Vista, CA (July 31, 2018) – Moonlight Stage Productions presents THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, the epic musical retelling of Victor Hugo’s novel about love, passion, and hope. Performances are August 15 through September 1 at 8:00 p.m. at the Moonlight Amphitheatre. The third production of Moonlight’s 38th summer season will feature a company of nearly 60 with actors, an onstage choir, and live orchestra in the pit making for an emotionally charged theatre experience. Tickets range in price $17-$57 and are on sale now through VisTix at (760) 724-2110 and online at moonlightstage.com. An exceptional cast with a mix of Broadway credits and regional theatre experience will bring this soaring production to life. David Burnham, last seen at the Moonlight as Prince Eric in 2017’s The Little Mermaid, stars as the tortured bell ringer Quasimodo. Burnham has been seen in the mega hit musical Wicked on Broadway as Fiyero, a role he originated in the developmental workshops of the show. He is also an original cast member of the Broadway production of The Light in the Piazza, appearing on television broadcasts at the Tony Awards and the Live from Lincoln Center telecast. Taking on the role of the beautiful gypsy girl, Esmeralda, is Janaya Mahealani Jones. She appeared earlier at the Moonlight as Lisa in Mamma Mia! and has been seen at other regional companies including Performance Riverside, San Diego Musical Theatre, and Cabrillo Music Theatre. As the villain Dom Claude Frollo, Paris’ Minister of Justice, is Lance Arthur Smith. Smith is back at the Moonlight after earning raves as Bill Austin in Moonlight’s Mamma Mia! earlier this summer. Regional credits include The Old Globe, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Cygnet, North Coast Repertory Theatre, New Village Arts, San Diego Musical Theatre, and Lamb’s Players Theatre. Back at the Moonlight after his memorable appearance as Will Bloom in 2015’s Big Fish is Patrick Cummings, playing the gallant Captain Phoebus de Martin. He has appeared in the Broadway and First National Touring Company’s production of Bright Star. Regional credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, Kansas City Starlight, and Musical Theatre West among others. Richard Bermudez, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award winner, returns to the Moonlight as Clopin Trouillefou, the storyteller, leader of the Court of Miracles, and the Festival of Fools. Bermudez has been seen at the Moonlight in starring roles in Aida, Titanic, Les Misérables, and The Pirates of Penzance. He has worked elsewhere including Musical Theatre West, Candlelight Pavilion, Welk Resort Theatre, Performance Riverside, and Starlight Musical Theatre.
The creative team for THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME includes Director Steven Glaudini (Moonlight’s The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Big Fish, My Fair Lady, South Pacific, Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, Miss Saigon, Cats, Les Misérables, West Side Story, Cabaret, and Children of Eden), Choreographer Roger Castellano (Moonlight’s Oklahoma! and The Wizard of Oz), and award-winning Musical Director and Conductor Elan McMahan (recently Musical Director for The Old Globe’s Lorax; marking her 54th production at the Moonlight).
Rounding out the production staff are Scenery Designer Stephen Gifford, Costume Designer Janet Swenson, Lighting Designer Jean-Yves Tessier, Sound Designer Jim Zadai, Make-up and Prosthetics Designer Denice Paxton, Wigs Designer Peter Herman, Projections Designer Timothy Babb, Costume Coordinators Carlotta Malone, Roslyn Lehman, and Renetta Lloyd, Properties Coordinator Bonnie Durben, and Stage Manager Stanley D. Cohen.
The stage version of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME was inspired by Victor Hugo’s gothic novel and Disney’s animated feature film. It features music by Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, and Aladdin among others), lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked among others), and book by Peter Parnell (Broadway’s On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, television’s The West Wing among others). The musical’s German production, adapted by James Lapine, premiered in 1999 running for three years making it one of the most popular musical in that country (a new production is currently running in Stuttgart). Its North American debut occurred at the La Jolla Playhouse in late 2014, moving on to the Paper Mill Playhouse the following year for a limited run.
The musical begins as the bells of Notre Dame sound through the famed cathedral in fifteenth-century Paris. Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer who longs to be “Out There,” observes all of Paris reveling in the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though – the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all.
Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel has seen numerous incarnations, from films, television movies, plays, ballets, musicals, to a video game. Composer Alan Menken and Lyricist Stephen Schwartz have each spoken about the story’s central character, Quasimodo. Menken has said Quasimodo is the perfect example “of ugly on the outside and beautiful on the inside. That strikes a chord with everyone.” Schwartz added, “the character resonates very much for me. I write a lot of shows with outcasts in the lead.”
Schwartz was determined to connect to Quasimodo’s perspective on the world and tells of the lengths he went to: “Disney sent us on a research trip to Paris, I used to go up to the bell tower in Notre Dame, sit there with a pad of paper, and imagine I was Quasimodo having lived his entire life in that tower and looking out at the city. What would I see from that vantage point in 1482? How would I feel? By the time I returned from the trip, the song “Out There” was written.”
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
August 15 – September 1, 2018
Gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Curtain at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $17 – $57
1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista
Phone: (760) 724-2110
LUNA CAFÉ AT THE MOONLIGHT
The former Artisan Café has been rebranded as Luna Café and the theatre welcomes new operator Kitchens for Good, a non-profit organization that provides innovate solutions in workforce training, healthy food production, and social enterprise.Luna Café offers pre-show dining outdoors on the Moonlight Patio where glimpses of the sunset can be seen before patrons take their seats for the show. The Café also offers delicious intermission snacks to all theatregoers including beverages. Menu information and online reservation can be made at lunacafevista.com.
PICNICKING AT THE MOONLIGHT
One of the most unique theatre-going experiences found anywhere is Moonlight’s lawn seating, allowing patrons to bring their own picnic suppers into the theatre and picnicking before the show. Lawn ticket holders receive a chair as part of their ticket upon entry to the theatre.
1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista
Gates open for picnicking and dining 90 minutes before curtain. Non-alcoholic beverages and food may be brought into the Amphitheatre. Parking is free.
ABOUT MOONLIGHT STAGE PRODUCTIONS
Winner of several San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards, including Best Resident Musical for 2017’s In the Heights, Moonlight Stage Productions is the cultural arts program of the City of Vista. Named “San Diego’s #1 Outdoor Theatre” by readers of ‘San Diego Magazine,’ Moonlight Stage Productions provides high caliber Broadway musical theatre each summer in the 1800-person capacity Moonlight Amphitheatre, owned and operated by the City of Vista. Audiences attend from San Diego, Southern Riverside, and Orange Counties making the Moonlight a regional destination for Broadway musical theatre. The Moonlight’s season of Broadway musicals is produced in the picturesque Moonlight Amphitheatre, a summertime tradition experienced by more than one million people. Throughout the decades, the Amphitheatre has seen numerous transformations, but nothing so dramatic as the total reconstruction of the stage house in 2008- 2009. With a grand re-opening in June 2009, a state-of-the-art venue was revealed, which included modern stage and audience facilities. Since then, the Amphitheatre has extended its entertainment offerings with the addition of concerts and other special events held throughout the year through Moonlight Presents and ClubM.