Through November 4, 2017
There’s something so 1980s about the musical “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” currently in production by Great Lakes Theater.
To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is not a typical Disney stage creation. It is a dark, brooding musical and probably not appropriate for children. While the first act is rather slow, the second act is strong. It is well worth seeing.
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.
When young, bare-chested actor Corey Mach steps out of the crowd during the opening number of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and transforms right before our eyes into Quasimodo, assuming the crooked body language, gaping mouth and shirt with a hump, we are transfixed. “What makes a monster and what makes a man?” he sings. That is the central question of this epic sweep of a musical, which is based on Victor Hugo’s novel and the 1996 Disney movie. The stunning show, featuring brilliant vocals from a cast of 19 directed by Victoria Bussert, is making its Midwest premiere at Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland.
To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.
Somehow Great Lakes Theater manages to enlarge the stage in all directions for this phenomenal bigger than life rendering of the Victor Hugo classic. All of the elements of light, sound, voice and dance combine to totally captivate the audience in a production that can only be described as "Magnifique." This is the high bar from which all other Playhouse Square shows will be measure to this season. See this show!
Thanks to the sure hand of director Bussert, it all works as a sumptuous theatrical treat. But perhaps due to its cartoon lineage, it lacks the impact of that other musical made from a Hugo novel: Les Miserables.
Like another recent Disney film-to-stage transfer, “Freaky Friday,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” belongs to a new entertainment genre — direct-to-regional-theater — sort of the live-stage version of direct-to-video.
But at least the people behind this show are thinking. And the people in front of the stage are talented. So a Broadway run for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” doesn’t seem to be out of the question,” and neither would it be out of the question if it were a staging such as this.
The Hanna Great Lakes Theater’s opening show this season is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a Disney-film-inspired musical that didn’t make it to Broadway. Director Victoria Bussert’s signature touch is shown in her vibrant use of the Hanna’s cozy space and her employment of a wonderfully talented cast. But even Bussert’s talent can’t dissipate the awkward story created by this Disneyfication of Victor Hugo’s novel. (“Disneyfication” here means simplifying a 19th-century 800-plus page gothic romance into a single story that argues for being kind to strangers and to those weaker than oneself.)
From its dark corners to is most heavenly choral numbers, the musical works wonderfully at the Hanna. Great Lakes has begun its new season in big style.
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.