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Camelot promises 'Hunchback' will be memorable

“What makes a monster and what makes a man?” Based on Victor Hugo’s novel, with songs from the Disney film, the classic story, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,“ comes to life on stage at the Camelot Theatre.

By special arrangement with Music Theatre International, Camelot Theatre is one of the first regional theaters in the U.S. to stage this new musical. Victor Hugo’s epic tale of hope, love and passion soars to life in this emotionally charged retelling of the classic novel, with vivid music provided by a live orchestra and community choir onstage and directed by artistic director Shawn Ramagos.

“I’ve always had an affinity for this show. I felt that for Disney it was a darker piece, but it had so many relatable topics that are even relevant today,” Ramagos said in a news release. “This is the biggest musical performance we’ve ever produced at Camelot. The music in this show is incredible, with the full orchestra and choir it will be truly moving and memorable, and the powerful vocals that Erny, Mia and Paul bring to their roles will have Victor Hugo’s characters resonating throughout the theatre.”

The production received 10 Tony Award nominations, with memorable music from the Disney animated feature film.

The story follows Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, who has spent his life locked in a tower by his guardian, Archdeacon Claude Frollo. Longing to be with other people, Quasimodo escapes to spend one day “out there,” which leads to his chance encounter with the enchanting gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, however.

The handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention and Frollo attempts to destroy the gypsies, powerful forces propel each of them toward their fate, be it malevolent, graceful, loving or heroic.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame stars Paul Cosca as Frollo, Mia Gaskin as Esmeralda and Erny Rosales as Quasimodo. The production will include a live 11-piece orchestra and a community choir on stage throughout the performance.

Over the past 188 years, Hugo’s masterpiece has been adapted numerous times into various films, plays, musicals and operas, ballets, and even a video game.

“Clearly, this universal story of unrequited love and a yearning for acceptance resonates as powerfully today as it did when Hugo created it,” Ramagos said.

Performances are set for 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through July 21. . Tickets are $28 to $36. Camelot also offers rush tickets for $20, $10 for students, 10 minutes before every performance. This production contains the use of nontoxic smoke, haze and incense.

Tickets can be purchased at the Camelot Theatre Box Office byphone, 541-535-5250 or online at camelottheatre.org.

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