Review: Hunchback of Notre Dame at Davis Musical Theatre Company

Showtimes: Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 1/27; $16-$18; Jean Henderson Performing Arts Center, 608 Pena Street in Davis; (530) 756-3682;
Rated 4.0

The Davis Musical Theatre Company has pulled out all the stops for its magnificent production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Director Steve Isaacson has assembled some of the best talent that has graced the DMTC stage recently.

Gannon Styles plays Quasimodo, the misshapen hunchback, who has lived his entire life in the bell tower of Notre Dame Cathedral and who wants, one day, to be part of the outside world. Styles will be remembered for his strong performance as Daddy Warbucks in DMTC’s last production of Annie and is no less memorable in this role. The hearing-challenged Quasimodo has difficulty speaking clearly, but is positively eloquent when communicating with his gargoyle friends. His final scene will tear your heart out.

Andy Hyun plays the priest, Claude Frollo, who reluctantly takes in the deformed child of his late brother and raises him in a bell tower, where he can’t be seen by others. Frollo is a grim disciplinarian and moralist who has his own weaknesses, as we discover when he finds himself attracted to the sensuous gypsy Esmeralda. Hyun, who has played a number of good guys over the years, is particularly effective in this bad guy role.

Aimee Rose Santone’s Esmeralda has a sharp edge to her, but she displays a tender side both in her love of Captain Phoebus de Martin (Tate Pollock) and her friendship with Quasimodo.

There is no happily ever after in this version of the story, but DMTC does an excellent job of telling it. Don’t miss this one.