What makes a monster and what makes a man? This question is posed at the beginning of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” a new musical based on the Victor Hugo novel with music from the 1996 Disney film.
Over the course of two acts, the cast of Gates Chili High School’s production will take the audience through an adventure that will challenge theatergoers to answer this very question.
The story centers around Quasimodo, a disfigured orphan played by sophomore Evan Balasubramaniam and raised as a secretive recluse by Archdeacon Claude Frollo, played by junior Jordan Klotz.
The score will feature solo and ensemble numbers to evoke Quasimodo’s longing for acceptance in the world outside his cathedral, Frollo’s self-righteous motivations and the intertangled motivations of Phoebus, the captain of the cathedral guard played by senior Collin Carey, and the gypsy Esmeralda, played by junior Elena Phillips.
The play is set in Paris during the 15th century, and depicts medieval life against the backdrop of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Gates Chili’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” will feature a cast of over 40 students, as well as a student-driven stage crew and pit orchestra. The musical theater program at Gates Chili teaches students about all aspects of theatrical production, and allows students the opportunity to contribute to a show by being part of the lighting crew, sound crew, properties crew, pit orchestra or stage crew.
In all, Gates Chili’s production will involve nearly 80 students under the direction of Heather Eagan Candileri, director/producer; Jessica Volpe, vocal director/choreographer; Megan Beck, stage director; Marcia Stevens, assistant director/scenic artist; and Kathleen Bailey, orchestra director.
Students, directors and volunteers from the school and community have worked since December 2017 to bring this show to life. There will be three performances for the community at 7 p.m. on March 22-24 at Gates Chili High School, 1 Spartan Way, Rochester. Tickets cost $13, and are available online at showtix4u.com and at the door for some performances.
There will be a complimentary senior citizen matinee at 4 p.m. on March 21. Tickets may be picked up at the window in the main entrance of the high school. Tickets must be picked up by March 19 for the matinee.