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DHS Awareness: Out There

While everyone in the galaxy is writing about Carsland this week, Studios Central is hosting DHS Awareness Week. As this event concludes today, be sure to check out the SC Blog for links to all the stories celebrating DHS. Thanks so much for following our stories this week. It’s been so fun to participate!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Hunchback of Notre Dame has the music (hello Alan Menken) and plot to make a perfect addition to the Broadway stage. While that hasn’t happened yet (only a production in Germany), Hollywood Studios used to be home a 30-minute Hunchback musical, probably the best live show I’ve seen in the parks in all my years visiting.

My mom’s endorsement.

The staging, the set, the costumes, and the talent surpassed all DHS has ever offered. The show ran from 1996 to 2002 in the Backlot Theater, and it was a frequent stop during my family trips. (There were times we saw it two times during a vacation.)

Even just watching the opening scene now, almost 10 years later, I still get goosebumps.

For years I’ve wondered why DHS hasn’t updated its Little Mermaid show with a singing prince and perhaps numbers from the short-lived Broadway show. And after seeing the Broadway version of Beauty and the Beast, I am not easily impressed by the compact version of the show still available in the park. (I am most unhappy with the costumed Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, and Lumiere, but perhaps it would be too much work to get them costumed and made up for every performance.) In fact, I don’t believe I’ve visited either of these productions since I had my last family trip to WDW.

The Hunchback musical had energy, creative details, and felt so intimate — just because the space allowed for the cast members to dance and walk amongst the guests. Plus it wasn’t your typical fairy tale. It wasn’t centered on romance. It was about first impressions and bravery and friendship. I hope one day DHS will feature yet another live musical extravaganza that has quite as much potential as this one.

Here are some stills my mom took of the show throughout the years:

After all these years and after digging out this photos, I still miss this show.

What’s your favorite live production at the Studios?

About Estelle Hallick

Estelle is a Disney enthusiast with a soft spot for Muppets, theatre, and small details. She thinks Animal Kingdom is a full day park, the BoardWalk feels like home, and nothing is better than watching Illuminations. When she's not writing about Disney, she enjoys hanging out with her cat and her husband, having adventures in Queens, New York. She can also be found geeking out over books at Rather Be Reading Blog.

Matt HochbergJune 15, 2012 - 9:36 am

Hunchback was a really fun show and I think of the better stage productions to grace Walt Disney World. It’s a shame it’s gone now but I really enjoyed it.

MelissaJune 20, 2012 - 12:29 pm

I loved that show! Now I need to go dig out my photos :)

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