She gave me water … and pity

I don’t know who he is, but his face rings a bell … he’s a dead ringer for his brother … not sure, but I got a hunch.

That’s all the punchlines we can come up with about the three bell-ringing hunchback brothers who tragically fell out of the belltower window. Hunchback, at the Citadel Theatre through March 27, is serious business. The world-premiere Catalyst Theatre production is more true to the vibe of Victor Hugo’s novel than the Disneyfication of same – with a few interesting twists. First off, it’s a musical. Live musicians will perform on stage.

Designer Bretta Gerecke, who helped create Catalyst’s famous version of Frankenstein, describes it as a Greek love story – the kind where the main characters don’t necessarily end up living happily ever after. Or living at all.

“It’s a gritty exploration of obsessive love and desire and passion and how things can lead to one’s ultimate end,” Gerecke says. “It’s a love story, but it’s a dark and dangerous love story. It’s tough and it’s beautiful. And it’s definitely inspired by the period in which it was written.”

That’s right: The Dark Ages. Those were the days.

Starring Scott Walters as the priest Claude Frollo, Ava Jane Markus as Esmeralda and Ron Pederson (MADtv) as our buddy Quasimodo, Hunchback plays on the Citadel’s Shoctor Stage nightly, Tuesday-Sunday this week, at 7:30 pm. Order tickets online here or phone 780.425.1820.