Notre Dame de Paris tells the famous tale of hunchbacked Notre Dame bell ringer Quasimodo who falls in love with the beautiful Esmerelda, who has eyes for someone else. This time around, the usually French musical returns to Singapore in English, which is great news for those who hate reading surtitles at the theatre.
As a story, the tale is simple and well known, which is good because deciphering the story from this sung-through musical is not so straightforward. However as a musical, Notre Dame de Paris is absolutely stunning because of all the elements one finds in a spectacular musical production – great music with wonderful tunes, good singing and acting, stunning sets, choreographed dance and/or acrobatic elements, and a highly energetic production.
The music is memorable and because of the catchy melodies you’ll find yourself singing the songs easily long after you leave the theatre. The performers also bring the songs to life with their good singing, most notably the actor who played the Priest, who possesses a smooth baritone voice that plays well with the tantalizing lyrics he delivers.
The sets and costumes are also intriguing, and the sets range from moving statues to high candle-lit walls, which add ambiance. The acrobats take great advantage of the high walls to execute their skills, as teams of high-octane dancers add interesting visuals to this musical.
Overall, the show is entertaining, without any dull moments, with high energy throughout. Notre Dame de Paris certainly ticks each and every box on the list of elements that make a superb musical, and hence (depending on where you are in the world) this is an amazing way to either see 2013 out or welcome 2014 in.
Either way, I bid everyone a Happy New Year – here’s to more fascinating and thrilling theatre in 2014!