The Count of Monte Cristo
a new musical by Matt Pace, Joanna Pace, and James McLaren





Songs from the musical


The Journey Thus Far...

-June 25, 2012
I'm writing a musical adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo with James McLaren writing the book.  He just recently sent me a scene-by-scene of the first act, and I've started on some song ideas.


-January 10, 2013
We're still working on it!  The raw script and songs in all their glory are coming soon, and a workshop of sorts (maybe in the Utah Valley area?) might be just what it needs to reach the audiences waiting for this revitalized story in their lives.


-March 16, 2013
Our first draft of the script is done!


-June 11, 2013
Four or five songs later, we are getting close to the second draft.  We're refining a new sub-plot (a second love story!) and giving more depth to some of the other characters.  We've got a script, as well as rough recordings for 35 (soon to be about 37) songs!  That's a lot for how much dialog we have, but we think it's easier to cut songs than to write new ones last minute:)


-September 25, 2013
Every adaptation of Monte Cristo must pick-and-choose which plot points to include, which to leave out, and which to change entirely.  *gasp!*  I know.  As for James and me, we've chosen to feature the following characters:
  • Edmond Dantes/The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Mercédès
  • Villefort
  • Jacopo
  • Father Faria (the priest)
  • Caderousse
  • Fernand Mondego
  • Danglars
  • Héloïse de Villefort
  • Haydée
  • Albert Mondego
Will it be dramatic?  Yes.  Will it be funny?  We certainly hope so.  Love?  Yep.  Revenge?  Of course.


-January 31, 2014
The Count of Monte Cristo, as it looks now, is a story about a man who's hardships force him to face his relationship with God head-on.  At first, he justifies his revenge with the notion that he is carrying out God's judgement and punishment.  Then something happens that changes his perspective entirely.  This relationship with God is one that so many of us experience and struggle with.  It is definitely a story for our time.

Joanna Pace, my wife, has been, and continues to be a wonderful and insightful editor.  She catches things that I never would have thought of, and gives me the important voice of reason, when I start to get a little too self-indulgent with my writing.


-May 8, 2014
We recently did the first reading of the musical in a classroom at Amelia Earhart Elementary in Provo.  It was amazing to hear everything come together!  We also got really good feedback from everyone involved.  Edits are taking place, and we are planning on another reading in Las Vegas in June!


-July 3, 2014
The Henderson, Nevada reading on June 17th was a dream-come-true!  We had almost 40 wonderfully talented actors and singers participate, and, with only one run-through, execute some difficult material beautifully.  There were about 100 in the audience, and the feedback was great.  We'll continue polishing, but now we're looking forward to a production.  Stay tuned!


-July 11, 2015
A song from the musical, "While You're Still Alive", was featured at the Las Vegas Composer's Showcase on May 27th at the Smith Center for the Arts.  A clip is shown above.


-August 29, 2018
After a long time on the shelf, the musical is back and finished! I was contacted out of nowhere by Heather Lloyd of Logos School in Moscow, Idaho. They were interested in performing the Count of Monte Cristo, so Joanna and I (with the help of many eyes and ears) finished the script, and I spent a solid two months orchestrating the show from start to finish! They'll be performing it, sets, costumes, and all, in November of this year.


-November 5, 2018

This last weekend, Joanna and I got to experience something profoundly surreal and moving. The students of Logos School in Moscow, Idaho performed the world premiere of The Count of Monte Cristo. We got to go and see it twice.

The kids, teachers, and parents poured their blood (fake and actual), sweat, and tears into an almost impossible production, and the results were astounding. They took it on with creativity, optimism, and grace. After all of this, I asked some of the kids if they were happy it was finally over. The common answer was, “No. This has been so much fun. I’m really going to miss it.”

If this show ever does go to Broadway or anything, I’m not sure I’ll ever have more fun than I did witnessing this heartfelt, thoughtful, and downright hilarious first production.