The musical based on the 1844 adventure novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo," features a score by Frank Wildhorn and book and lyrics by Jack Murphy. The musical will make its world premiere in St. Gallen, Switzerland March 24, 2009.
Prior to that production, however, a workshop featuring American actors will begin in Manhattan Nov. 9. The cast will include James Barbour ( Tale of Two Cities) as Edmund Dantes/The Count of Monte Cristo and Brandi Burkhardt ( Tale of Two Cities) as Mercedes with Gregg Edelman as Abbe Faria, Michael Shawn Lewis as Mondego, Natalie Toro as Louisa the Pirate Queen, Craig Bennett as Danglars, Kevin Earley as Villefort, Chelsea Stock as Valentine and Kevin Greene as Albert. The ensemble will feature Alison Cimmet, William Thomas Evans, Dan Petrotta, Tim Shew, Anne Tolpegin and Alison Walla.
A European cast recording of Monte Cristo will be released in December, featuring Burkhardt as Mercedes, Thomas Borchert as Edmund Dantes and Pia Douwes as Valentine.
The "Count of Monte Cristo" novel tells of the young sailor Edmond Dantès, who is — as many 19th-century French literary heroes seem to be — wrongly imprisoned. While incarcerated, a dying fellow prisoner tells him of a hidden fortune on the island of Monte Cristo. After he escapes prison, Edmond's tortuous route to the island leads him to treasure, allows him to change his identity and seek revenge on those who wronged him.
Tony Award-nominated composer Wildhorn is known for his pop scores to the Broadway musicals Dracula, The Civil War (with lyricist Murphy), The Scarlet Pimpernel and Jekyll & Hyde. He also contributed three songs to Broadway's Victor/Victoria.