Actor Michael Arden will play the title character in the U.S. premiere of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," the stage musical based on the 1996 Disney animated movie. The production is scheduled to kick off at the La Jolla Playhouse in October.
Patrick Page, who played the Green Goblin in Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," will assume another villainous role as the character Judge Claude Frollo.
"Hunchback" is being produced at La Jolla in a special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions. The musical, featuring songs by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, has already been seen in Europe, debuting in Germany in 1999 in a production directed by James Lapine.
The European production featured a script by Lapine, but for the U.S., the musical has been written by Peter Parnell.
The "Hunchback" cast will also include Ciara Renee as Esmerelda, the gypsy woman who befriends Quasimodo, the hunchback; Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus; and Erik Liberman as Clopin. The new production, directed by Scott Schwartz, is set to run from Oct. 26 to Dec. 7.
After La Jolla, "Hunchback" is scheduled to transfer to the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in 2015. The Paper Mill Playhouse is where Disney launched its musical "Newsies," which later transferred to Broadway and is about to begin a national tour.
The 1996 Disney animated movie, which was based on the Victor Hugo novel, received an Academy Award nomination for Menken's and Schwartz's original score.
Arden has appeared in a number of musical productions including "Pippin" and "Big River," both produced by Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles. He is currently directing Deaf West's upcoming staging of "Spring Awakening."
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