. I’m going to guess it was done with doubles tumbling on cue and Lavoie appears out the bottom.

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

Chris Pine picture image

Chris Pine

Recently Chris Pine was suggested for Phoebus but I think I have seen this suggestion before.  Phoebus is an interesting character for films to adapt, he can be the smug jerk or a hero , do so casting for the role is based on what the script calls for, though to be fair you can say that about any character in Hunchback. Pine however would be a good choice for either need, he can be heroic or a jerk.

Chris Pine as James. T Kirk from Star Trek   picture image

Chris Pine as James. T Kirk from Star Trek

Pine has been in a few popular movies, most notably as James T Kirk in the Star Trek reboot. He was also Prince Charming in Into the Woods and a smarmy jerk in that Princess Diary sequel. It’s pretty fair to say that if Pine were casting he probably would follow suit and his Phoebus would be an arrogant yet likable jerk. Maybe not a hero but more likable than book Phoebus but that does take very much.

Chris Pine  picture image

Chris Pine

 

How is Pine for looks. The only thing we really know about Phoebus is he is handsome in a resplendent way with a mustache, most version just make him handsome in a fashionable way. Pine has no complainers in the look department but his fairer features would be a nice contrast to Esmeralda’s darker one so yes Pine looks the part.

Chris Pine  picture image

Chris Pine

Chris Pine seems like  the perfect choice for Phoebus but what do you think?

In most other versions the order of these songs is a little different. It goes Être Prétre et aimer une Femme, Phoebus, then Je te reviens vers toi and finally La Monture. Both orders make a level of sense but I prefer the original, it just always seemed odd to me that Frollo would sings about loving a woman right after he tortured her, but the order made sense to someone.

Phoebus

Esmeralda as Helene Segara Notre Dame de Paris  Phoebus picture image

Helene Segara as Esmeralda singing Phoebus

Phoebus is Esmeralda’s plea to the aforementioned. She bittersweetly asks him to save her and gives some exposition about how the man in black stabbed him. She then begs him to at least remember her.

It’s a pretty yet simple song that has a lovely melody that has wave like quality.

Être Prétre et aimer une Femme (To be a Priest and to love a woman)

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo singing Etre Pretre et aimer une Femme

Être Prétre et aimer une Femme lifts a lots of its lines from Frollo’s confession to Esmeralda in the jail, so basically I love this song and what is so great about Notre Dame de Paris is that we get two instances of the jail scene, so yay.

This song has a lot of power and moving lines. Frollo is a preist and therefore not free to love a woman but he can’t help it because as he stifled his emotions, he has no power to fight them when they are super strong.

The songs also makes it seem that Frollo’s “love” for Esmeralda is not just lust-based, he seems to love is some weird twisted way. This is in constast to other versions and even some versions of Notre Dame de Paris and it really could just come down to Daniel Lavoie’s acting.

The melody is also great. It has a great off-kilter tone that is still pretty which suits Frollo.

La Monture (The Mounting)

Julie Zenatti as Fleur de Lys Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys singing La Monutre

La Monture is Fleur-de-Lys’ big number. It’s the songs that really drives home her personality which all the versions is the biggest is this musical. Pending on what version of the musical you are watching this songs is vastly differnet because of the order of song and the staging.

In the original, Fleur-de-Lys sings this song to herself/shadow. This looks cool on the DVD but perhaps to an audience it doesn’t have the same effect so they changed the staging. What is nice about her singing to herself is it makes her look desperate and at her limits and it also makes her asking for Esmeralda’s death seem like it has a pathos because she at the end of her rope and can’r cope with Phoebus anymore. There is no doubt that she means it, she wants Esmeralda dead as there is a just spitefulness in her voice.

The other staging has Fleur-de-Lys singing directly to Phoebus after he sings Je te reviens vers toi. She singings in less a desperate, spiteful way and more in a sexual way. Basically she doesn’t believe Phoebus‘ song even though Phoebus says in his song that Esmeralda will die (at least in the French and English version), though in English he asks Fleur-de-Lys what me must to to get back with her. This staging make Fleur-de-Lys more calculating, cruel and cold. She is more in control of herself and Phoebus and she uses her leverage to get what she wants, the competition dealt away with.

I think it comes down to preference. One staging gives Fleur-de-Lys a little more sadness as she in not as in control of herself or her emotions and the other gives her power and control but she uses it to ensure someone’s death.

Now as far as the song its self goes, because I almost forgot to discuss the song, silly me. It’s great. Like some other songs at this point in the show it has that off-kilter prettiness and Fleur-de-Lys‘ sweet voice is a great contrast to the horrors that she is singings. It’s is Fleur-de-Lys‘ best song in the show, which isn’t REALLY saying that much since it like three but it’s great non the less.

Je te reviens vers toi (I return to you)

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys and Patrick Fiori as Phobues performing Je te reviens vers toi Notre Dame de Paris picture image

Julie Zenatti as Fleur-de-Lys and Patrick Fiori as Phobues performing Je te reviens vers toi

I REALLY hate this song. It’s mean. Phoebus sings about how he is returning to Fleur-de-Lys and he is all better now. Since it’s clear that Phoebus is lying it probabdly why they switch the songs around but Esmeralda is going to die and yet Fleur-de-Lys is like, “ok makes she does,” not sure why that would have been hard for Phoebus, but even about the order changes.

I dunno this song just seemed mean but it does showoff Phoebus‘ singing and has a nice powerful beat. It’s the subject matter that is detestable and so is Phoebus.

Fun Fact – Patrick Fiori once made the mistake of saying “From the Deeps of you, it’s me I still love” instead of ‘From the Deeps of me it’s you I still love,” pardon my bad translation I only took a year of French but it’s a silly mistake that I could see a Phoebus saying.

Je reviens vers toi

Get the whole GLORIOUS ALBUM HERE

 

It has been said that the two most talked about things at a wedding are the wedding gown and the cake. Well we did wedding gown so ;et’s talk about cake and I just mean the look of the thing.

As I see it you should keep to being inspired by Notre Dame herself and will save you the two second don’t look up Notre Dame cakes on google it’s just the university.

Notre Dame Wedding cake Design picture image

Notre Dame Wedding cake Design

Typical with wedding cakes that are inspired from architecture is that you get the elements for the tier rather than making an exact replica. So this my very own crappy design of a Notre Dame de Paris, glorious I know.

Tiffany Style stained glass Wedding cake picture image

Tiffany Style stained glass Wedding cake

So could also just take inspiration from the Rose Window. Stained Glass window cakes are not uncommon but I haven’t seen one that is Notre Dame’s rose window but the point is clear.

Esmeralda and Phoebus figurine picture image

Esmeralda and Phoebus figurine

I would also recommend getting little bells as cake topper as wedding bells are cute and they fit the book. Of course if you can find a Disney Esmeralda and Phoebus figurine you could use that too.

One version I haven’t discussed very much is the 1977 British made for Tv-movie and that is because I haven’t reviewed it and I don’t really like it very much. However this is the only version that I know of that has TWO weddings. It has of course Gringoire and Esmeralda’s wedding and Fleur de Lys and Phoebus though it seem more like the reception than the actually wedding.

Let’s just with Esmeralda’s and Gringoire wedding.

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda with Christopher Gable as Gringoire 1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Michelle Newell as Esmeralda with Christopher Gable as Gringoire

Unlike other version, Esmeralda gets a white veil in this version. I’m not sure why they added this and moreover I can’t tell if it’s cheesy as fuck or cute. I’m going for cheesy. They properly break the jug though the four shards for four years is not there, instead they are stuck together. However they get dancing, which is fun though I’m of the opinion that the Court of Miracles don’t need excuses for drinking and merriment.

Then we come to the wedding night. Esmeralda gives Gringoire some soup. Gringoire then both creepily and awkwardly tries to seduce Esmeralda. She on her part is not having it and puts him is his place quickly without any flowery language. Gringoire seems chill with their sibling-like relationship but he still tries to seduce her, like it’s pathetic.

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys with Richard Morant as Phoebus de Chateaupers dancing at their wedding with corpses  1977 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Hetty Baynes as Fleur de Lys with Richard Morant as Phoebus de Chateaupers dancing at their wedding with corpses

And then we have Fleur de Lys and Phoebus’ wedding thing. This part is like a giant F-You. At the end of the movie, Esmeralda has been hung and Frollo is dead on the cobblestone. As Esmeralda’s body hangs and Frollo’s body litters the ground, Fleur de Lys, who is a delightful bitch this movie, come parading out with Phoebus. And they dance around the bodies as a happy music plays. Why Movie? That is one of the worse endings of any hunchback version. I mean it’s amusing in darkly fuck up way but still.

Oh Fleur de Lys wore white. White for brides came in to fashion in 1840 with Queen Victoria’s wedding. In the Medieval period bride wore Blue as it was the color of purity. So her in white is just cheesy so at least both weddings are consistent in style.

Unlike Esmeralda and Gringoire’s wedding, the nuptials of  Phoebus and Fleur de Lys isn’t really presented in the book but mentioned as a bitter joke. At the end Hugo tells us of all the tragic endings the characters have even if they lived to the ending. For our old pal Gringoire he writes tragedies, clever. Phoebus‘ tragic end is that he gets married.

Hugo mean that they marriage was the tragic occurrence for Phoebus, as Fleur de Lys more than likely put him on a tight leash, though maybe they just like that sort of thing, (wink.)  So I guess that Fleur de Lys is the only character in Hunchback to get a happy ending, well her and maybe Djali.

Unlike Gringoire and Esmeralda humble quick wedding, you can bet that Fleur de Lys and Phoebus‘ wedding would have been a lavish late medieval affair, with dancing and flowy gowns and those princess hennin cones for the ladies.

To date, this wedding is only in ONE Hunchback movie and it was so shoe-horned in that is inappropriate but I will get to that later.