Yesterday, it was reported that Disney may be preparing to bring “Aladdin” to Broadway, but that’s not the only production the company may stage in New York. The New York Post reports that a revamped version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” may show up on the Great White Way, as well.
“Another revamped production in the Disney pipeline is ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame,’ which premiered several years ago in Berlin but wasn’t deemed strong enough to play Broadway,” reports the paper. “Peter Parnell’s writing a new script (James Lapine did the original), and [Alan] Menken and Stephen Schwartz are doing some new songs.”
No other official word has yet been released about the possibility of a new production.
The original version of the musical premiered in Berlin in June 1999 and ran until June 2002, becoming one of the longest running musicals in Berlin. Produced under the name “Der Glockner von Notre Dame,” the production was the first produced by Walt Disney Theatrical to premiere outside the U.S.
The musical is a darker take on the 1996 Disney film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” which is of course based on the classic Victor Hugo novel of the same name. Menken and Schwartz wrote the music for the original version of the musical, as well.
The musical tells the classic tale of Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer at the Notre Dame cathedral, and his relationship with Esmeralda, the gypsy. Here’s how production notes described the Berlin version:
Up in the bell-tower of Notre Dame, high above the Paris skyline lives Quasimodo, an outcast and deformed creature. Cut off from the world, the Hunchback of Notre Dame yearns for the hustle and bustle outside the cathedral: he dares to take the step. And is humiliated in the stocks. Only beautiful Esmeralda has sympathy for the tortured creature. Quasimodo grows strong in himself through her affection – and becomes Paris’ hero.
Image Courtesy of Disney