To prepare for her role as Mercedes in The Count of Monte Cristo, BYU student Shae Robins spent time with Frank Wildhorn and the show’s musical director, Gayle Lockwood, this August prior to the start of rehearsals.

One summer in New York, Tony Award-winning composer Frank Wildhorn sat in his apartment with Shae Robins, a BYU Music Dance Theatre (MDT) student. They spent two days practicing songs for the upcoming U.S. premiere of The Count of Monte Cristo, a musical that will be performed for the first time in English. The musical has only been performed in Switzerland and Korea where it was met with critical acclaim. BYU was chosen as the U.S. premiere location for this classic tale of redemption, love and revenge.

Each year, the BYU MDT program admits and trains the best singers, dancers and actors. On January 22-31, 2015, this musical, composed by Wildhorn, premiered in the de Jong Concert Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center. This was a unique opportunity—the musical had never been performed in the U.S. and it had never been performed in English. But the MDT students were up for the challenge. This endeavor required the very best the program had to offer—talented singers, graceful dancers and captivating actors.


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