Ahead of its Encores! Off-Center revival of Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, New York City Center has published a letter penned by writer Kurt Vonnegut in 1979 following the debut of the musical adaptation of his work. The letter is addressed to Howard Ashman, one half of the musical's creative team.
“You are a first rate writer and director,” reads Vonnegut's letter. “Your show will now have a life of its own, as children should. My guess is that it is going to become a staple in American theatre, at least – living on, who knows, for a hundred years or more.” Read the full letter here.
Based on Kurt Vonnegut's satirical novel of the same name, the 1979 musical, Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, marked the first collaboration between Ashman and Alan Menken before their Little Shop of Horrors success. The story follows an alcoholic millionaire and his philanthropic endeavors.
Performances of the star-studded concert revival will run at City Center from July 27-30, featuring direction by Michael Mayer, and orchestrations by Danny Troob, which will be heard for the first time. The cast features James Earl Jones, Skylar Astin, Santino Fontana, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kate Wetherhead, among others.
The complete cast includes Derrick Baskin, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Nick Choksi, Eddie Cooper, Kevin Del Aguila, Clark Johnson, Eddie Korbich, Marla Louissaint, Liz McCartney, Bonnie Milligan and Brynn O’Malley. The creative team also includes choreography by Lorin Latarro, music direction by Chris Fenwick and additional lyrics by Dennis Green.
“The show tells the story of Eliot Rosewater (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,” state City Center press notes. “But there are forces who want to put the kibosh on his philanthropy—like Norman Mushari (Astin), a lawyer plotting to have Eliot declared insane.”
Tickets can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.