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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)

MEMBERS SAY:

Entertaining, Quirky, Funny, Great singing, Clever
79
Avg Score

75
Clever, Original

See it if you like satire, Ashman & Menken scores, and the dry, hilarious delivery of Santino Fontana.

Don't see it if you are expecting a show starring Skylar Astin (I feel like they are marketing this with him as the lead?)

61
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.

50
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.

85
Clever, Funny, Ambitious, Intelligent, Original

See it if you want a unique chance to see a rarely-seen Menken musical.

Don't see it if book-in-hand concert productions aren't your speed.

80
Ambitious, Disappointing, Overrated, Original, Slow

See it if you are a fan of little known works and/or satire

Don't see it if you expect to be moved or laugh a lot

85
Enchanting, Great acting, Delightful, Entertaining, Charming

See it if You like sweet charming shows form the days of really good off B'way. musicals, Near perfectly cast.

Don't see it if You thought Runaways was good.

90
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Hilarious, Great singing

See it if you want to see and hear an early Alan Menken and Howard Ashman score. I miss Vonnegut's pointed humor/ satire but the play reminds of it.

Don't see it if you want to miss a rare and little-known musical gem based on a comic novel of the same name.

67
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.

94
Fun, Clever, Great production, Funny

See it if you like quirky entertaining musicals. Great cast & direction. I'm a Vonnegut fan and it's a wonderful adaptation.

Don't see it if It's fun. See it soon. It's a limited run.

75
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you enjoy fabulous productions of average material. It was hilarious and the performances were great. It was handled as well as it could be.

Don't see it if you don't like simplistic yet convoluted morality tales. It's hard to say where this goes wrong. It just doesn't pack the punch it should.

79
Absorbing, Delightful, Funny, Great singing

See it if you want to see a rare musical done with an incredible collection of fantastic actors

Don't see it if you can't travel back in time because, well, it only ran 5 performances

80
Delightful, Funny, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you enjoy vonnegut or menken, or just want to see some great broadway actors in a quintessential musical.

Don't see it if you can't get over the encores style of production (minimal sets, scripts in hand).

88
Unique, Entertaining, Theater with a message, Fun, Quirky

See it if You like Kurt Vonnegut. You are fine with theater that has a message, kind of like how Harry Chapin songs are stories with intention.

Don't see it if You don't want a teaching moment at the theater & do want a linear plot. You prefer classical musicals that don't touch on important issues.

68
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

81
Clever, Funny, Quirky, Original, Great singing

See it if you enjoy something different, especially if you are a Kurt Vonnegut fan.

Don't see it if you're looking for rousing , on your feet musial, with deep storyline.

81
Delightful, Entertaining, Cute, Great singing

See it if you like Santino Fontana and charming stories.

Don't see it if you like big flashy musicals.

65
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

72
Entertaining, Great writing, Quirky, Relevant

See it if you're a fan of Alan Menken and want to see his early work, or if you're curious how Vonnegut's work might be represented on stage.

Don't see it if you're looking to see a fully-fleshed out musical, it feels as through it still needs quite a bit of work.

70
Dated, Funny, Unfocused

See it if You want to see the 1st Menken/Ashman musical. You love the idea of doing for your fellow man when the world tells you to think of yourself.

Don't see it if You want something focused. Rosewater's mind is all over the place, and because of that, so is the story.

100
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You love Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's work

Don't see it if You don't like Alan Menken's work

80
Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great singing

See it if You're a fan of the hidden jems of the repertoire. Santino Fontana was amazing, and joined by James Earl Jones. Great Menken score.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy eclectic, scores, or are expecting a fully realized production. This is a staged concert reading, sometime with scripts used

87
Clever, Delightful, Quirky

See it if you want to see an original, funny, sad story with wonderful music. Not sure why this isn't performed more - it's great!

Don't see it if you are a champion of the rich or don't like Vonnegut, Ahsman, or Menken.

80
Clever, Entertaining, Great writing, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you enjoy hearing a lost musical score from Menken and Ashman. I APPLAUD this company for giving us the chance to see this! Please record!

Don't see it if you hate staged musicals, or want ONLY to see the "popular" tried and true hits of the past.

80
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you like the actors or Vonnegut's stories or Ashman/Menken music; the actors did a great job bringing the story to life #cheesenips

Don't see it if quirky shows aren't your thing; it's definitely a little "out there" in terms of plot, but I found it highly enjoyable and a lot of fun

75
Silly, stars steal the show

See it if You want to see skylar astin steal the show. James earl jones as well

Don't see it if You arent used to quirky (in a good way!) encores choices


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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