Hunchback of Notre Dame: the Broadway Musical that Never Was and Should Have Been

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of Walt Disney Picture’s most complicated animated features of all time. The story was deep, and although it had normal Disney sidekicks, aka the Gargoyles, it had themes that were uncommon in most Disney movies.

Back in 2015, there was a stage adaptation that made a stop at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey and I was lucky enough to have seen it with a friend.

The show kept many of the movie’s most wonderful songs, but added a few more. To add to the grandeur of the show and really give a cathedral feel, it featured a full choir. I can say that while seeing the show, I had goosebumps. The choir made the room vibrate in beautiful music and it felt as if we had been transported to Paris.

When the show concluded, it had a different ending from the movie. Its new ending was somber and complicated and beautiful. The show was absolutely worthy of a Broadway run, but it never happened. It stopped there. All that lives on today is an equally beautiful soundtrack and two other collectibles I have from it: a pin and a program.

I saw Frozen on Broadway, along with many other shows both Disney and non-Disney. I can say with certainty that it is an absolute shame that this majestic piece of art never was presented to a wider audience, but I’m certainly glad that I got to experience it when I did.

I was heartbroken yesterday when the famous Paris cathedral erupted in fire. I was lucky enough to visit once and I entered the cathedral humming the Disney tunes, but left overwhelmed with the beauty and history the building held.

As the world looks for answers and hope, I hope that the beauty of the music from this show and the many memories millions of people around the world carry will hold you over until the cathedral is rebuilt to its grand state.

The stage version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame took the song Someday, which was originally meant for the movie and was featured in the credits, and made it a part of the show. I think it’s a beautiful, optimistic message to end this post as the city of Paris looks to begin to rebuild.

Life will be fairer
Need will be rarer
Greed will not pay
God speed
This bright millenium
On its way
Let it come Someday

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