cabrillo stage hunchback of notre dame rehearsal
Kristi Garcia (Esmeralda, center) and the ensemble rehearse the tavern scene in Cabrillo Stage’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” The production opens July 6. Photo courtesy of Cabrillo Stage

Cabrillo Stage’s diverse cast, crew and choir are bringing the musical “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” to life.

The production, opening July 6, is based on the novel by Victor Hugo and contains songs from the 1996 Disney film. Set in the Paris cathedral, the Notre Dame is occupied by the bell-ringer Quasimodo. Quasimodo’s uncle Dom Claude Frollo says he must stay in the tower because of his physical appearance. Quasimodo eventually leaves and becomes captivated by the enchanting Esmeralda. The rest of the story follows his mission to protect Esmeralda from Frollo. 

According to Andrea Hart, artistic director of Cabrillo Stage, the set is “epic-sized” and unlike any production she’s ever worked on before. 

Hart added the story is set in the 15th century and that comes with building “iconic structures.” She noted that despite the large size of the set, careful attention to detail was put into all aspects of it, including the gargoyles and statues. 

“Cabrillo Stage can support the vision that I want for this show, which is a grand, full, epic scale [production] that we’re putting on… so I’m excited to do it here at Cabrillo,” Director Vinh Nguyen said. 

Nguyen noted that he’s happy to be coming back to Cabrillo Stage as a director because he performed in other shows at Cabrillo and had “positive” and “loving” experiences. 

He noted that many themes within the show are still relevant to this day, naming the mistreatment of marginalized communities such as people of different ethnic backgrounds and the disabled community. 

Hart added that she hopes audiences walk away from the show feeling compassionate and accepting of others. 

“I hope that this show will partially entertain, partially educate and partially inspire people to see the injustice that is in the show are relevant, and take action to become advocates themselves to help make the world a better place,” Nguyen said. 

The show will be performed at Cabrillo’s Crocker Theater at 6500 Soquel Drive in Aptos. The show opens July 6 and runs until July 30. 

Tickets are now on sale at

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