God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater


Writers: Howard Ashman Alan Menken Dennis Green


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Based on Kurt Vonnegut’s 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
Number of Acts
First Produced
Dark Comedy
Contemporary, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
1960s, New York City, Rosewater, Indiana
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Rock Combo
Musical Staging
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Diverse Cast, High School, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, elderly, mature adult, young adult characters


Eliot Rosewater, the president of the Rosewater Foundation, the heir to the fourteenth largest family fortune in America, is insane. He wants to do more with his life than just writing checks to people looking for grants and donations, and sets off on a journey to find his purpose and meaning. This search takes him home to Rosewater County, Indianapolis, a derelict and impoverished town that has lost all hope and respect. The colorful and bizarre residents immediately sing Eliot’s praises, and he believes that he has finally found meaning in his life. However, Eliot’s wife Sylvia--as devoted as can be--can’t keep up with her husband’s philanthropy. His father--a United States Senator--disapproves of Eliot’s choices. And Norman Mushari--a greedy and unethical lawyer--hatches a plot to get his hands on the family fortune. If Mushari can make sure that Eliot is declared legally insane, then Eliot loses the fortune and inheritance, and all of his charitable works come to an end. Can Eliot--despite his neuroses and psychoses--confound Mushari’s scheme? Can he get his hero Kilgore Trout--a prolific and unsuccessful science fiction writer--to justify why he devotes so much time and money to the destitute and derelict? And how will Eliot’s legacy live on?

Based on Kurt Vonnegut’s 1965 novel, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater pays homage to Vonnegut’s witty humor and energetic dialogue, interspersed with fun and poignant music. This musical is the first collaboration between Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, and helped catapult their careers as one of the most recognizable musical writing duos of the twentieth century.

Lead Characters

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater guide sections