GPAS Theatre Company Sets Stage for Hunchback

By on September 25, 2017
Back Row: Joseph Badasacco, Nicholas D. Rogers, Steve Valvano, Eric Williamson, Mark Brummitt Front Row: Tina Hoffman, Stephanie Paige Moulton, Dylan DeGeorge, Kit Prelewitz, Jessica Ames. Partial cast photo by Sharon Vandezane

Back Row: Joseph Badasacco, Nicholas D. Rogers, Steve Valvano, Eric Williamson, Mark Brummitt Front Row: Tina Hoffman, Stephanie Paige Moulton, Dylan DeGeorge, Kit Prelewitz, Jessica Ames. Partial cast photo by Sharon Vandezane

After months of planning and now deep into rehearsals, the Greece Performing Arts Society (GPAS) will present in late October the regional premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The production will be held at the 800-seat Lyric Theatre Main Stage, located at 440 East Avenue in downtown Rochester from October 20-29, 2017.

GPAS President, Eric Vaughn Johnson, reveals that this Disney production is dark and suggested for mature audiences. “It’s not the children’s Disney DVD version…more in line with the Victor Hugo classic.” The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a story that cannot be overdone with thematic issues that transcend time and circumstance. Ever-relevant are the central conceits of Quasimodo’s journey: community, intolerance, and the power of social division.

While most conjure up an image of the popular (albeit dark) Disney film when they think Hunchback, it is a story that was fist penned by Victor Hugo in 1831. The past 200 years have been kind to Hugo’s legacy. With nearly twelve big screen iterations, five theatrical adaptations, and more musical re-imaginings than can be counted – the characters and their story lines have stuck. Disney presented its take in 1996, right in the middle of their animated movie hay day. Alan Menken provided the stunning score and Steven Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) the lyrics to songs like “God Help the Outcasts” and “Out There” featured in the movie. Like so many animated Disney movie musicals, a stage adaptation was presented and premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2014. This version keeps that lush Menken score but adds heavy choir and goes even more somber than the Disney film. This is the version that the GPAS will tackle for the first time in our region, in Rochester’s very own Lyric Theater.

This gothic setting and home of Rochester Lyric Opera is the perfect venue for all that this production necessitates: high ceilings, an acoustic environment built for chant style singing, and ringing bells that will send you right back to1482 Paris.  Tickets for The Hunchback of Notre Dame are available at Wegmans and on the GPAS website at greeceperformingarts.org. Tickets also available at the Lyric Box Office 60 minutes before the show. Parking will be available in the lot across the street or on the street. For more information, visit www.GreecePerformingArts.org.

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