January 14, 2015
For: IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kirsten Park
Pioneer Theatre Company
to produce North American premiere of the musical version of
The Count of Monte Cristo
SALT LAKE CITY – Pioneer Theatre Company will produce the professional North American Premiere of a new musical, The Count of Monte Cristo, by Frank Wildhorn and Jack Murphy in its 2015-2016 season.
The Count of Monte Cristo, the musical based on the 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas, was workshopped in New York City in 2008, with a concept album released in December of that same year. That concept album went platinum. The piece received its World Premiere on March 14, 2009, in the Theater St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland. The show has been a hit through Europe, Japan, and Korea (where its going into its fourth season).
Multi-Grammy and Tony Award nominated composer/producer Frank Wildhorn, whose works span the worlds of popular, theatrical, and classical music, has composed the score.
Book and lyrics are by Jack Murphy.
Wildhorn said “After breathing life into The Count of Monte Cristo in Europe and Asia, we are honored and thrilled to be able present the show in the United States and to start it here with the Pioneer Theatre Company. I’ve wanted to work with Karen Azenberg for a long time now to share an adventure, and I’m so glad Monte Cristo is it. I’m grateful for this opportunity and so looking forward to opening night! ”
“When Frank first gave me the recording of the score for The Count of Monte Cristo last Spring, I immediately fell in love with it,” said PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg. “I think it is some of his most moving and theatrical work, and it tells a terrific story that people all over the world have been thrilled by for over 170 years. I think it’s just the kind of show our audience responds to, and I couldn’t be happier that we will be producing the professional American premiere of the show at PTC,”
The Count of Monte Cristo tells the story of Edmund Dantes, a young man wrongly imprisoned in the island prison of the Chateau d’If who makes a daring escape, recovers a hidden fortune and returns in disguise years later to Paris to seek revenge on those who falsely accused him. The novel by Dumas has been made into no less than twelve film adaptations, including the most recent movie, released in 2002, starring Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce and Richard Harris.
In 1999, Wildhorn became the first American composer in 22 years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway: Jekyll & Hyde (written with Leslie Bricusse), which received four Tony nominations; The Scarlet Pimpernel (written with Nan Knighton), which received three Tony nominations; and The Civil War (written with Jack Murphy and Gregory Boyd), which received two Tony nominations. He also wrote additional songs for Broadway’s Victor/Victoria (written with Leslie Bricusse) and was represented on Broadway by Dracula: The Musical (written with Don Black and Christopher Hampton) and Wonderland (written with Jack Murphy and Gregory Boyd). Wildhorn was also a producer and co-creator for Harlem Song, the first open-ended theatrical run at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City.
Lyricist Jack Murphy is a long-time collaborator with Wildhorn. Murphy wrote the lyrics for theirThe Civil War, which garnered him a Tony Nomination for Best Score when it debuted on Broadway at the St. James Theater. He was back on Broadway again at the St. James Theater with two songs penned for the hit show Swing. Wonderland – with music by Frank Wildhorn, book by Jack Murphy and Gregory Boyd, lyrics by Jack Murphy, and directed by Gregory Boyd. After a successful World Premiere at the Tampa Bay Straz Center for the Performing Arts, followed by another successful run at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, Wonderland enjoyed a short, but sweet, run on Broadway in the spring of 2011.
“We haven’t determined the dates for the production yet,” notes Azenberg. “Given its size and scope and the fact that this will be the professional premiere of a major new musical, we are still reviewing the logistics of where the show will fit best in our season, but I’m delighted that The Count of Monte Cristo will be one of the productions in our 2015-16 season.”
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Pioneer Theatre Company
Musical version of The Count of Monte Cristo, North American Premiere
Music by Frank Wildhorn; book and lyrics by Jack Murphy
2015-2016 Pioneer Theatre Company Season
Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre
300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City
Box Office: 801-581-6961
Open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mon. – Fri
Pioneer Theatre Company operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah’s only fully professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features.