Sing the Bells of Notre Dame with Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts Teen Professional Theatre’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Morning in Columbia the city awakes— to the bells of Notre Dame!

The merchant man sells and the baker man bakes— to the bells of Notre Dame!

Toby’s Teen Professional Theatre, as a part of Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts, is offering up a bold regional premiere this summer with their production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Based on the infamous Victor Hugo novel with songs from the iconic Disney animated film, this stunning tale of darkness and light plays just four performances this summer, and it is one regional premiere that you will not want to miss. With Music by Alan Menken— of such familiar titles like Beauty & The Beast and The Little Mermaid— and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz— of Godspell and Wicked— this stellar musical will delight, entertain, entreat, and ensnare the senses of all musical theatre goers. Directed by Steven Fleming, a product of the CCTA community, and overseen by Artistic Director and Founder Miss Toby Orenstein herself, (with the delightful musical capabilities of Mr. Ross Scott Rawlings musical directing the show and the sensational choreographic skills of Helen Hayes Award-Winning Choreographer Mark Minnick) this production is making headlines, and not only because it’s a regional premiere!

Brian Nabors (left) as Dom Claude Frollo and Samuel Kobren (right) as Quasimodo Jeri Tidwell Photography
Brian Nabors (left) as Dom Claude Frollo and Samuel Kobren (right) as Quasimodo

Featuring vocally challenging music with deeply emotionally invested characters, the CCTA Teens have their work cut out for them! With five intense principal roles— being performed by sensationally talented teens— the show is bound to dazzle and impress. Taking up the villainous role of Dom Claude Frollo is Brian Nabors, who has been seen previously in CCTA’s The Addams Family as Lucas Beineke as well as on the HCC Arts Collective Stage in their recent production of Ragtime in the role of Younger Brother. Nabors is currently a rising senior at James Madison University where he studies musical theatre.

Taking up the titular role of Quasimodo is Samuel Kobren, who has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance and Musical Theatre from Marymount Manhattan College in New York. Kobren has performed multiple times through the years with CCTA, most notably as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family and as Shrek in Shrek the musical. Playing the fiery gypsy Esmerelda is Cassie Saunders, a recent high school graduate, and Hunchback marks her seventh show with CCTA. One of her more notable CCTA roles includes Daniela in the 2015 production of In The Heights.

Cassie Saunders (center-left) as Esmeralda and Samuel Kobren (center-right) as QuasimodoAmanda N. Gunther
Cassie Saunders (center-left) as Esmeralda and Samuel Kobren (center-right) as Quasimodo

Phoebus de Martin, Captain of the Cathedral Guard is undertaken by Ray Robinson. A Glenelg High School alum, Robinson has performed in multiple CCTA shows over the years, including most recently as Puglsey in The Addams Family and Pippin in Pippin. King of the gypsies, king of the fools, Clopin Trouillfou is played by Joshua Huff-Edsall, a long-time CCTA performer. Huff-Edsall was featured in the 2015 production of In The Heights as the leading player Usnavi and in numerous other productions both with CCTA and across the MVA performance area.

There is great promise and potential hatching here as they ring out the bells of Notre Dame! With a limited run— one weekend only— this is the sort of thing that you’ll want to procure tickets for straight away.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame plays through August 5, 2017 as the Teen Professional Theatre’s summer production with the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts in the Horowitz Center Smith Theatre on the Howard Community College campus— 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, MD. Tickets are available for purchase online.


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