“What makes a monster and what makes a man?” Victor Hugo raises this question in his novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, set in the 1400s in Paris, France. The MHS Players are proud to present the musical adaptation of this classic work which challenges us to embrace the diversity of the human condition. As can only be appropriate for such a theme, this production brings diversity to the stage, where a cast of students is joined, for the first time in MHS theater history, by a choir of adults.
Faculty members from across the district have volunteered countless hours rehearsing the rich liturgical score that supports this story set in the famed cathedral, a score that poses additional challenges as it is in Latin! Further, in light of the hearing impairment of the central figure, two of our actors have worked to learn American Sign Language. Audiences may find the pairing of this beautiful language with English both remarkably elegant and powerful. With the additional inclusion of French and Romani, we see both the tragedy and the opportunity that results when different cultures collide.
The theater crew has been working hard as well to bring not only the iconic bells to the stage but to prepare a massive two-level set to help tell the story of the tortured hunchback Quasimodo and his unrequited love for the gypsy Esmerelda. Though this musical includes songs from the Disney cartoon, audiences should be forewarned that this adaptation, though acceptable for all audiences, may be a little dark for very young children.
Shows are Nov 21,22,and 23 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, Nov 24 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Contact Sue Perrino at 465-9135 for further information. With song, dance, magic, and theater, this show is as big as its namesake, the iconic cathedral currently rising from the ashes of last summer’s fire. We hope our audiences will likewise find this dark tale ultimately inspiring, as it reminds us we can rise beyond our prejudices and limitations. No matter what, “hope lives on.”
written by Laurel Hanson