Staying true to Victor Hugo’s work, combined with Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz’s music and lyrics, Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame musical works very well in all aspects of musical theatre, particularly, this production by Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater.
Not exactly a family-friendly feature like the 1996 animation, The Hunchback of Notre Dame musical has a darker tone, not shying away from the adult themes and situations. Sure, there may be talking and singing gargoyles, but they have been elevated to a more purposeful role that justified their existence, not merely being there for the sake of younger audiences.
Supported by Broadway greats like Brandon O’Neill (Aladdin) as Phoebus, Dan’yelle Williamson (Memphis) as Esmeralda, and Allen Fitzpatrick (Les Miserables) as Frollo to name a few, Joshua Castille (Spring Awakening) plays Quasimodo with a lot of heart and personality it perfectly complements E.J. Cardona’s singing voice counterpart the role seamlessly alternates between the two. Backed by a strong ensemble of 5th Avenue greats plus the Pacific Lutheran University Choral Union, each number can just be described as musical porn.
The 5th Avenue’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame continues to play at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle, WA until June 24.