The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Aurora Theatre was MINDBLOWING! I’m not going to get into individual lead reviews yet but this entire cast is remarkable. My favorite part of this show had to be its set. The sets at the Aurora are always awesome whether it’s In the Heights or Split in Three.
The sets are immaculate and this is the best it’s gotten. IT WAS CRAZY! From the moving stairs like in Hamilton, the giant bells that came put even, and even the super creepy statues on both sides of the stage. I really loved how this show put the audience on the “One.”
We were all together rooting for Quasimodo to get away from Frollo and getting Esmerelda to just be there for him. I think with this show; the writing is good enough to pull you through. But with the right actors it has potential to be incredible, and that’s what it was.
This ensemble was full of familiar faces! I loved seeing people we’d seen in different shows all on stage in Hunchback. The choreography for this show was CRAZY! Ricardo Aponte didn’t come to play with the choreo and neither did this ensemble. It seemed like every step was in sync. Also shoutout to Ann Carol Pence and Justin Anderson on their amazing direction of this cast! They really put on the perfect show AND their casting choices! Kids I was QUAKING. I was not okay.
I don’t know what I could really say about this ensemble. They were incredible, I love writing reviews and not being able to say anything. I absolutely love casts that are so together or seem to be together. I also enjoy watching this cast on social media! They are hilarious!
Now to the breakdown.
Kevin Harry as Clopin Trouillefou:
the voice. Y’all I’m just going to list some of his credits (all professional credits) so you can understand the type of presence he is. Javert in Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd the demon barber of fleet street, he’s done RENT, Ragtime and Rocky Horror show. All shows I want to do! His voice is CRAZY, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell level baritone.
Lowrey Brown as Captain Phoebus de Martin AND fight captain:
He killed in this show. I really liked his voice and his chemistry with Julissa Sabino who played Esmerelda. I love that he’s fight captain. Which takes legit training, it’s almost like being a dance captain. You must know every step on a specific spot because if you don’t someone can get seriously hurt. Which means he’s doing fight calls before every show. Making sure that everyone else is safe, on top of managing his own safety.
Julissa Sabino as Esmerelda AND dance captain:
I LOVE THIS. Most dance captains are in the ensemble but to take on that huge responsibility and a lead role is big. I don’t know what I can’t say about Julissa Sabino she gives life kids! Mama slays the children every time she opens her mouth. I love watching her perform and during this show she hits you in the feels, Every moment of it. I pray that one day I’ll get to work with her cause she has serious stage presence.
David De Vries as Dom Claude Frollo:
I enjoyed watching him in this show. The writers allowed him to age which is what I loved most about his performance. From the posture, gestures, voice, every tick it all seemed intentional and a part of the character. His credits are also insane! Including shows like Wicked (Tour, Chicago, LA), Beauty and the Beast (Broadway, Canada, and two national tours). Which means he’s had years to create and most importantly recreate the same characters which really is a next level skill.
*One thing I’ve noticed is that we view Broadway as the BIG one. Which it is in a lot of ways but the art is what matters. If Broadway is all you care about you won’t make it in theatre. The art must be feeding you and it doesn’t matter where you’re being fed if you’re fed. Seeing David in this shows that it doesn’t matter where you are as long as the art is good and feeding you.
Haden Rider as Quasimodo:
As soon as I posted on social media about going to see Hunchback of Notre Dame his students came out of nowhere. I didn’t realize I knew so many of them and they always said how humble and amazing he is. I can second that now. The role of Quasimodo is hard simply because of the character voice that most actors use and you also have to find a healthy mix between the two. When he sang it was an immediate switch he went from Gollum to the most heavenly voice ever! His show stopping moment that made me stop breathing for a minute was “Made of Stone”. Hunchback was written to be a show stopper and is truly a difficult song to sing but he tore it apart. Did I mention he had strep throat when I saw it? Yeah he sang on strep and sounded flawless. That’s INSANE.
If you want to see this amazing show you can go to http://www.auroratheatre.com/the-hunchback-of-notre-dame/ and buy your tickets! It runs from now until August 27th at the Aurora Theatre. This production was done in collaboration with Theatrical outfit so it will move downtown to the Rialto theater. Which gives you the oppurtunity to see it again September 7th to the 17th. Go see this beautiful show as soon as you can!