SYNOPSIS

A new musical based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film
The Hunchback of Notre Dame the Musical - SYNOPSIS

Act One

In 1482 Paris, Clopin, an elderly gypsy beggar, narrates the origin of the titular hunchback ("The Bells of Notre Dame Lyrics"). The story begins as a group of gypsies sneak illegally into Paris, but are ambushed by Judge Claude Frollo, the Minister of Justice of Paris, and his soldiers. A gypsy woman in the group attempts to flee with her deformed baby, but Frollo chases and kills her outside Notre Dame. He tries to kill the baby as well, but the cathedral's archdeacon intervenes and accuses Frollo of murdering an innocent woman. To atone for his sin, Frollo reluctantly agrees to raise the deformed child in Notre Dame as his son, naming him Quasimodo.

Twenty years later, Quasimodo develops into a kind yet isolated young man who dreams of seeing life outside the bell tower. A trio of living stone gargoyles, Charles, Antoine and Loni, serve as Quasimodo's only company and friends. Despite Frollo's warnings that he would be shunned for his deformity, the gargoyles urge him to disobey Frollo, ("Sanctuary Lyrics") and Quasimodo decides to go out for just one day ("Out There Lyrics").

While the Parisians continue their preparations for a festival, the gypsies prepare to attend the festival in their hideout, the Court of Miracles ("Balancing Act Lyrics"). Their attention is taken by a newcomer, a young gypsy dancer named Esmeralda. Meanwhile, Phoebus of Frollo's guard arrives in Paris excited about his new promotion as its captain ("Rest and Recreation Lyrics"). He flirts with a young girl but is suddenly interrupted by a fleeing gypsy accused of theft. The gypsy pleads innocence, but Frollo arrives and orders his soldiers to arrest the gypsy. Frollo tells Phoebus that the city has become overrun by gypsies and that he plans to find the Court of Miracles and eliminate them all.

As the festival begins ("Topsy Turvy Lyrics"), Quasimodo attends it and he is celebrated for his bizarre appearance, only to be humiliated by the crowd after Frollo's men start a riot. Frollo refuses to help Quasimodo, but Esmeralda intervenes, frees the hunchback, and uses a magic trick to disappear. Frollo confronts Quasimodo and sends him back inside the cathedral.

Phoebus refuses to arrest her for alleged witchcraft inside Notre Dame and has her confined to the cathedral. Esmeralda, encouraged by the Archdeacon, offers a prayer to God to help her and the other outcasts ("God Help the Outcasts Lyrics"). Meanwhile, Frollo orders Phoebus to post a guard at every door to ensure that Esmeralda does not escape.

Esmeralda finds and befriends Quasimodo to the bell tower and is captivated by the view of the city ("On Top of the World Lyrics"). Quasimodo helps her escape Notre Dame out of gratitude for defending him. Esmeralda entrusts Quasimodo with a pendant containing a map to the Court of Miracles. Quasimodo expresses his feelings, as he has been touched by Esmeralda's kindness ("Heaven’s Light Lyrics"). Meanwhile, Frollo soon develops lustful feelings for Esmeralda and, upon realizing them, he begs the Virgin Mary to save him from her "spell" to avoid eternal damnation ("Hellfire Lyrics").

After discovering that Esmeralda escaped, Frollo instigates a citywide manhunt for her, which involves setting fire to countless houses in his way. Phoebus is appalled by Frollo's evil reputation and defies him. Frollo sentences him to death. Phoebus is briefly struck by an arrow and falls into a river but Esmeralda rescues him. ("Esmeralda Lyrics").

Act Two

The soldiers continue searching the city ("City Under Siege Lyrics"). Esmeralda tells Phoebus to seek refuge at Notre Dame while she returns to the Court of Miracles. Meanwhile, the gargoyles convince Quasimodo that Esmeralda finds him romantically intriguing, and they reassure him about her safety ("A Guy Like You Lyrics"). The Archdeacon brings Phoebus to the bell tower and Phoebus, knowing Quasimodo to be a friend of Esmeralda's, asks Quasimodo to hide him.

Frollo returns to Notre Dame later that night and discovers that Quasimodo helped Esmeralda escape. He bluffs to Quasimodo, saying that he knows about the Court of Miracles and that he intends to attack at dawn. After Frollo leaves, Phoebus comes out of hiding and asks Quasimodo to help him find the Court of Miracles and warn Esmeralda. Quasimodo refuses to leave the cathedral again, but Phoebus and the gargoyles teach Quasimodo the value of devotion and selflessness ("Out of Love").

Using Esmeralda's amulet as their guide, Quasimodo and Phoebus find the Court of Miracles to warn the gypsies. Esmeralda and Phoebus decide to leave the city together while Quasimodo, heartbroken, watches Esmeralda leave with the man she truly loves ("Out of Love" (Reprise)). However, Frollo follows them and captures the gypsies present.

Esmeralda rejects Frollo's advances exchange for becoming his mistress. Tied up in the bell tower, Quasimodo refuses to help and tells the gargoyles to leave him ("Made of Stone Lyrics"). As dawn approaches, Esmeralda awaits her execution in the dungeon with Phoebus, hoping that one day the world will be a better place ("Someday Lyrics").

Frollo prepares to burn Esmeralda at the stake, but Quasimodo rescues her and brings her to the cathedral. Phoebus then frees himself and the gypsies and rallies the citizens of Paris against Frollo and his men, who attempt to break into the cathedral. Quasimodo calls upon the saints and the gargoyles before pouring molten lead onto the streets to ensure no one enters, but Frollo himself successfully breaks in. In the cathedral, Esmeralda thanks Quasimodo for being a good friend and dies from smoke inhalation. Frollo arrives and, after asking Quasimodo if she is dead, tells the hunchback that they are finally free of her poison. Encouraged by Antoine, Quasimodo throws Frollo to his death in the molten lead. The gargoyles comfort Quasimodo and tell him the world is full of good as well as evil. The citizens watch as Quasimodo carries Esmeralda's body through the square with Phoebus by his side. Clopin appears again and asks what makes a monster and what makes a man ("Finale").

Read more: The Hunchback of Notre Dame the Musical Lyrics
Synopsis to The Hunchback of Notre Dame the Musical