The invitation to the gala opening performance read:
“All In One Unforgettable Evening – Love, Lust, Jealousy, Betrayal, Passion, Paris.”
Thus is written a new chapter in Las Vegas entertainment history, as Notre Dame de Paris, the French musical spectacular that TIME magazine called “a monster hit,” began a limited run at the Theatre des Arts at Paris Las Vegas last January, with an innovative production performed completely in English. The show closed in Las Vegas after 200 performances. Development is underway to mount the production elsewhere in the United States. Here is the story of how the first U.S. production was created.
Make no mistake about it – this is not “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” This sensual post-modern pop/rock adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic story brings to the Las Vegas stage the captivating romance the way it was originally conceived. There are so many unforgettable songs in the show that is difficult to decide which one to hum while leaving the theatre. The lyrics tell the story with wit, poetry and bravado. The talented international cast of 50 singer and dancers were selected for their raw vocal and physical abilities, from more than 1,000 candidates, who auditioned in seven U.S. cities.
Notre Dame de Paris is of epic proportion. The musical spectacular overflows with vibrant, acrobatic choreography, trend-setting costumes and stunning stagecraft. But what really explodes across the stage and spills over into the audience is a dramatic plot that never stops gripping, from the first moment to the last. The “tale of lust and love so true” comes alive as the timeless story unfolds in 21st century style.
An innocent, desirable young woman. Protected by a man of the people. Prized by a man of conquest. Coveted by a man of authority. Loved by a man of purity. In conflict with a jealous and dangerous rival.
For the audience, the experience is intense, exciting and ultimately joyful and uplifting.
Notre Dame de Paris is the award winning creation of French-Canadian author and lyricist Luc Plamondon and French-Italian composer Richard Cocciante. French-Canadian director Gilles Maheu created the staging. The musical spectacular’s remarkable journey to an American premiere in Las Vegas began in Paris, France in the fall of 1998. Within less than one year after it opened at the Palais des Congres, it became the most successful musical in French history, selling more than two million tickets and seven million CD’s in France and Europe. Thinking of the world market, Mr. Plamondon and Notre Dame de Paris French producer Charles Talar invited Grammy and Oscar-winning songwriter Will Jennings to adapt the lyrics to English.
Meanwhile, as the show opened in Paris, the French superstar and Las Vegas legend Line Renaud recommended it to the attention of American producer Wayne Baruch. Mr. Baruch invited Joseph Rascoff of RZO Productions, Inc. to co-produce with him, and together they secured the U.S. rights to Notre Dame de Paris from Charles Talar. Thus, Baruch, RZO productions, Inc. and Line Renaud present the Las Vegas production at Paris Las Vegas, by special arrangement with Charles Talar and Victor Bosch.
“Notre Dame de Paris” is now planning a future production for the United States. Please visit this website for more information as it becomes available.