The Hunchback of Notre Dame
From the Academy Award-winning team comes a lushly scored retelling of Victor Hugo’s epic story of love, acceptance and what it means to be a hero.
Show Essentials
6
Roles
+ Ensemble
PG
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

A company of actors emerges, intoning a Latin chant ("Olim") with the onstage Choir. As "The Bells of Notre Dame" echo throughout the cathedral/theatre, the Congregation narrates the dawn of the Feast of Fools, a day when all – even criminals (or worse, gypsies) ­– are free to roam the streets of Paris without fear of reprisal. From the pulpit, Dom Claude Frollo, the most powerful cleric in Paris, warns his flock against the wickedness of the festival. In flashback, the Congregation reveals the archdeacon’s backstory. Frollo and his brother, Jehan, were taken in as orphans by the cathedral priests. Whereas Frollo thrived under the strict rules of the Church, the much wilder Jehan eventually took up with gypsies and was expelled. Many years passed, during which Frollo ascended through the ranks of the Church until he was summoned one day to his estranged brother’s deathbed. Although Jehan rejected Frollo’s offer of sanctuary, he did ask his brother to care for his gypsy baby. In grief, Frollo reluctantly agreed to do so and named the deformed child Quasimodo (“half-formed”). Frollo kept Quasimodo secluded in the cathedral bell tower for many years....

Now grown, Quasimodo is the lonely, but staunchly obedient, bell-ringer at Notre Dame. Frollo continues to offer him "Sanctuary" within the confines of the cathedral, but Quasimodo longs to be "Out There," and so he drums up the courage to defy Frollo and sneak out of the tower to attend the Feast of Fools. Down below in the square, Clopin leads the gypsies in their annual takeover of Paris ("Topsy Turvy") just as Captain Phoebus de Martin arrives from the battlefront to assume command of the Cathedral Guard. Looking forward to some "Rest and Recreation" first, Phoebus is disappointed to find himself taking his new positon early and reporting to the reproachful Frollo. Both men are instantly captivated by the arrival of the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda, as she dances in public to the "Rhythm of the Tambourine." The frenzied crowd then joins together to crown the King of Fools ("Topsy Turvy – Part 2"). They choose Quasimodo for the mock honor, but, as Frollo predicted, the people treat him with remarkable cruelty when their celebration of his deformity turns to contempt. Hostilities rise as the mob surrounds Quasimodo, ties him up and beats him while Frollo looks on in cold silence. Esmeralda rescues Quasimodo from the abuse, enduring frustrated taunts from the crowd before she disappears in a flash of smoke amid exclamations of witchcraft. Frollo steps forward to collect a chastened Quasimodo, who promises to never again leave the tower ("Sanctuary II").

Concerned about Quasimodo’s welfare, Esmeralda ventures into the cathedral ("The Bells of Notre Dame – Reprise"), where Frollo, still overwhelmed by her beauty, offers her sanctuary and spiritual guidance. While she ponders this opportunity ("God Help the Outcasts"), Phoebus happens upon her, and they duel flirtatiously. Eventually, Esmeralda finds Quasimodo, who shows her the view from the bell tower ("Top of the World"). Frollo finds them there and confronts Esmeralda with his offer but, when she refuses, he has Phoebus escort her from the cathedral. He encourages Quasimodo to forget about the unclean gypsy.

However, Frollo cannot stop thinking about Esmeralda and roams the streets in the shadow of darkness. One night, he comes upon a tavern where the gypsies spiritedly sing and dance ("Tavern Song – Thai Mol Piyas"). Inside, a charmed Phoebus seeks out Esmeralda, and their flirtation escalates, climaxing in a kiss. The spying Frollo, enticed and horrified, runs off. Back in the bell tower, Quasimodo remains smitten by Esmeralda’s beauty and kindness ("Heaven's Light"). Meanwhile, Frollo convinces himself that Esmeralda is a demon who has been sent to tempt his very soul ("Hellfire").

The next morning, Frollo convinces King Louis XI to put out a warrant for Esmeralda’s death, and a search commences ("Esmerelda / Act I Finale"). Frollo targets a brothel that he suspects has been harboring Esmeralda. When Phoebus refuses a direct order to burn it down, Frollo has him arrested. Esmeralda appears from the crowd, and a fight breaks out. Frollo stabs Phoebus and blames Esmeralda, who escapes with the injured Phoebus. Frollo continues the hunt while Quasimodo watches the burning chaos from above.

Act Two

The Choir sings the "Entr’acte" in Latin.

In the bell tower ("Agnus Dei"), Esmeralda implores Quasimodo to hide the wounded Phoebus until he is stronger. Quasimodo agrees to help, and she offers him an amulet that will lead him to where she hides. Envisioning himself as her savior and protector ("Flight into Egypt"), Quasimodo lies to Frollo when asked if he knows where Esmeralda might be ("Esmerelda – Reprise"). Frederic interrupts to reveal that the soldiers have found the gypsy lair, and Frollo declares that they will attack at dawn. Quasimodo and the injured Phoebus use the amulet to find Esmeralda before Frollo does ("Rest and Recreation – Reprise").

Arriving at the gypsy lair, Phoebus and Quasimodo are captured by Clopin and the gypsies, who sentence them to death ("The Court of Miracles"). Esmeralda intervenes, and the two men warn of Frollo’s impending attack. As the gypsies prepare to flee, Phoebus decides to go with Esmeralda. She consents and matches his commitment to a life together while Quasimodo watches, heartbroken ("In a Place of Miracles"). Frollo barges in, sends Quasimodo back to the tower and arrests Esmeralda and Phoebus ("The Bells of Notre Dame – Reprise II").

In prison, Frollo confesses his love to Esmeralda and attacks her ("The Assault"). When Esmeralda refuses him, Frollo threatens Phoebus’ life, as well, and then has him brought into her cell so she can rethink his offer. Esmeralda and Phoebus spend their final night alive together ("Someday"). Now, bound in the tower, Quasimodo believes that he is the only one who can save Esmeralda ("While the City Slumbered"), but Frollo has made him doubt himself ("Made of Stone").

In the square the next morning, Phoebus watches from his cage as Esmeralda is tied to a wooden stake ("Judex Crederis"). Frollo again offers to save her if she will be his ("Kyrie Eleison"). Her steadfast refusal enrages him, and he lights the pyre himself. Witnessing the horror from above, Quasimodo gains courage, breaks free of his bonds and swoops down to free the badly injured Esmeralda. He then enters the cathedral with her in his arms, claims sanctuary, bars the doors and returns her to safety in his tower. Violence breaks out in the square as Phoebus and Clopin rally the crowd against Frollo. When the Cathedral Guard breaks down the church doors, Quasimodo’s last defense is to pour molten lead down on them, which ends the attack.

Quasimodo returns to Esmeralda, who declares him a good friend before she dies in his arms ("Top of the World – Reprise"). Frollo enters and tries to comfort the distraught Quasimodo ("Esmerelda – Frollo Reprise"), but he finally sees the archdeacon for the monster he is and throws him from the tower to his death ("Finale Ultimo"). Phoebus arrives, weak and broken from the battle, and collapses on Esmeralda’s body in grief. Quasimodo comforts him before picking up Esmeralda and carrying her into the square, where the Congregation has gathered to mourn.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Large 21 And Up
Cast Type: Ethnic Roles
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Claude Frollo

Archdeacon of Notre Dame Cathedral and the most powerful cleric in Paris, he is the reluctant caretaker of Quasimodo. He will do whatever it takes to rid the city of the gypsy “vermin,” even as he lusts after Esmeralda. Calculating, manipulative, and obsessive. 

Gender: male
Age: 40 to 50
Vocal range top: Bb4
Vocal range bottom: E2
Jehan Frollo

Claude’s reckless younger brother. With the gypsy Florika, he fathers Quasimodo, who he leaves in his brother’s care. Wild, passionate, and strong-willed. 

Gender: male
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Florika

A gypsy and Quasimodo’s mother.

Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Father Dupin

A priest of Notre Dame and Claude and Jehan’s guardian.

Gender: male
Age: 40 to 60
Vocal range top: A3
Vocal range bottom: C3
Quasimodo

The deformed bell-ringer of Notre Dame and Claude Frollo’s charge. Lonely and staunchly obedient to Frollo, he possesses a vivid imagination that brings to life the bells and gargoyles of the cathedral. Despite his shyness and uncertainty, he quickly befriends Esmeralda. Big-hearted, and brave when need be.

Gender: male
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: Bb5
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Clopin Trouillefou

The clever and charismatic King of the Gypsies. An air of mystery surrounds Clopin, who often leaves the scene in a puff of smoke. As the master of ceremonies for the Feast of Fools, he is witty and playful, but he boasts a darker, serious nature when not performing for the crowd.

Gender: male
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: D3
Captain Phoebus de Martin

Returning to Paris after serving in the war, Phoebus takes up his new position as Captain of the Cathedral Guard. Overconfident yet charming, this handsome, strong soldier makes the ladies swoon, yet his moral compass is also strong, and he openly defies the corrupted Frollo.

Gender: male
Age: 25 to 40
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Lieutenant Frederic Charlus

Lieutenant of the Cathedral Guard and loyal friend to Phoebus.

Gender: male
Age: 20 to 30
Esmeralda

A beautiful and free-spirited gypsy who possesses the strong sense of justice and morality that Frollo lacks. Compassionate, she frees Quasimodo from the frenzied mob at the Feast of Fools and, against her better judgment, falls for the cocky Phoebus.

Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: E3
King Louis XI

King of France, nicknamed the Prudent.

Gender: male
Age: 40 to 50
Tribunal

A judicial officer.

Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: G2
Madam

Owner of a brothel and safe haven for gypsies. 

Gender: female
Age: 35 to 50
Saint Aphrodisius

A stained-glass image that comes to life.

Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: B3
Congregation

Gypsies, gargoyles, soldiers, and citizens of Paris.

Gender: both
Choir
Gender: both
Full Song List
Olim
The Bells of Notre Dame
Sanctuary
Out There
Topsy Turvy (Part 1)
Rest and Recreation
Rhythm of the Tambourine
Topsy Turvy (Part 2)
Sanctuary II
The Bells of Notre Dame (Reprise)
God Help the Outcasts
Top of the World
Tavern Song (Thai Mol Piyas)
Heaven's Light
Hellfire
Esmeralda
Entr'acte
Flight into Egypt
The Court of Miracles
In a Place of Miracles
The Bells of Notre Dame (Reprise II)
Someday
While the City Slumbered
Made of Stone
Top of the World (Reprise)
Esmeralda (Frollo Reprise)
Finale Ultimo

Show History

Inspiration

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is based on the 1996 Disney film and the 1831 novel by Victor Hugo.  The musical, like the movie has music by Alan Menken and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

Productions

A German language version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame premeierd in 1999 in Berlin, Germany. Directed by James Lapine, it ran in Berlin for three years. 

The English-language version of the musical received a joint production between La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California and the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. It premiered in California in October of 2014 and in New Jersey in March of 2015. Scott Schwartz, the son of lyricist Stephen Schwartz, directed both productions. 

Cultural Influence

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame received a Cast Recording featuring the cast from the Paper Mill Playhouse.

Critical Reaction

"…One of the signal pleasures is Menken’s melodic music and Schwartz’s nimble lyrics."
– The New York Times

"The rich score, with music by Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast") and lyrics of Stephen Schwartz ("Wicked")... have a hefty weight that reflects the source material."
– amNewYork
 

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
The (Licensee)
Production of

(50%)

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
 
Music by  Lyrics by  Book by
ALAN MENKEN

(50%)

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ

(50%)

PETER PARNELL

(50%)

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film
(75% of Authors)
 
The Licensee billing must in the form specified above, including the words “Production of” below your billing, which shall be visually contiguous with the title, all so that the audience is informed that you are the producer. As specified above, your billing shall be no less than 50% of the size of the logo or artwork title, as measured by the proportion of the average size of your name to the largest letter in the logo or artwork title. In no event may you duplicate the logo and title from the Disney film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (the “Film”), although, you separately may license the right to use the stage license logo (the “License Logo”).  If Disney via MTI shall provide a License Logo to Licensee, then Licensee shall use such logo exactly as provided, including fonts. 
(For Professional licensees): If you elect not to purchase the License Logo, then you shall submit your logo or artwork title for approval prior to any public use thereof.  The credit to the Authors shall be on a single line and in a size no less than 50% of the regular title, and if there is no regular title, then no less than 20% of the logo or artwork title.  The size of the credit to the novelist, Victor Hugo, and to Disney shall be no less than 75% of the size of the Authors’ credit. 
SHORTFORM BILLING FOR LEAFLETS AND CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS
(Point sizes must be in same proportion as set forth for full billing above):
The (Licensee’s)
Production of
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK25
OCTAVO EDITION32
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE1
PIANO VOCAL SCORE1

Production Resources

Resource
CUSTOMIZABLE SHOW POSTERS
FULL SCORE VOL 1 OF 3
FULL SCORE VOL 2 OF 3
FULL SCORE VOL 3 OF 3
KEYBOARD PATCH SOLUTIONS
LOGO PACK
REFERENCE RECORDING
STAGE MANAGER SCRIPT
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIRTUAL STAGE MANAGER

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
CELLO
DRUMSCHINA CYMBAL , COWBELL , DJEMBE , DOUMBEK , DRUM SET , FIELD DRUM , FINGER CYMBAL , GLOCKENSPIEL , MALLET KAT , RIQ , SLIDE WHISTLE , SMALL TRIANGLE , SUSPENDED CYMBAL , TAMBOURINE , TIMPANI , VIBES , WIND CHIMES , WOODBLOCK
HORN
KEYBOARD 1
KEYBOARD 2
REED 1CLARINET , FLUTE , PICCOLO , SOPRANO SAXOPHONE
REED 2ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , ENGLISH HORN , OBOE
REED 3BARITONE SAXOPHONE , BASS CLARINET , BASSOON , CLARINET
TROMBONEBASS TROMBONE , EUPHONIUM , TENOR TROMBONE
TRUMPETPICCOLO TRUMPET , TRUMPET
TRUMPET 2FLUGELHORN , TRUMPET
VIOLA
VIOLIN
VIOLIN 2