Disney has been performing incredibly at the theatrical box office lately, as its latest animated film, Frozen, continues to break records, and has already become Disney Animation’s highest grossing film ever in North America. The company’s theatre shows have also been posting impressive numbers, specifically The Lion King, which was the highest grossing show on Broadway in 2013. After acknowledging that a musical based on Frozen is currently in development, we now have word that another musical is on the way stateside – The Hunchback of Notre Dame!
Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz each have resumes that would blow many musicians away, but they have also collaborated several times. They worked together on the music for Enchanted, the cute live-action/animated hybrid that starred Amy Adams, but also for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which easily has some of the darkest music and lyrics that we have seen from Disney. Above all, though, the film is packed with a great score and rousing numbers that would be entertaining to see brought to life on the stage.
The Hunchback musical actually played in Germany back in 1999 but never made it to North America. It seems, though, that the show is experiencing a bit of a resurgence. It would not be the first 90s Disney animated film to make it to the stage years later. After all, the Aladdin musical will be debuting on Broadway very soon, with previews starting in just a few weeks. Hunchback will only have a limited run in California, with less than two months of scheduled performances. That indicates that Disney is willing to test the show and experiment, as well as gauge the public’s reaction. If it does well, we could very well see it make it to Broadway as well.
Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame is scheduled to play November 11-December 7 at La Jolla Playhouse, which is located in San Diego, California.
The official description of the show, provided by the La Jolla Playhouse, is below:
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
November 11 – December 7, 2014
Mandell Weiss Theatre
Book by Peter Parnell, based on the novel by Victor Hugo
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Directed by Scott Schwartz
Produced by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and featuring the Oscar-nominated score from the 1996 Disney animated classic, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the only stage collaboration from two masters of the American musical theatre, composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Their artistry reaches its zenith in this brand-new production that offers an intimate retelling of the famous love story.
Featuring a lush score by the multiple Academy®, Grammy® and Tony® Award-winning team of composer Alan Menken (Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors) and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin)