"I haven't had this much fun since I really was a thief!" Clopin laughed, stripping off the prosthetic skin that made his arm look disfigured.

"Yeah…don't think I didn't notice all the crucifix necklaces and the priest jewelry missing," Sybl reminded him sharply, "all that stuff better be put back by the next scene!"

Clopin had the withered look of a scolded child.

"You can't prove anything!" he said defensively.

"I can't? Try this," Sybl said, holding up the camera, "you showed up in the background when Phoebus went on a self-portrait spree."

Clopin scowled and began to dump the jewelry back into the drawer from his hat.

"The hunchback had better be having more fun than I am!"

Sybl rolled her eyes. She quickly did a mirror check before slipping back onto the stage. Phoebus had given up trying to go onstage before his time and was checking out a few of the female stagehands. Claude was in the other room griping out the prop master about the faulty curtain, Joseph was trying to fend off the temptation to play Frisbee with the skull-caps, and the animal handler was getting Claude's horse ready.

"Claude! Get out here!" Sybl yelled. Claude hastily appeared, then stared at the black mare.

"Oh, no…riding in the carriage was bad enough," he objected, "I am NOT getting on that thing!"

Sybl placed her hands on her hips.

"Would you rather ride a donkey?"

He shook his head. The last time he'd done it, there were all these jokes about who had been the bigger…well, you get the picture.

"Up," Sybl demanded.

Claude couldn't seem to get onto the mare's back. The material of his robes made him too slick. The purple blankets that she wore also didn't help the matter. With a sigh of exasperation, Sybl retrieved a stepladder. The mare turned her head to look at Claude as if to say "what in God's name are you doing back there?"

Phoebus appeared in the doorway and chuckled. He picked up the camera that Sybl had placed on one of the counters and took a few amusing shots. After some huffing and puffing and considerable efforts on both her and Claude's part, he was in the saddle. Sybl grabbed the reins and led the horse to the edge of the stage. She hoped that things didn't go badly…they'd already had enough mishaps tonight.

(The gypsy party had picked back up once Sybl left the stage. Quasimodo was still riding around in his chair. Jehan and a few others were now drunk and acting increasingly silly. The horse walks to the center of the stage and stops. There is an ominous silence.)

Claude: (spoken) Set him down!

(They lower the chair. Claude snatches the scepter out of Quasimodo's hands. The crowd expects a clean break, but Claude has to put considerably more effort into it than it should take. Panting and red-faced from the effort, he tosses the pieces aside and snatches the jingling crown off of Quasimodo's head. Quasimodo looks confused and sad, but he understands: he should never have left home. He moves to follow behind Claude's horse when the animal picks the most inopportune time to take a bathroom break. The audience laughs hysterically as everyone moves away.)

Claude: (whispering irritably to the horse)You could have done that in Phoebus's room, you know!

Phoebus: (from offstage) I heard that!

(The now relieved mare saunters off the stage and the annoyed stagehands move to get the mess off of the stage while the actors skirt around that area in an attempt to keep the show moving forward. Thankfully, it's time to change scenes anyway and they're spared more of that awkwardness.)

Joseph: (to the tune of "Trouble" by Pink)

No more sad stories

To plead your case

No more parlor tricks

To lead us on a chase

We told you what was right

But you did wrong

Straight to jail, straight to Hell

Is where you always belonged!

You're in trouble now!

You're trouble!

You're in trouble now!

All the beauty in the world

Isn't going to help you now!


You tell me to do right

But you do wrong

You've been prejudiced

Against me all along

Having my people killed

Or thrown into jail

I think you're the one

Who ought to burn in Hell!

He's a good man,

Wait and see

He'll see reason

To try and help me!

So I'm in trouble

What else is new?

I'm in trouble

But not when it comes to you


When you see me coming down the street

Know that here's the match you'll meet!

(The song ends with an enthusiastic gypsy playing a lute that sounds suspiciously like an electric guitar. Joseph glances over at the man and he runs away. Claude appears, obviously glad to be rid of the horse. He takes his riding gloves off and prepares to go give Quasimodo the chewing out of a lifetime. Joseph approaches him.)

Claude: (spoken) Later.

Joseph: (spoken) This will only take a moment of your time. We need only your consent.

Claude: (spoken) My consent? To what?

Joseph: (spoken) It's the gypsy girl, Your Worship. Even after you warned her, she deliberately disobeyed you and we caught her dancing in the streets again. We'll have her taken straight to the Bastille—we need only your consent.

Claude: (spoken) Where is she now?

(Joseph nods in the direction behind Claude.)

Claude: (gulps) You brought here?

(He considers his next move. Joseph looks far too pleased with himself for comfort.)

Claude: I will speak with her.

(Joseph moves forward, but Claude holds up a hand in a 'stay here' gesture.)

Joseph: (looks suspiciously at him.) As you wish…

(The tune of "Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani starts.)


If I could escape…I would

But first of all, let me say

Have mercy, I have listened

I'm just having a bad day!

(She drops to her knees and grabs the front of his robes in a desperate manner.)

Cause I've never talked to men of the church before

It's all their fault for always locking door

Maybe that's the reason we're all the way we are…

If I could escape

And be free again just once more

Maybe I could be a different girl

Forever, we could work together

And tell me, now, wouldn't that be sweet?

Sweet escape, sweet escape?

Claude: (spoken) Get up!

(He turns to look at the audience and we are again hearing his thoughts.)

She melts me down,

I'm at my lowest boiling point,

God help me out! Please help me make the right choice!

I need you now

To help me sort it out

Instead of locking her up…

Please help us find solid ground…


So maybe

This whole thing's a little crazy

I don't want to seem lazy

Waiting on you to come save me

I can see that they're angry

By the way that they treat me

Hopefully he won't leave me

To deal with everyone else…

If I could escape

And be free again just once more

Maybe I could be a different girl

Forever, we could work together

And tell me, now, wouldn't that be sweet?

Sweet escape, sweet escape?

(Music fades and the crowd applauds wildly. Claude looks relieved—at least one scene has gone right.)

Claude: (spoken) Let you go? If you leave this cathedral, you will be taken straight to the Bastille. I am afraid there is no hope for you now…unless…

(He leans in as though he is telling her some great big secret.)

Claude:…here, in this cathedral, you may claim sanctuary. In the bell tower, there is a place for you to sleep. I will look after you and see that you are cared for.

Esmeralda: (surprised) You?

Claude: I will pray for you.

(The soldiers realize that they aren't going to win an argument against the archdeacon, so they leave. Joseph has been eavesdropping and watches them walk away. Claude leads Esmeralda up to the bell tower. A nearby statue falls over and breaks just as they disappear.)

Joseph: (sighs) Not again!

(The stage darkens and Sybl appears while the stage is being rearranged behind her for the next scene.)

Sybl: (to the tune of "Bells of Notre Dame" as always)

Now safe from the law,

She'd never have guessed

She'd be safe in Notre Dame

Her first knight wore flowing black robes

And his sword and shield were Notre Dame…

But one has to wonder

With all of this chaos

What really lies under the cross over his heart

Can he save her just as he promised

Or will all of Paris be torn apart?

(She opens the giant storybook and flips the pages theatrically. She holds the book up and turns it this way and that as if reading to a bunch of elementary school kids.)


We'll find out after a short break!