It took a while for me to put this into words, but it’s done.
The one with the original french cast, in my opinion, is one of, if not the, best musical production. I’m not a very avid musical’s fan, but this moved something in me. I love Victor Hugo and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is a favorite so naturally it was already something I knew I would like. All the elements fantastically fit together, and each character is beautifully brought to life by the amazing cast. The music seeps down to the core and the vocals of Garou, blah blah and blah, leave you with ear worms for the entire playlist.
The year is 1482 in Paris. Use of space: The opening song is “Le Temps des Cathedrales” where Gringoire (Played by Bruno Pelletier) sings about the history of man and how “the time for cathedrals has come”. It sets the tone for the rest of Act I where he is kind of like the narrator for the whole musical. He starts off at the center of the stage, then moves on the utilize the rest of the stage as he walks around and the props (gargoyles) are rolled out. Light is really important because in fills in the empty space so that the stage doesn’t barren. There isn’t a lot of physical strain, but the song is pretty hard… He changes a few octaves and each time you think to yourself “ wowww… okays… that’s really high I don’t think he can go any higher and not slip… oohh! no there he goes”. So yeah I’m always left speechless because he makes it look so easy to sing your lungs out.
Overall performance: Quasimodo played by Garou.
This guy leaves me in total awe, every time I rewatch the musical is like the first time I ever watch it, it leaves the same intense feeling behind. There are two levels to his performance his acting and his voice. His raspy voice adds grit and a sense of agony to Quasimodo’s character. He performed the character in such a, dare I say… perfect way that it made him a star in France. You can see, feel and hear Quasimodo’s fears and hopes with every move he makes, every octave he transposes, and every drop of sweat that falls from his forehead. You can somehow feel the raw emotions that he delivers beautifully. He plays on all your senses. And I guess that’s exactly what constitutes a great performance, having control over your voice and actions. Being able to perform in such a raw way that moves every single person in the audience, the use of persuasion and space to put this into perspective.
I can go on for days talking about this musical, and I don’t remember the word limit for this assignment so ill stop here and hope that his how you wanted us to critique.
Here’s a photo of the beautiful cathedral
(all the photos in this post are not mine)