Press Room

PTC presents the American Professional Premiere of the Musical “The Count of Monte Cristo”

 PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS
The Count of Monte Cristo
Music by Frank Wildhorn
Book and Lyrics by Jack Murphy
Salt Lake City – Pioneer Theatre Company presents the American professional premiere of the new musical The Count of Monte Cristo.
On the very day of his wedding to the beautiful Mercedes, young Edmund Dantes is framed by three men, arrested and thrown into the notorious prison Chateau d’If. Befriended by a fellow prisoner, he plots a daring escape, unearths a secret fortune and returns to Marseilles and Paris disguised as the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo, determined to seek vengeance on the men who framed him.

Based on the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo has music by Frank Wildhorn and book and lyrics by Jack Murphy. Performances take place May 6 through May 21, 2016.

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 The Civil War, which garnered 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. Murphy also wrote book (with Gregory Boyd) and lyrics for Wonderland, with music by Frank Wildhorn 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.
Broadway director and guest artist MARCIA MILGROM DODGE directs the production. The Equity cast includes MATT FARCHER, BRIANA CARLSON-GOODMAN, DARREN RITCHIE, DATHAN B. WILLIAMS, BRANDON CONTRERAS, JOHN SCHIAPPA, PAUL-JORDAN JANSEN, AUBIN WISE, PAUL LOUIS LESSARD, RICHARD COSTA, CHRISTOPHER RAMIREZ, CARLETON BLUFORD, MAX ROBINSON, and EMILY MORGAN JEPPSON.
The rest of the ensemble cast includes MICHELLE BLAKE, GIOVANNA DOTY, CHASE ELWOOD,ASHLEY GARDNER CARLSON, AVA KOSTIA, MATT KRANTZ, JAMIE LANDRUM, JAYSON LEBARON,CAMERON SMITH and CORY STEPHENS
Matt Farcher plays the title role of Edmund Dantes.  Farcher’s Off Broadway and regional credits include DISASTER!, Myth and Hymns and the Fred Ebb Concert at Prospect Theatre. Regional credits include Les Misérables at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and Treasure Island at Arkansas Rep. Previously this season at PTC Farcher appeared in Fiddler on the Roof as Fyedka.
Briana Carlson-Goodman plays Mercedes. Carlson-Goodman’s Broadway credits include Eponine in Les Misérables, the world premiere of Doctor Zhivago and the Tony Award winning revival ofHair. Carlson-Goodman most recently played Micaela in Carmen: An Afro-Cuban Jazz Musical, adapted and directed by Moisés Kaufman, at the Olney Theatre Center. Other credits include: Eponine in the 25th Anniversary touring production of Les Misérables; Sally in Nerds at the Philadelphia Theatre Company; and Person of Interest on CBS. This is her PTC debut.
Darren Ritchie, playing Fernand Mondego, appeared on Broadway originating the role of White Knight/Jack in Wildhorn’s Wonderland and Jonathan Harker in Dracula, The Musical. Other Broadway credits include Thoroughly Modern MillieThe Little Shop of Horrors, Bells are Ringingand the original cast of Les Misérables. This is his PTC debut.
Brandon Contreras, who plays Danglars, appeared Off Broadway in Our Lady of 121st Street andSee What I Want to See at Studio 51. He was in the first national tour of In The Heights and recent credits include Paul in Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s Kiss Me, Kate!. Before that, he originated the role of Hector in the World Premiere Musical Cuba Libre at Artists Repertory Theatre. Contreras also appeared at The Public Theater’s reading of The Hamilton Mixtape, now known asHamilton. This is his PTC debut.
Aubin Wise, playing Louisa Vampa, appeared in the ABC Network Diversity Showcase 2015 and Ciaro in We Are The Tigers. Boston credits include Big Fish, The Color Purple, Hello Again,Ragtime, Bat Boy and Boston Pops with Mario Frangoulis and Conductor Keith Lockhart. This marks her PTC debut.
John Schiappa plays the prosecutor Villefort. He has appeared on Broadway in Rocky, Wicked,The Other Place, Assassins, Take Me Out, Blood Brothers, Jekyll & Hyde, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Starlight Express. Some Off Broadway & regional credits include American premieres of Diner the musical at Signature, and the Sir Michael Tippet opera New Yearat Houston Grand Opera House, The Other Place at MCC, Dust at West Side Arts, Take Me Out at NYSF, Jerry Springer the Opera at Carnegie Hall, Laughter on the 23rd Floor at Geva, Three Musketeers and Aida at North Shore Music Theater, Company at Huntington Theater and Romeo & Juliet at Goodspeed. This is his PTC debut.
Dathan B. Williams plays Abbé Faria. Williams is the Associate Artistic Director at The Harlem Shakespeare Festival. His Broadway credits include Show Boat (Original Broadway Cast). A few of Williams Off Broadway credits include Carnegie Hall’s Show Boat in Concert, Pearl Theater Company’s Nathan The Wise; Second Stage’s Buffalo Gal and TWAS/National Black Theater’s Medea. This is Williams’ PTC debut.
Paul-Jordan Jansen plays Jacopo. Jansen has appeared regionally in Show Boat at the Westchester Broadway Theatre, Les Misérables, Something Wicked This Way Comes, South Pacific, and A Grand Night for Singing at the Pittsburgh CLO. This is Jansen’s PTC debut.
Richard Costa plays Louis Dantés. Broadway credits include Spamalot, Cabaret and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Regionally he has appeared in My Fair Lady, Buddy, Music Man, Spamalot,Chicago and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. National Tours include Spamalot (1st Nat), Annie(30th Anniv.) and Annie Get Your Gun. This is his PTC debut.
Paul Louis Lessard plays Albert. Lessard’s New York credits include I Am Harvey Milk at Lincoln Center. Regional credits include The Little Mermaid at the North Shore Music Theatre, Sunset Boulevard at Portland Center Stage, La Cage Aux Folles at The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Sweeney Todd at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Chicago at Northern Stage, Les Misérables at Music Theatre of Wichita. This is his PTC debut.
Max Robinson plays Monsieur Morrel. Robinson was last seen this season at PTC as Tony inOutside Mullingar. He has also appeared here in The Music Man, One Man, Two Guvnors, Much Ado About Nothing, Noises Off, My Fair Lady, The Producers, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Les Misérables (Thénardier), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Amadeus, The Importance of Being Earnest and nearly 100 other productions at PTC. Max played Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde at The Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., which earned him a Helen Hayes Award nomination.
Guest artist MARCIA MILGROM DODGE directs and choreographs this production.She received a Tony Award Nomination for her direction of the 2010 Broadway revival of Ragtime. Her new production of Ragtime is currently on a National Tour. Dodge has directed and choreographed insuch acclaimed theatres as the NYC Opera, The Public, Ford’s Theatre, Center Stage, Arena Stage, The Muny, Goodman Theatre, Denver Center, Glimmerglass, La Jolla Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Huntington Theatre, Bay Street, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Goodspeed, Music Circus, The Alley and abroad at the Nanta Theatre (Seoul); Fredericia Teater (Denmark); Royal Opera House (Oman) and the Winter Gardens Theatre (England.) She last directed Sherlock Holmes & The West End Horror in 2005 for PTC.
MICHAEL BAXTER joins PTC as the associate choreographer. Most recently Baxter was the associate choreographer and Dance Captain of the Broadway-aimed production of Empire The Musical at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge. Michael is the Resident Choreographer of the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis (The MUNY).
MICHAEL SEBASTIAN will serve as Musical Director and Conductor for the production. Sebastian has worked extensively on new show development with the pre-Broadway runs of ATale of Two Cities at the Asolo Theater in Sarasota and Wonderland: Alice’s New Musical Adventures by the creative team of Frank Wildhorn & Jack Murphy. He returned to the Wildhorn team by Music Directing Zelda: An American Love Story and Freedom’s Song at Ford’s Theatre in our nation’s capital as part of the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination. His work has been recognized by many regional theatre awards across the country.
KIM SCHARNBERG has created the orchestrations and arrangements for the show, and also serves as Musical Supervisor for the production. Broadway credits include Jekyll & Hyde, Scarlet Pimpernel, The Civil War, Little Women (Drama Desk nomination), Wonderland, revival. International credits include Phantom of the Opera (Yeston), Doctor Dolittle, Rudolf, Carmen, In Nomine Patris, Handel’s Messiah Rocks. Regionally at Ford’s Theatre he is an Associate Artist. Credits at Ford’s Theatre include Hello, Dolly!, 1776, The Civil War and Freedom’s Song; orchestration, music direction and music supervision for several Presidential Galas. Composer/arranger for the Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach, CA (2009 to present).   
Scenic design is by guest artist MICHAEL SCHWEIKARDT. Recent PTC credits include Elf-The Musical and The Odd Couple. Selected Off-Broadway productions include: The Bus and the American premiere of Frank McGuinness’ Gates Of Gold (59 E 59); Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova);The Black Suits (The Public Theater); Things to Ruin (Second Stage, The Zipper Factory).  Regional Credits include productions at Ford’s Theatre, The Old Globe; Cleveland Playhouse; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Asolo Repertory Theatre; Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Saint Louis Rep, Sarasota Opera, The MUNY, Papermill Playhouse and multiple productions for Goodspeed musicals.
ANGELA WENDT designs costumes for this production. Wendt’s credits include Tennessee  Williams 1982, the world premiere of The Recluse and His Guest and The Remarkable Rooming House of Mme, LeMonde, directed by Cosmin Chivu at Soho Rep, Cabaret, directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, St. Louis Repertory Theater, nominated for a St. Louis Theater Circle Design Award, If Colorado Had an Ocean world premiere at LA MaMa. Big Love, directed by Jorge Cacheiro, Schimmel Arts Center.Singing in the Rain, directed by Ray Roderick, Goodspell Opera (nominated for a Connecticut Critics Circle Award) and The Mutilated by Tennessee Williams, directed by Cosmin Chivu, Ohio Theater. Wendt is the original costume designer of the groundbreaking Broadway musical RENT, for which she received the Hewes Design Award, Drama Logue Award, Drama Desk and a Dora Maver Moore Award Nomination.
Lighting design is by guest designer PAUL MILLER,who previously designed In The Heights, Much Ado About Nothing, A Few Good Men and I Hate Hamlet for PTC. Broadway credits includeAmazing Grace, The Illusionists, Legally Blonde, Freshly Squeezed and Laughing Room Only. Off­-Broadway credits include Clinton – The Musical, Pageant, Vanities, Waiting for Godot, Addicted,Nunsense, Balancing Act as well as productions for New York City Center Encores and Avery Fisher Hall. Regional: Chicago Shakespeare, Idaho Shakespeare, Asolo Repertory, American Conservatory Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, The Goodspeed Opera House, Westport Playhouse. Television: Camelot (Live from Lincoln Center), numerous specials for Netflix, Showtime and Comedy Central, the internationally renowned fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids Broadway Bares, as well as every live performance from the internationally televised New Year’s Eve Celebration from New York’s Time’s Square for the last 16 years.
Fight Choreography is by CHRISTOPHER DUVAL. DuVal’s work has been seen throughout the country at such theatres as South Coast Repertory, Shakespeare Orange County, Sacramento Theatre Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theatre Center, Syracuse Stage and thirteen seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where he worked on over 25 productions. He is an Assistant Professor in the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. He returns to PTC after playing Francis Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors last season.
Hair and makeup design is by PTC resident designer AMANDA FRENCH. Sound design is by PTC resident designer JOSHUA C. HIGHT.

 

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MEDIA PHOTO SHOOT: There will be a media photo shoot on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 E., SLC. Please contact Sasha Patane (sasha.patane@ptc.utah.eduor 801-581-7222) for the time and to RSVP.

 

PHOTOS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: High-resolution color photos of this production will be available for media use on the PTC website beginning Wednesday, April 27, 2016 after 3:00 p.m. Go directly to http://www.pioneertheatre.org/press-room/media-photos/

 

TV CAMERA FILMING: Filming a short segment of the production during Preview or Opening Night for press use can be arranged. Call 801-581-7222.

 

INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the cast and artistic staff are available. Call 801-581-7222.

 

PRESS TOURS: Tours of the set for the press are available. Call 801-581-6270.
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WHO:  
Pioneer Theatre Company
WHAT:   
The Count of Monte Cristo
A new musical by composer Frank Wildhorn and Lyricist Jack Murphy
WHEN: 
May 6 through May 21, 2016
TIMES:  
Mondays – Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.
WHERE:
Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre
300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City
PRICE:
$40 – $62 in advance and $5 more when purchased the day of the performance
Kids in grades K – 12 are half price on Mondays and Tuesdays
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: $5 off the cost of Main Floor and Loge seating for the
first seven performances, when tickets are purchased on or before April 29, 2016.
MORE INFO:
Box Office: 801-581-6961
Open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Fri
www.pioneertheatre.org
CAST:
Michelle Blake……………………………………………………….. Ensemble
Carleton Bluford*…………………………………………………… Ensemble, u/s Jacopo
Ashley Gardner Carlson………………………………………….. Ensemble
Briana Carlson-Goodman*………………………………………. Mercedes
Brandon Contreras*………………………………………………….. Danglars
Richard Costa*………………………………………………………. Ensemble, u/s Abbe Faria
Giovanna Doty………………………………………………………. Ensemble
Chase Elwood………………………………………………………… Ensemble
Matt Farcher*………………………………………………………… Edmund Dantes
Paul-Jordan Jansen*……………………………………………….. Jacopo
Emily Morgan Jeppson*…………………………………………. Ensemble, u/s Louisa Vampa
Ava Kostia…………………………………………………………….. Ensemble
Matt Krantz………………………………………………………….. Ensemble
Jamie Landrum……………………………………………………….. Ensemble
Jayson LeBaron……………………………………………………… Ensemble
Paul Louis Lessard*………………………………………………… Albert/Ensemble
Christopher Ramirez*…………………………………………….. Ensemble, u/s Mondego
Darren Ritchie*………………………………………………………. Mondego
Max Robinson*……………………………………………………… Msr. Morrel
John Schiappa*………………………………………………………. Villefort
Cameron Smith………………………………………………………. Ensemble
Cory Stephens……………………………………………………….. Swing
Dathan B. Williams*……………………………………………….. Abbe Faria
Aubin Wise*………………………………………………………….. Louisa Vampa
ARTISTIC TEAM:
Director/ Choreographer………………………………………….. Marcia Milgrom Dodge
Associate Choreographer…………………………………………. Michael Baxter
Musical Director……………………………………………………………. Michael Sebastian
Musical Supervisor…………………………………………………. Kim Scharnberg
Scenic Design…………………………………………………………. Michael Schweikardt
Costume Design……………………………………………………… Angela Wendt
Lighting Design………………………………………………………. Paul Miller
Sound Design…………………………………………………………. Joshua C. Hight
Hair & Makeup Design…………………………………………… Amanda French
Fight Choreographer……………………………………………….. Christopher DuVal
Assistant Fight Choreographer…………………………………. Adriana Lemke
Live Mix Engineer…………………………………………………… Aaron Hubbard
Accompanist………………………………………………………….. Kevin Mathie
Production Stage Manager……………………………………….. Mary P. Costello*
Stage Manager………………………………………………………… Tanya J. Searle*
Stage Manager………………………………………………………… Alex Mark*
1st Asst. Stage Manager…………………………………………… Ana Mulcock
2nd Asst. Stage Manager………………………………………….. Martin Alcocer