Monte Cristo, adapted from Alexandre Dumas' 1844 French adventure novel, features music by Tony Award-nominated composer Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Bonnie and Clyde) and a book and lyrics by Tony Award-nominated writer Murphy (Wonderland, The Civil War).
The show premiered at Switzerland's Theater St. Gallen in 2009 and has subsequently enjoyed a professional life in Europe, Korea and Japan. The BYU workshop marks the musical's first production in the United States and will feature a cast of students from the university's BFA musical theatre and acting programs.
"The show has enjoyed incredible success in Europe and Asia, and I wanted to establish the piece there before bringing the piece to American audiences," said Wildhorn in a statement. "Now that we have done that, I felt the time was right. I thought it would be a fun way to get it started here in the U.S. with my great relationship with BYU, and I'm excited to see what will happen now."
The Count of Monte Cristo, according to press notes, "tells the story of Edmond Dantes, a sailor betrayed by those closest to him in a conspiracy to destroy his future and steal away the woman he loves. Wrongly imprisoned for thirteen years, Dantes plots his revenge before escaping to transform himself into a wealthy French aristocrat. In the process of seeking retribution for his wrongs, however, his lust for revenge gives way to forgiveness in this epic musical about redemption and love."
"The music of this show is, I hope, on the same scale as the bigger-than-life aspects of this show — sweeping, epic, ultra-romantic, and true to all of the colors of the story," added Wildhorn. BYU professor Tim Threlfall will helm the workshop, and Jeffrey Martin serves as creative producer.
Additional members of the production team include choreographer Nathan Balser (Legally Blonde; Promises, Promises), musical director Gayle Lockwood, costume designer Lara Beene, set designer Rory R. Scanlon, lighting designer Michael Kraczek, sound designer Jeff Carter, production manager Jennifer Reed and stage manager Crysta May Powell.
The university's 2014-15 season also includes a world-premiere stage adaptation of Shannon Hale's novel "Princess Academy" and new productions of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Philip King's See How They Run and William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. The season will also include Microburst Theatre Festival, a showcase of new student playwriting, and TYA productions of The Fisherman and His Wife and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
For more information, visit BYUArts.com.