Q: Your fans might assume you wrote a rock opera. Is that accurate?
No—it’s very much in the style of the classic dramatic musical. There are no electric guitars. Hunchback has arias; it’s operatic. If you try to do a genuine rock musical, rock people will think you’re flaccid and Broadway audiences will think you’re too loud.

Q: What about Victor Hugo’s novel appealed to you?
I needed a story with huge emotional issues. Forget the Hollywood versions of the book. I wanted to restore the complexity of these characters who all defy our expectations.

Q: You started writing Hunchback more than ten years ago, but it got sidetracked by the Disney movie. How does your version differ?
I don’t see how Hunchback could ever appeal to children. It’s a very adult story that deals with repressed sexuality. 

May 8-July 6. Previews May 8-18; $20-$30. Regular run Thu-Sat at 7:30; Sun at 3:30. $25-$45. Bailiwick Repertory, 1229 W Belmont. 773-883-1090.