Paul Dick subtitled his adaptation "a romantic musical." It succeeds by selecting literally yet judiciously from the book (how can you beat lines like Catherine's "I am Heathcliff!"?) while crafting songs that are a keyhole into the characters' unspoken thoughts. The piece is scored mostly with arias (there is almost no recitative) that are warm and inviting, but which gird the play with tension. This kind of construction actually strengthens the strong roles of the story.
Director Matt Gutchick explains, "The music doesn't take us through the story, but we let it guide us." He adds, "Musically, the melodies of the arias don't quite go where your ear tells you they are leading. Sometimes, they resolve on unfinished chords; other times, there are rhythmic changes in mid-song that point to growing tension between two characters." It's perfect for the small stage of the Mint Theatre.
There are fourteen roles altogether, of which two are childen (young Heathcliff and young Catherine). The three main locations of the story--the house (Wuthering Heights), The Moors and The Grange--will be created for the Mint's compact playing area in a circular structure framed by sliding panels. Catherine's "ghost" will be rendered with stand-ins behind the famous window. As the story darkens, so will the environment; warm colors in costumes and lights will become noticeable by their scarcity.
Accompaniment throughout will be by musical director Michael Sheetz on a single piano, which suits the period of the play. There is occasional vocal augmentation from offstage in some of the choruses, but seldom is the entire ensemble seen together onstage.