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God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

Overview

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater' is Kurt Vonnegut's outrageous and savagely funny fantasy about people, their pleasures, pains, and perversions, a penetrating satire on insanity - a millionaire's private lunacy, the inherited obsessions of a famous family, and the collected madness that grips the American nation.

The full title of this musical is Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, taken from the novelist's book of the same name. In 1979, Howard Ashman and Alan Menkin dramatised the story, setting it to music. Many of the songs, and nearly all of the dialogue are taken directly from the original text, including the opening line 'A sum of money is a leading character in this tale about people', and the closing line 'Go fourth, be fruitful, and multiply'. The story follows this sum of money over a period of a couple of years. Eliot Rosewater is responsible for the administration of roughly $87,471,033.61, though during the course of the show, he doesn't actually succeed in spending very much of it. Needless to say, the money does draw the attention of a certain young lawyer, who hatches a plot to pass the money to distant Rosewater relations, with the obligatory 'small' handling charge.

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater examines many aspects of the 1960's American way of life. It examines the effect of money on both Eliot Rosewater, and the Residents of Rosewater County. It considers both Eliot and Sylvia's sanity, and the parts of their lives which cause them pain. It discusses the moral obligations of the rich and famous ­ obligations which are often ignored.