While it’s not quite a tale as old as time, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is nearly two centuries old, and this summer Chilliwack’s Secondary Characters Musical Theatre is bringing the classic love story to life on the Chilliwack Cultural Centre’s Rotary Hall stage.
Based on the Victor Hugo novel of the same name, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a deeply moving story that remains highly relevant today, says director Shelley Wojcik.
“At its core, it’s a love story about human compassion and the different faces of love,” said Wojcik. “Love isn’t just husband and wife, or two partners. Love comes in may different forms.
“And the story is also about struggle: about living in a world where you have a difference and it’s not tolerated by many,” she added. “And that’s relevant today.”
With shows from July 19 to 29, The Hunchback of Notre Dame follows the classic tale of Quasimodo, the lonely, hunchbacked bell ringer of Paris’s famed Notre Dame cathedral, who longs to be part of the world at large. After finally making his escape from Frollo—the villainous caretaker who’d been keeping him captive for years—during the Feast of Fools, Quasimodo meets Esmeralda, a compassionate gypsy who sees beyond Quasimodo’s gnarly appearance and senses the good in his heart.
“Also, for the first time we have a live choir,” said Wojcik. “We always have an orchestra, but this time we have a 12-member choir who’ll be on the stage with us. It kind of blows your mind when you hear it all together … it’s just gorgeous.”
The stage and sets will also dress the stage to enhance this exciting production: the gargoyle statues, friends of the lonely Quasimodo in his bell-tower, have been hand-carved, and all the actors designed and made their own masks for the Feast of Fools added Wojcik.
“The show has lots of fight scenes and climbing of cathedral walls,” continued Wojcik. “Lots of interesting dances, bravery, fear, and strength of love. The audience will feel all sorts of emotions and will be spent by the time they finish watching it.”
Tickets are for The Hunchback of Notre Dame range from $16 to $22, with tickets for a special July 19 preview performance for $12, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office in person or by phone at 604-391-SHOW, or online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca.