Lessons Learned: A Look Back on Monte Cristo

By Holly Mancuso, Dramaturg

The Count of Monte Cristo has closed after a very successful run. It has been a pleasure to work with so many talented artists and experience the power of this lovely story. I wanted to take a few moments to talk about the themes and main ideas that come out in the show.

Mercedes and Edmond

First, love. The romantic love between Edmond and Mercedes is inspiring and touching, epitomized by the romantic duets they share. Their commitment to one another and the love they share drives them onward, even when the future looks bleak.

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Abbe Faria and Edmond

Other relationships of love are explored, including between parents and their children, workers and employers, and friends. A notable connection between Edmond and his mentor/fellow prisoner Abbe Faria shows how important it is to have positive influences in our lives. Without the help and support of those around us, it can be exceedingly difficult to overcome our trials. Additionally, even when those we love leave us, they are never truly gone. Their memory stays with us, and can comfort us when all seems lost.

Another theme I have considered is that of vengeance. In the show, Edmond becomes the Count of Monte Cristo, and uses that as an opportunity to secure revenge against those who betrayed him. But is that always the best option? We may feel better for a moment, but I think the show helps us see that getting back at others can’t make us truly happy. Sometimes it is wiser to let things go instead of allowing anger and hatred to consume our lives.

The Act I finale, "Hell to Your Doorstep"

The Act I finale, “Hell to Your Doorstep”

Finally, I love the idea of hope. We are never lost or alone. Just like Edmond sings in “The Man I Used to Be”,

 All the pain is gone. Hope is what moves on. 

The hope for the future can carry us onward into a better life. May we all strive to remember the joy and goodness to be found all around us.

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And in case you were wondering:

What’s next for the show?

Despite our production at BYU being over, the show is just getting started in America. It’s still a relatively new musical, with rewrites and updates in its future.

Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City recently announced that they will be producing Monte Cristo on its 2015-2016 season. This exciting development is an important step for the growth and further production of the show.

What’s coming up next at BYU?

There are many entertaining shows in the works at BYU. Keep checking this blog and  http://arts.byu.edu/ to stay in the loop for all the current performances!

Thank-you so much for reading and for your support of BYU and The Count of Monte Cristo!

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