By Holly Mancuso, dramaturg
Adventure. Intrigue. Love. Betrayal. Hope. Vengeance.
Singing. Dancing. Fighting. Pirates. Spectacle.
All this and more are in store for BYU’s American premiere production of The Count of Monte Cristo, a new musical by Frank Wildhorn and Jack Murphy. It is based on Alexandre Dumas’ classic French literary masterpiece and the most recent film adaptation, which came out in 2002.
The Count of Monte Cristo was published originally in eighteen volumes in a French newspaper from 1844 to 1846. It tells the story of Edmond Dantes, a young merchant sailor who is wrongfully accused and imprisoned as a result of the plots of conniving men. The story, which takes place during a period of over 20 years, features Edmond’s unceasing desire for calculated revenge on his betrayers. And yet The Count of Monte Cristo is also a tale of forgiveness and moving on past the tragedies of life. There is hope and joy to be found if we let it into our lives.
Over the next few weeks, we will explore the origins and context of this story, the circumstances surrounding our production, comparisons between the book, the movie, and the musical, and learn more about developing new work. Additionally, we will go behind the scenes and study the costumes, hair and make-up, lighting and projections, choreography, and actors who will make this grandiose show a success. I hope you join me for the whole journey!