Weekly Feature



2018-03-07 / Local News

St. Joe’s to present 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'

by ANNA DEROSA Editor


Senior Joseph Marciniak starring as Frollo, Mount St. Mary Academy junior Amanda Ackley as Esmeralda and Liam Allen as Quasimodo will perform in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” this weekend at Buffalo State’s Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center. Senior Joseph Marciniak starring as Frollo, Mount St. Mary Academy junior Amanda Ackley as Esmeralda and Liam Allen as Quasimodo will perform in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” this weekend at Buffalo State’s Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center. Buffalo State’s Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center will be transformed into scenes from 1482 Paris for St. Joe’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

The spring musical, featuring St. Joe’s students and women from local schools, is scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 11, at 1300 Elmwood Ave.

Ticket prices range from $10 to $20. Tickets can be purchased in the Main Office during regular school hours or in the library before and after school.

Musical director Paschal Frisina’s goal is for the students to have fun and learn something about theater arts.


Liam Allen, who will be playing Quasimodo, shown at left, kisses the hand of Joseph Marciniak, who will be playing Quasimodo’s adoptive father, Frollo, in St. Joe’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Liam Allen, who will be playing Quasimodo, shown at left, kisses the hand of Joseph Marciniak, who will be playing Quasimodo’s adoptive father, Frollo, in St. Joe’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” “We’re also a Kenny Award finalist this year, and so we’re sort of amping ourselves up for one of the biggest things we’ve ever attempted as a company to accomplish in this community,” Frisina said, adding that this is the first time this production has been performed in the state at the high school level.

The annual Kenny Awards, presented by Shea’s Performing Arts Center and The Lipke Foundation, honor area high school musical theater productions.

Joseph Marciniak, a senior at St. Joe’s, will be starring as Frollo, whom he describes as the “father of the bunch” or “evil dad” of the story. In the story, his character adopts a deformed baby named Quasimodo.

Although many people are familiar with the movie, Marciniak says the musical is a much darker version.

“It’s more based off the novel than the movie, but it has a bunch of songs from the movie.” He enjoys the number “Esmeralda,” which occurs at the end of Act 1.

“Everything is really intense. The conflict is at its peak,” Marciniak said, adding that it’s the most upbeat number that is being sung in the show.

With this being his seventh production at St. Joe’s, Marciniak noted that his angry old man character is different from other roles he has played.

“This is my final show, and it’s been quite the run. It’s satisfying to end on a learning role, he said, noting that Frollo has both substance and character.

Junior Liam Allen will be playing the role of Quasimodo, a deformed man who has a hump on his back.

Allen said the character Frollo has taught Quasimodo that he’ll be ridiculed and mocked if he goes out into the real world. After doing so, Quasimodo finds out that is true.

“The progression of his character in the story is him learning to become more than what he’s told he was.”

Allen added that Quasimodo was always told he was a monster. In the musical, Allen also noted that his character ends up feeling the most human emotion, which is loss.

“It’s a story that forces the audience to feel the emotions of every character,” Allen said, adding that the audience may leave in emotional pain but will be “grateful to experience a chapter of four people’s lives that is not often explored.”

According to Allen, an audience member can take away a moral from any of the characters and identify with them, from a strict father to an outcast.

“This show is really racially charged, too. They’re persecuted because of their race — because they’re Gypsies,” he said of the characters Esmeralda and Clopin.

“A big moral they push for, I think, in the musical though is what makes a monster and what makes a man,” Marciniak said. “It’s not the physical deformities that makes a person a monster; it’s what they do, it’s what their actions are.”

Amanda Ackley, a Mount St. Mary Academy junior, will be starring as the Gypsy Esmeralda. She says her character is dancing for money and it’s how she makes a living.

In the musical, Ackley noted that Esmeralda throws Quasimodo up on the stage. After he is being whipped and ridiculed, her character realizes that this is not what should be happening.

One of the numbers, titled “God Help the Outcasts” is what Ackley describes as Esmeralda’s plea for help.

“All these other people have selfish desires that they’re hoping for. She just needs help for her people.”

Ackley added that Esmeralda develops a connection with Quasimodo and is genuinely nice to him. There is also tension surrounding her character as three men are in love with her, including Frollo, Quasimodo and Phoebus.

Ackley describes her character as being an independent and strong woman, and that it has helped her to grow as a person.

She noted that the music is up and down and ranges from ballads to the upbeat.

“I think the songs tell more of the story than the actual dialogue, because you really have to listen.”

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