Wolff, Tretta, Rill and Rank to Ring Bell of New Hunchback Musical, by Rocker DeYoung

News   Wolff, Tretta, Rill and Rank to Ring Bell of New Hunchback Musical, by Rocker DeYoung Principal casting has been announced for Bailiwick Repertory Theatre's Chicago world-premiere production of rocker Dennis DeYoung's epic new musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Performances begin May 8. The Victor Hugo-inspired tale — about the gypsy Esmeralda, the priest Frollo and the deformed bell-ringer, Quasimodo — has book, music and lyrics by DeYoung, known for song hits "Lady," "Come Sail Away" and "Mr. Roboto." This is the premiere of a revised version of DeYoung's musical, seen in a 1997-98 production by Tennessee Repertory Theatre. The book is new and it has new musical material, according to director David Zak, who is Bailiwick's artistic director.

"The soaring ballads and driving musicality of DeYoung's score are a perfect match for this story set against the spires of the world's most beloved cathedral," according to Bailiwick.

The cast will include George Andrew Wolff (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Marriott Theatre's The Producers) as the deformed, lovable hunched-back bell-ringer Quasimodo; Dana Tretta as Esmerelda, the entrancing Gypsy with a heart of gold; and Jeremy Rill (Satan in Bailiwick's Jerry Springer – The Opera) as the evil priest Frollo.

Jim Rank (a Jeff Award nominee for playing The Baron in Drury Lane Water Tower's Grand Hotel) will play the dashing Phoebus, the brave soldier who wins Esmerelda's heart. Liz Pazik will play Mahiette. Michael Harnichar will play Sergeant Gudule (Jerry Springer – The Opera).

Opening night is May 19. Performances play Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 3:30 PM through July 6. For tickets and reservations call (773) 883-1090 or visit www.bailiwick.org.

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Founded in 1982, Bailiwick Repertory is dedicated to reflecting on our stages the diversity of our world in works ranging from classics to world premieres. The Primary Series features plays and musicals — many by Chicago authors — appealing to the traditional theatergoer, while the Community Based Initiatives — Pride Series, Directors Fest, Summer Youth Initiative, and Second Sex Series featuring women in prominence — develop new artists and audiences. Bailiwick has earned over 150 Jeff Recommendations and Citations, including Best Musical Awards for the last three seasons for the world premiere of Dr. Sex, the Chicago premiere of Parade, and a revival of Kiss of the Spider Woman.

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