Michael Arden & Ciara Renée in The Hunchback of Notre Dame

QuaranTune #10: "Topsy Turvy" from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame

A show tune a day keeps the quarantine blues at bay...

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

In honor of April Fools' Day we've chosen an upbeat, rousing number for today's #QuaranTune. "Topsy Turvy" comes to us from two Broadway greats, featuring music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and it debuted as part of the score of Disney's 1996 animated classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

In the musical number, the gypsy Clopin guides us through the annual "Feast of Fools," a festival where the ugliest face in Paris is ultimately crowned the King of Fools. The song progresses the narrative to the point where our protagonist Quasimodo is revealed, ridiculed and physically abused by the townsfolk because of his disfigurement.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame was originally presented by Disney Theatrical on stage in Berlin, Germany from 1999 through 2002, but a reworked (English language) version under the direction of Scott Schwartz (lyricist Stephen's son) debuted at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse in the fall of 2014. Boasting a stellar cast of Broadway favorites, including two-time Tony Award nominee Michael Arden as Quasimodo, current Frozen star Ciara Renée as Esmeralda and current Hadestown standout and Tony Award nominee Patrick Page as Frollo, the production would go on to play the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in the spring of 2015, before returning to Germany in 2017 and premiering in Sweden in 2018.

Here's Broadway alum Erik Liberman as Clopin in the 2016 Studio Cast Recording...



And here's the original sequence from the 1996 animated classic....


Here it is, the moment you've been waiting for. Here it is, you know exactly what's in store. Now's the time we laugh until our sides get sore. Now's the time we crown the King of Fools! (Clopin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

(Header Photo by Jerry Dalia)


Originally published on

Subscribe to our newsletter to unlock exclusive New York theatre updates!

Special offers, reviews and release dates for the best shows in town.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy