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Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

From 77 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Quirky, Funny, Great singing, Clever

About the show

Encores! revives Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's little-known musical based on Kurt Vonnegut's comic novel of the same name. Directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer, and starring Santino Fontana, Skylar Astin, and James Earl Jones. More…

The songs of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken ('Little Shop of Horrors,' 'Beauty and the Beast') are legendary, and yet few have heard their first musical: 'Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.' The show tells the story of Eliot Rosewater (Santino Fontana), a drunken millionaire who decides to blow his fortune on a town full of pitiable creatures: the illiterate, the depressed, and the eternally pregnant. But there are forces who want to put the kibosh on his philanthropy—like Norman Mushari (Skylar Astin), a lawyer plotting to have Eliot declared insane. Part of Encores! Off-Center season.

Member Reviews (77)


Entertaining, Quirky, Funny, Great singing, Clever
Avg Score

Great music, Quirky, Relevant, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Great music to be paired w. Vonnegut. Unexpectedly good. Great performances. Interesting themes. Quirky & Whimsical at times.

Don't see it if You prefer straightforward plots. Not into concert versions. Second act has a bit too many sad though great songs. Brings it down a bit

Entertaining, Great music, Funny, Resonant, Great story

See it if Catchy music, great story and wonderful performances! Funny scenes, heartwarming moments, it has almost everything a great musical needs!

Don't see it if Act 1 has touching moments & is stronger than Act2 which didn't reach the potential I thought it could but it's a great show & worth seeing!

Delightful, Relevant, Funny, Entertaining, Resonant

See it if you want a show that somehow straddles that impossible line of being political without taking sides, funny but makes a serious statement.

Don't see it if You want serious. This show makes a serious statement but it has fun and makes fun of itself the whole way getting there. Delightful! Fun!

The crazy offbeat brechtian musical that wunderkinds ashman and menken were able to make before they sold out to disney

See it if /to see scathing satire that takes on issue of inequality/ahead of its time; brilliantly subversive lyrics; Santino Fantana in top form

Don't see it if /since plot is colossally silly and musical fails to capture surrealistic nature of Vonnegut's novel

Great acting, Confounding, Disappointing, Incohesive, Bizarre

See it if all you want is to see Santino Fontana shine on a stage. (He does. As always.)

Don't see it if you'll be bothered by super unclear storytelling.

Delightful, Quirky, Great writing, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You're a completist when it comes to seeing American musical theater, especially shows by Alan Menken. This is a very rarely produced show.

Don't see it if You like more flashy fare, or are expecting to see James Earl Jones in the lead role -- he's not.

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Relevant, Clever

See it if you enjoy entertaining musicals that are very relevant to today's times. Also, if you want to see another sterling performance by Fontana.

Don't see it if you do not like satirical musicals. Or if you don not want to see an early work by Ashman and Menken.

Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if You like American stories about the haves v the have-nots in small town America. Uplifting music,choreography, Santino,Skylar,Rebecca,etc

Don't see it if You want to miss a rare appearance by James Earl Jones LOL You hate cliches You have no heart You never heard of writer Alan Menken

Santino fontana saves a daft musical

See it if Some good Ashman-Menken songs. Santino Fontana can do no wrong. The book is not believable. But James Earl Jones adds some uplift.

Don't see it if The book disappoints in that it seems to disparage the downtrodden people it is supposed to champion.

Funny, Dated, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you want to see a quirky 70s musical with some funny moments and strong vocal performances. You like Cheese Nips.

Don't see it if you don't like concert performances or actors being on book. Or if you were hoping for a full-scale production.

Quirky, Original, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if You appreciate originality and quirkiness. Not everything works,but Santino Fontana certainly does. Very good Ashman & Menken score.

Don't see it if You're looking for a more traditional musical

Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Great staging, Great singing

See it if you want a very good revival of a totally forgotten off b'way musical.

Don't see it if you are looking for reality. This is Kurt Vonnegut set to musical theater escapism.

Entertaining, Quirky, Original

See it if You are a fan of Ashman and Menken'This revival of their initial work from 1979 is a lot of fun.The performances are great!

Don't see it if You won't appreciate an off-beat,quirky musical based on Kurt Vonnegut's book.The characters are definitely unique and the cast is wonderful

Clever, Indulgent, Hilarious, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you're a Vonnegut fan, a Bernie fan, and Little Shop of Horrors fan, or a fan of laughing during your musical theatre.

Don't see it if you dislike postmodernist critiques of materialism in the wake of the horrors of WWII.

Quirky, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Original, Great singing

See it if you like quirky little shows with a message. Great singing and orchestra. Not for everybody but I'm glad I had the chance to see this.

Don't see it if You don't like Encores productions (actors are holding scripts) or want something that feels more polished.

Delightful, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great singing

See it if You like great musicals based on thoughtful stories.

Don't see it if You need your musicals to be fully staged, and you think great production is more important than great content.

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Great singing

See it if you want to explore time capsule Vonnegut play that is charming, delightful and funny/sweet albeit slightly dated; great cast,clever lyrics

Don't see it if you don't like Encores productions

Confusing, Disappointing, Nonsensical, Quirky, Great singing

See it if You're a big enough fan of Ashman and Menken to sit through two and a half hours of complete nonsense, which admittedly has good music.

Don't see it if You want a coherent plot that makes any sense at all.

Entertaining, Great acting, Funny

See it if enjoy rarely performed musicals with an awesome cast. This show is a bit bizarre but the music & performances make it worth your time

Don't see it if are not a fan of Encores! style shows performed with book in hand. Or if you prefer smaller venues.

Funny, Great writing, Quirky, Great songs, Great acting

See it if You want to see the first Ashman/Menken show that is rarely produced. Or if you're a fan of Fontana who is amazing, as always.

Don't see it if You don't like satire or Vonnegut. Or if you want a fully staged production since this is only Encores.

Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Dizzying, Funny

See it if you want to see something pretty original that shows flashes of the brilliant collaboration to come

Don't see it if you need a show that wholly hangs together and is more than a fun, aggressively weird diversion.

Ambitious, Clever, Funny, Quirky, Resonant

See it if you enjoy rarely seen musicals and early works by stellar creative teams before they fully came into their own.

Don't see it if quirky, odd shows with social commentary undercurrent are to your liking. Though strong performances carry it, the material is uneven.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you want to see great actors bring to life a mostly forgotten gem of a musical with a beautiful, melodic score and a quirky story

Don't see it if you are not a fan of somewhat dark musical stories or want to see more of a full production than this staged reading entails.

Delightful, Enchanting, Resonant, Fluffy, Great singing

See it if Like a nostalgic show, excellent singing, a little bit off-center plot and like Vonnegot at all

Don't see it if Want a bit time modern production

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if you love Santino Fontana! He's incredible in this. Also it's just worth checking out an under produced show.

Don't see it if if you are looking for something big and flashy. It's a quaint, weird musical, but it works for Encores!

July 28th, 2016
"An odd duck of a musical...Vonnegut’s black brand of satire is not, in truth, a comfortable fit for the stage...The director, Michael Mayer, at least keeps the careering story line moving along at a brisk pace. And both performers and orchestra deliver the eclectic score with the polish and zest...
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July 28th, 2016
“A freewheeling musical comedy with political themes and a serious streak underneath it all...The songs are fresh, fun and occasionally heartfelt...The storytelling can be rough and chaotic, but that is to be expected with this kind of property...I would not be surprised if this production serves...
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July 28th, 2016
“It turns out that Ashman and Menken's blend of wit and sincerity perfectly conveys Vonnegut's dark satire...Director Michael Mayer wisely maintains an earnest commitment in the delivery of these lines, allowing the script and design to do all the winking...While ‘Rosewater’ isn't quite in the sa...
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July 28th, 2016
"This material is tops: right up there with the very best of what Ashman and Menken have ever done...There's some serious content at work, and if it's not exactly downplayed, it's given a glimmering gloss through both the sprightly book and the dazzling score...Alas, the evening can't quite maint...
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