'Hunchback' Comes To Phs

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Don't expect the Walt Disney version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" when the Payson High School Drama Department's production opens Thursday in the school auditorium.

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Justin Kreie is the unfortunate victim as (left to right) Jennifer Weinland, Anita Meggitt and Samantha Strothmann take matters into their own hands and storm Notre Dame Cathedral. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" runs Thursday through Saturday in the PHS auditorium.

This is Tim Kelly's faithful adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel. Set in 15th century Paris, it stays true to Hugo's original rendering.

The story revolves around Quasimodo (played by junior Mick Stern), the grotesquely disfigured but good-hearted man who is confined to the bell tower of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Other characters include the vain, handsome Captain Phoebus (sophomore Martin Dorris); the villainous Frollo (sophomore Chris Bott); the temperamental poet, Pierre Gringoire (senior Billy Chester); and the beautiful, but naive gypsy Esmeralda (senior Elizabeth Goodale).

Unlike the Disney version, all is not as it seems. Esmeralda, for example, is not so much the outgoing heroine as a damsel in distress.

John Siler, who retired from teaching last year, returns to direct the production.

"This is a character actor show -- every one is singular and unique," Siler said. "As a director, that makes it fun for me."

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and 28, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Friday, Feb. 27. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, $2 for Renaissance cardholders, and free for members of the International Thespian Society.

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