The Hunchback of Notre Dame comes to Chilliwack

Produced by Secondary Characters, this is a musical the whole family can enjoy

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.

READ MORE: (VIDEO) Music theatre group’s annual fundraiser full of song and dessert

“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.”

And because of the intimate atmosphere inherent in Rotary Hall, Wojcik says it allows to audience to get an up close and personal view of the performance as the actors will “sometimes go into the audience and sing and dance.”

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.”

Founded in 2010, Secondary Characters is a non-profit organization that provides an opportunity for performers of all ages to take part in a musical over the summer.

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.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

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