'Hunchback' is first for a R.I. high school

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Arts at Bishop Hendricken is reaching for the stars.

The school will stage The Hunchback of Notre Dame as its fall musical opening tonight and running through Dec. 9 at the Dr. Daniel S. Harrop Theater on the campus of Bishop Hendricken High School. The school’s rendition is the Rhode Island high school premiere of the production.

Richard Sylvia, Director of Arts, said the show is a stretch from the favorites such as The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma and other musicals staged by high schools, but they’re up to it.

Hunchback is a first more ways than one.

The show is built around a three-level set that lends itself to the towers of Notre Dame and at least for this viewer of Monday’s rehearsal fearing some of the performers may step off platforms into thin air. They didn’t.

The orchestra is based on the ground floor, making it visible to the audience.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame features a four-show engagement, with performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors, and $15 for adults. Tickets are available for purchase online at: www.hendricken.com/boxoffice. Tickets can also be purchased by calling the Box Office at (401) 739-3450, ext. 120. The Box Office will also be open for ticket sales one hour prior to each performance.

“Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz have been able to capture the messages of love and acceptance for those who are different through their beautiful music. It’s a story about finding a hero where you never thought you would,” Sylvia said in a release.

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, 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, 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.

The production features more than 70 student actors, technicians, and musicians from various Catholic, public, and private schools from around the state of Rhode Island. It also features a chorus of students, program alumni, and faculty. The production is spearheaded by a creative team of Hendricken faculty, staff, and alumni.

The cast includes: Dominic DaSilva as Dom Claude Frollo; Alex LeBlanc, Jehan Frollo; Madeline Morin, Florika; Luis De Ugarte, Father Dupin; Brad Hutchinson, Quasimodo; Samuele Deluise, Clopin Trouillefou; Sean Ryan, Phoebus De Martin; Jake Rademacher, Frederic Charlus; Marie Balemian, Esmerelda; Andrew Iannucelli, King Louis XI; Lily Brewster, Madame and Mynor Rafael-Tirado, Saint Aphrodisius.

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