• 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    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. 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. Other relationships of love are explored, including between parents and their children, workers and employers, and friends. A notable connection…

  • 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    The Curtain Goes Up

    by Holly Mancuso, dramaturg The Count of Monte Cristo opened to rave reviews last week! The show has been entirely sold out, with people entering drawings beforehand for a chance to get tickets. After the show, people have been mingling in the HFAC lobby to talk about what they saw and greet cast members. Viewers have been really excited about everything. Some thoughts overheard amongst the crowd: “I’m very happy we got to go” “I had such a fun time!” “The projections were incredible” “I loved the flying” “It’s a great show, very upbeat” Other talked-about highlights include the lovely voices and heartfelt songs, the upbeat choreography, the stunning and diverse costumes, the…

  • 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    I Spy, With My Little Eye: Projections and Visual Media in Monte Cristo

    By Holly Mancuso, Dramaturg The Count of Monte Cristo is a strikingly visual production, from versatile moving set pieces to brightly colored costumes. To help create the settings and emotions of the play, as well as to bring audience members into the story, there is near constant use of projected images and designs. Daniel Fine, a media designer and recent MFA graduate in interdisciplinary digital media from Arizona State University, has been recruited to craft and create these projections for Monte Cristo. Projections in history Projections are coming back into style in theatre, and have gained recognition as a distinct  field, aren’t new. In fact, they have been in use since the early 1900s. Erwin Piscator,…

  • 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    On to Tech Week

    By Holly Mancuso, dramaturg After four months of practicing in a dance studio in the Richards Building, the time has finally come for The Count of Monte Cristo to take the stage in the Harris Fine Arts Center! Last week the cast and crew moved into the de Jong Concert Hall. Designers and technicians from all aspects of the production, including lights, sound, set and scenic, projections, orchestra and music, and flight operations have been busily preparing the space in order to get everything ready for this . I had the opportunity to talk with some of the actors about this process of going from practice room to stage. What’s been the hardest transition [while getting…

  • 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    Extra, Extra: The Count of Monte Cristo in the News

    by Holly Mancuso, dramaturg Welcome back, and happy New Year! Opening night is just around the corner, and The Count of Monte Cristo has been receiving a lot of press coverage. Many local and national sources are interested in this new musical making its premiere in America. Here are some of the videos and press photos from recent events. Hope you enjoy, and make sure you get your tickets soon! Broadwayworld.com, a prestigious site for Broadway, theater, and live performance information, featured lead cast members Preston Yates (as Edmund Dantes) and Shae Robins (as Mercedes) on the home page singing this soulful and heart-wrenching duet.

  • 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    Ready to Fight

    By Holly Mancuso, Dramaturg Meet Ted Sharon. Although he currently lives and teaches in upstate New York, Ted has been enlisted by director Tim Threlfall to act as the fight choreographer for this, the American premiere of The Count of Monte Cristo. He was here initially in October to design the fight sequences in the show, and last week Ted was able to make another visit to update and rework aspects of the show. I was able to sit down and talk with him during a quick rehearsal break. Holly Mancuso: How did you get into fight choreography?  Ted Sharon: “When I was here at BYU I was two inches from leaving theatre, and I…

  • 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    Monte Cristo in Costume

    by Holly Mancuso, dramaturg As part of director Tim Threlfall’s concept for The Count of Monte Cristo, this show features a mix of contemporary and more traditional elements. It has many aspects that fit in with the time periods depicted (1810s-1830s), but everything is stylized and modernized. This melding of modern and historical required collaboration between designers to find areas where the various styles can emerge. In this production,  the costumes tend to show a more traditional look, while lighting, hair, make-up, choreography, and set design contribute to the stylized aesthetic of our show. Our costume designer Lara Beene has researched costume and dress of the the 1810s and the 1830s in France and Italy.…

  • 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    Welcome to BYU, Jack!

    By Holly Mancuso, Dramaturg Last week we had the amazing opportunity to host Jack Murphy, the writer and lyricist for The Count of Monte Cristo. Jack has a long and illustrious career in music and theatre, including credits as a playwright, lyricist, and writer. He and Frank Wildhorn have worked together for more than twenty years, most notably on The Civil War, which received a Tony Award nomination for Best Score in 2009, and for Rudolf, which has had several successful international runs. In 2007, Jack and Frank were commissioned to write a musical about The Count of Monte Cristo for the Theater St. Gallen in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The show was written in only…

  • 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    (What will probably be) Frequently Asked Questions

    By Holly Mancuso, dramaturg This week I wanted to respond to a few of the comments and questions I’ve been getting about this project. I’m very excited to be a part of The Count of Monte Cristo, since it’s a powerful story with thought-provoking themes. And it’s invigorating to see that others are excited for it as well! I love that story! What will it be about? Good! Alexandre Dumas’ novel is a favorite of many for its fascinating plot, detailed and intricate plans, images of adventure and intrigue, and identifiable themes of love, betrayal, trust, and hope. Various stage and screen adaptations, including the popular 2002 film, have modified and adapted the 1,200…

  • 2014-2015 Season,  The Count of Monte Cristo

    Bienvenue à The Count of Monte Cristo!

    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,…