THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO Will Be Performed by Hudson Classical Theater Company Beginning This Weekend

The production opens on July 30th and runs until August 22nd, Thursdays to Sundays at 6:30pm.

By: Jul. 30, 2021

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO Will Be Performed by Hudson Classical Theater Company Beginning This Weekend

Hudson Classical Theater Company will present their world premiere production of "The Count of Monte Cristo," from the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas, adapted by Executive Artistic Director Susane Lee. The production opens on July 30th and runs until August 22nd, Thursdays to Sundays at 6:30pm.

Hudson Classical Theater Company (formerly known as Hudson Warehouse) just finished their highly successful July production of "Love's Labour's Lost," which kicked off their 18th season. Now that New York City is open to live theater, HCTC will bring back the classics to their summer stage in Riverside Park.

The August show is the last installment of their four-part celebration of Alexandre Dumas. In 2017, Hudson Classical Theater Company produced an original adaptation of "The Three Musketeers," followed by "The Three Musketeers: 20 Years Later," in 2018. In 2019, they followed- up with "The Man in the Iron Mask," concluding The D'Artagnan Romances. In 2021, they proudly present Dumas's classic, "The Count of Monte Cristo."

Susane Lee, who wrote and adapted all the Dumas novels for their stage, says, "We are thrilled to bring The Count of Monte Cristo to our audiences. This is my fourth adaptation of Dumas and this novel is truly his masterpiece. I love this novel and to do it justice, I ended up writing our biggest show to date. I had no idea that we would need 20 Actors to play 33 characters with 45 costume changes!"

Nicholas Martin-Smith, who has directed all the Dumas productions for the company, said, "This is definitely our biggest show. We have had bigger casts before. Our first "Three Musketeers" had 23 actors! But this production, since it spans over twenty years, is a bigger story and has a lot of moving parts."

Added Ms. Lee, "I thank my director, Nicholas Martin-Smith, for putting together this huge story, and for also stepping in to play the role of Villefort. It wasn't planned, but it ended up being wonderful to see him act in this production since he played Aramis in the last two productions of "The Three Musketeers: 20 Years Later" and "The Man in the Iron Mask." It was fitting to see him onstage for our final Dumas show. I also want to thank John-Ross Winter, our incredibly artistic and patience costumer! He truly made this production pop with his exquisite costume choices.""

The story of The Count of Monte Cristo begins at the marriage of a young sailor, Edmond Dantes (Casey Johnson) to Mercedes (Brigitte Silva). But his shipmate, Danglars (Max Katz) is jealous that Edmond has been promoted to Captain of their ship and Fernand (Austin Reynolds) is jealous that the woman he loves will marry Edmond. Both men plot to have Edmond imprisoned. The Public Prosecutor Villefort (Nicholas Martin-Smith) delivers the final blow by having Edmond sent to the Chateau d'If prison for life, leaving behind a grieving father (Garrett Armyn) and ship owner, M. Morrel (Mike Gerbi).

At the Chateau d'If, Edmond meets the Abbot Faria (Ken Raboy) who becomes his friend and mentor. After the Abbot dies, Edmond escapes the dungeon and returns to society twenty years after his arrest. He is disguised as The Count of Monte Cristo (Garrett Armyn) to wreak revenge on those who wronged him. With his trusty side-kick Jacopy (Tony Russo), he brings in Andre (Victor Torres) to help lay his trap. He tracks down Fernand who now has a son, Albert (Bryan Bryk). Albert's best friend, Franz (Nicholas Jakola) is engaged to Valentine (Deborah Bjornsti), Villefort's daughter. And they introduce him to Danglars, now a wealthy banker.

Rounding out the cast is Thomas Robertson who plays King Louis XVIII (as well as St. Sauvignon and Richard), Annette Fox who plays Marquise de Saint-Meran and Heloise, and Albert Baker who plays Marquis de Saint-Meran and the Governor. At Chateau d'If, Edmond is confronted by the Inspector (Josh Phillips), and two prison guards Willy (Tristan Strasser) and Humbert (James Alt.) Courtney Torress plays three roles: Renee, Julie Morrel, and Haydee.

Ms. Lee continues, "This is an ambitious show so we're grateful to work with such committed and generous actors and production team. We are lucky to have Theresa Sagan, our company Co-Production Manager, stage manage this show with new company member, Assistant Production Manager Helen Thornton. Our new ASM, Olivia Crawford, has been indispensable. It is very challenging to do out-door theater and our production team is truly the best!"

Hudson Classical Theater Company is known for their exciting stage combat and they rely on Combat for Screen and Stage to direct their fights. Their long-time fight director, Jared Kirby, and his assistant fight director, Katherine Lerner-Lam directed the fights for this production and their work is outstanding.

Hudson Classical Theater Company is a nonprofit theater company that the New York Times recommended for its "intimate Shakespeare performances." Hudson Classical Theater Company received a Proclamation from the City of New York for "strengthening our community with vibrant, relevant, and engaging outdoor theater for all." The company has been nominated for six New York Innovative Theater Awards, including for best revival, costumes, and acting.

Hudson Classical Theater Company is also the proud resident theater company of Goddard Riverside Community Center where they have been a vital part of developing and growing their community arts programming. Hudson Classical Theater Company also produces a Veteran's Day Commemoration every fall and a full production in March for W.H.A.M. (Women History Artist Month) at Goddard Riverside's Bernie Wohl Arts Center.

Hudson Classical Theater Company is also proud partners with New York City's Department of Corrections where they have taught acting classes and brought productions to inmates at Riker's and in the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx detention centers.

Partnering with Riverside Parks and Riverside Conservancy, not only does Hudson Classical Theater Company produce three summer shows, but they also provide The Shakespeare Workout: Master classes in Acting, Voice, and Combat, three times a summer, taught by company artists, and provided free to the community.

The Count of Monte Cristo: July 29 - August 22, 2021

All shows are Thursdays to Sundays at 6:30pm.

No Reservations: Just show up by 6:15pm for a good seat!

Performances are free, but they do pass a basket after the show so audiences can "pay what you can." Audience donations help pay for artists and production costs.


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