• Penny & Pound Theatre

THE CREW

Updated: Jun 25, 2018

Introducing the director, assistant director, musical director, and rehearsal pianist of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME!


* Some answers have been edited for length or clarity.



LORI DISTEL: DIRECTOR

Favourite Musical: Jesus Christ Superstar or Fiddler on the Roof

Favourite Composer: Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story, Candide)

Favourite Movie Musical: Chicago

Favourite Song From a Musical: "This Nearly Was Mine," South Pacific

Musical Dream Role: Velma Kelly, Chicago or Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd

Favourite Musical Role I've Played: Miss. Adelaide, Guys and Dolls


Q1: WHAT WAS THE FIRST SHOW THAT YOU DIRECTED? WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE

SHOW THAT YOU'VE DIRECTED?


LORI: The first show I directed was 'Femaelstrom,' an original show comprised of four short segments, each based upon an iconic female figure. It's difficult to choose my favourite show...they're all my children and each has offered me a unique experience. I know that sounds like a cop-out but it is honestly true. How can I compare "Doubt, a Parable" to "Of Mice and Men" to "Les Miserables?" It simply can't be done.


Q2: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DIRECT 'THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME?"


LORI: I love the story. I love the music. I love the characters. I love the magnitude of the show. It's dark. It's tragic. It's hopeful. It's haunting. It's everything that good theatre should be.


Q3: AS THE DIRECTOR, WHAT IS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THIS SHOW FOR YOU?


LORI: That's tough to answer. The numbers that involve everyone; the leads, the ensemble, the stone ensemble, the choir are the most impressive from a spectacle standpoint but how can you argue with the power of "Hellfire" or the heartbreaking emotion behind "God Help the Outcasts" or "Heaven's Light." The whole show is one huge highlight...


Q4: HOW DOES THIS MUSICAL FIT WITH THE 2017/2018 SEASON THEME, "BE THE CHANGE?"


LORI: It fits beautifully. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is all about discrimination. Quasimodo, the Romani people the poor...all looked down upon by an unforgiving society that determines who is acceptable and who is not. Although this show takes place in a time long since passed, has that discrimination really changed? I think it's time to realize that people are people regardless of their skin colour or social position and if we were all just nice to one another, the change would come.


Q5: HAVING WORKED WITH BOTH, WHICH DO YOU PREFER: WORKING WITH ADULT ACTORS, OR YOUTH ACTORS?


LORI: I love working with actors, period. But if push came to shove, I would say I get the most satisfaction working with youth. They're not yet set in their ways, so they are more malleable and therefore easier to direct...kinda.


****



CORINA DUNN: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Favourite Musical: Man of La Mancha

Favourite New Musical: None. They all suck :P

Favourite Old Musical: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

First Musical I Performed In: Footloose

Favourite Musical Character: Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha

Musical Dream Role: Aldonza, Man of La Mancha


Q1: WHAT WAS THE FIRST SHOW THAT YOU DIRECTED? WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE

SHOW THAT YOU'VE DIRECTED?


CORINA: The first show I directed was "The Window." I think it was by Frank Wedekind. I'd have to look that up, though. Favourite show I've directed... that's a tough one. Beauty and the Beast, I think. Or if co-directed counts, than probably Les Mis.


Q2: WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH 'THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME?"


CORINA: I remember my parents watching the black and white version when I was a kid!


Q3: HOW CAN AUDIENCES RELATE TO THIS STORY?


CORINA: There's a bit of Quasi in each of us. We can probably all relate to the feeling of being on the outside looking in. Or, in Quasi's case, the inside looking out.


Q4: WHAT CAN THE AUDIENCE EXPECT FROM THIS PRODUCTION?


CORINA: The audience can expect to taken on roller- coaster ride of emotions.


Q5: WHICH DO YOU PREFER: THE ANIMATED VERSION, OR THE MUSICAL VERSION? WHY?


CORINA: I love the whimsical aspect and the happy ending in the animated film. But, the musical tells a story that is more believable. One you can really invest in.


*****

ALEXANDER REED: MUSICAL DIRECTOR/CONDUCTOR

Favourite Musical: Crazy Ex Girlfriend

Musical That Makes Me Laugh: Crazy Ex Girlfriend

Musical That Makes Me Cry: Les Miserables

Favourite New Musical: Hadestown

Favourite Old Musical: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Musical Dream Role: Hades in Hadestown


Q1: YOU'VE BEEN A MUSICIAN FOR YEARS- HOW MANY?


ALEX: I'm 14 years a piano player. I've been directing/writing music for shows for the past 7 years. This will be, fun fact, my first ever musical!


Q2: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG IN 'THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME?" WHY?


ALEX: As the musical director, I need to know all these songs as if they're my own children. Are you so audacious, asking me to choose my favourite child? I mean, it's any time the "Bells of Notre Dame" theme comes in, but I don't want to have to say that out loud... all the other songs will get jealous.

Fun Fact 2: I'm an incurable goofball.



Q3: WHAT PART OF THE PROCESS ARE YOU LOOKING THE MOST FORWARD TO?


ALEX: I always look forward to working with my fellow singers and musicians. The best part of the process is always.... well, the process. We work together, we create an experience and always strive to make that experience better.


Q4: WHAT'S IT LIKE WORKING WITH THIS CAST?


ALEX: They're fun, they're professional, they always come with a smile and every bit of energy and effort they can spare. I love working with all of my team mates!


Q5: WHY SHOULD PEOPLE COME TO SEE PENNY & POUND'S 'THE HUNCHBACK OF

NOTRE DAME?'


ALEX: 1) The musical is really cool. Take everything you loved about the music in the film, and triple it. 2) These actors and singers are astounding. They're working their butts off, and it really shows. 3) Because Frollo will burn down all of Paris if you don't come and see it. I mean, we need him to do that, but not until his one scene where... oops! That's getting into spoilers, isn't it?



*****

SHANNON LOOBY: REHEARSAL PIANIST

Favourite Musical: Dear Evan Hansen or Falsettos (Revival)

Musical That Makes Me Laugh: Into the Woods

Musical That Makes Me Cry: Falsettos (Revival)

Favourite New Musical: Come From Away

Favourite Old Musical: The Phantom of the Opera


Q1: HOW/WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR THE PIANO?


SHANNON: My mum started me in piano when I was six, but it didn’t take long for me to discover I had a real knack and passion for it. I haven't stopped playing since.


Q2: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG IN 'THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME?' WHY?


SHANNON: It’s a tie between "Someday" and "Hellfire." They’re both so beautiful; "Someday" is my favourite style, while "Hellfire" challenges me.


Q3: WHICH SONG WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT TO LEARN?


SHANNON: "The Bells of Notre Dame" has been tricky to learn. It’s involved and fast-paced, making it difficult to jump from part to part.


Q4: WHAT'S IT LIKE WORKING WITH THE CAST?


SHANNON: Working with the cast is wonderful! They’re all so patient and such lovely people; they make the job even more fun than it already is!




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