Whenever a new play comes to Aurora Theatre, I try my best to attend. In general, I love the theatre. Smaller in size to theatres such as the Fox, but I love that about Aurora Theatre. No matter where you sit you get a great view, it adds a more intimate feel and the fact that I (personally) don’t have to fight traffic to get to them is an amazing bonus (plus free parking and great area restaurants). With that being said, let’s get into their current play, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
I received tickets to facilitate a review, as always, my opinions are my own
I think I seen Disney’s animated depiction of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996. So my memory of it is very vague. But seeing it the other night at Aurora Theatre has for sure left it embedded in my memory. Now I’ve seen several show at Aurora Theatre, all great. But The Hunchback of Notre Dame hit the ball out of the park. I loved everything about it; the actors, the set, the costumes. It was simply amazing!
I feel like every show that I see at Aurora the sets get better and better. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was beautiful, the stage depicting a Catholic Cathedral with stained-glass windows that was transformed to a bell tower, of which were the two main sets used. Between lighting, sound and smoke, it really set the plays ambiance.
The costumes are amazing! There were 98 costumes handmade for The Hunchback of Notre Dame! And 158 yards of raw silk that Aurora dyed themselves. Apparently only one piece wasn’t sewn by the costume department at Aurora, I have no idea which one it is, but you can have some fun trying to figure it out. The variance of colors made the play so much more appealing to the eye, keeping you drawn in.
25 actors made the show. Haden Rider, who plays Quasimodo did an AMAZING job bringing the Hunchback to life. Making the audience fall in love with the character who has a genuine good heart but is unfortunately deemed a monster for his hunchback and deformed features. Between his motions, voice and gorgeous singing, you can’t help but fall in love the character.
David De Vries, who played Dom Claude Frollo, will make you dislike his character, who takes his powerful role as Minister. He is the uncle to Quasimodo but is known by Quasimodo as Master. You’ll literally hate this fictional character. He’s clearly has a God complex and feels above everyone else and deserving of whatever he wants, even Esmeralda.
Esmeralda ( played by Julissa Sabino) is the dancing gypsy who catches the eye several characters. She see’s Quasimodo as a person, unlike the other characters who see him as a monster. Claude Frollo has a deadly obsession with her and Captain Phoebus catches her heart. Julissa’s does an amazing job giving life to Esmeralda and makes it extremely hard to determine who stole the show; her or Haden River.
The singing was amazing. Hunchback has some great talent gracing their stage. One notable voice that I’ve seen in other plays that stands out to me is T’arica Crawford, is one of the ensembles for Hunchback. He voice is gorgeous and I can only hope that she gains more lead roles in the future.
If you’re questioning seeing The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora Theatre, please know that you will be making a huge mistake missing this amazing piece of work. I highly recommend it. It surpassed my expectations and makes me excited for the future work that Aurora will be putting on.
You can get your tickets for The Hunchback of Notre Dame HERE.