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U.S. stage debut of 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' will be in La Jolla

U.S. stage debut of 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' will be in La Jolla
The stage musical version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is based on the 1996 Disney animated movie. (Walt Disney Co.)

The stage musical version of the 1996 Disney animated movie "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" was first produced in Germany more than a decade ago but has not been seen in the U.S.

That will change finally when the La Jolla Playhouse presents the U.S. premiere of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" in October. The production, which features tunes by multiple Oscar-winner Alan Menken and "Wicked" songwriter Stephen Schwartz, is scheduled to run Oct. 28 to Dec. 7.

The musical is being produced by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical, which has staged versions of animated hits including "The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast" and the new "Aladdin," which recently ran in Toronto and is set to open on Broadway in the spring.

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Disney is also behind the recent Broadway hit "Newsies," which has spawned a national tour.

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The La Jolla Playhouse has worked with Disney before on a workshop production of "Peter and the Starcatcher" before it opened on Broadway.

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"Hunchback" will be a new production directed by Scott Schwartz, the son of Stephen. The 1996 animated feature had songs by Menken and the elder Schwartz, who both received an Oscar nomination for the movie. Peter Parnell has adapted the movie for the musical stage.

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The movie, loosely adapted from the Victor Hugo novel, told the story of Quasimodo, a deformed social outcast who lives in the famous Cathédrale Notre Dame in Paris.

The musical was produced in Germany in 1999 under the title "Der Glockner von Notre Dame," and was directed by James Lapine.

It remains unclear whether Disney has plans to take "Hunchback" to Broadway following its run in Southern California.

[Updated]: A previous version of this article referred to the La Jolla engagement of "Hunchback" as a Disney production. The official description is that it is a "special arrangement" with Disney.

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