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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

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.

Confusing, Dated, Slow, Not thought-provoking

See it if The enthusiastic Encores! audience seemed to love it. There was a loud ovation at the end. Production values and cast were excellent.

Don't see it if I was bored stiff with the story & confusing libretto. The music is bouncy & a recording would be nice for posterity. But bury this show.

Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you're curious about old Broadway musicals that didn't become hits.

Don't see it if you *need* to be 100% satisfied with every show you see. It's a frustrating parody on the wealthy & the "system" in the USA.

Great acting, Quirky, Fluffy, Funny

See it if You love quirky satires and terrific performances. The cast is top-notch and the show has a fun tone throughout.

Don't see it if You prefer more ambitious or resonant theater. While the show is fun and enjoyable it doesn't quite fully engage the heart or the mind.

Dated, Fluffy, Quirky, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You enjoy quirky musicals or are a serious fan of Mencken & Ashman

Don't see it if You like a straightforward narrative or are put off by zaniness

Banal, Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Quirky

See it if You like old fashioned shows, good musicians, a chance to see James Earle Jones

Don't see it if You do not like dated books, flubbed lines, over long plays

Clever, Disappointing

See it if you love Alan Menken and want to see some of his underproduced work. Fun, Smaltzy, with some good music

Don't see it if you dont like classical musical theatre or need the entire show to be strong, the writing in parts of it is better than in others and also,

Confusing, Disappointing, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if You love Kurt Vonnegut but are okay with a watered down and poorly put together staging of one of his books.

Don't see it if You don't want to ruin the book by trying to follow the disjointed story via music on stage.

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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