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Encores! Off-Center Staging of GOD BLESS YOU, MR. ROSEWATER Heads to the Recording Studio

Ghostlight Records has announced plans to record the first-ever cast album of the musical Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, based on the recent production by the New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center musical theater series.

This was the first musical written by the blockbuster team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, before their theater success with Little Shop of Horrors and their animated Disney hits The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.

The recent Off-Center production starred Skylar Astin, Derrick Baskin, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Nick Choksi, Eddie Cooper, Kevin Del Aguila, Santino Fontana, Clark Johnson, James Earl Jones, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Kevin Ligon, Marla Louissaint, Liz McCartney, Bonnie Milligan, Brynn O'Malley, and Kate Wetherhead. The production was directed by Michael Mayer and choreographed by Lorin Latarro. Chris Fenwick serves as Music Director.

Watch highlights from the Encores!
production HERE!

The 1979 musical God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater tells the story of Eliot Rosewater (Santino Fontana), a millionaire who drunkenly decides to blow his fortune on the inhabitants of an impoverished town after being inspired by the utopian vision of novelist Kilgore Trout (James Earl Jones). But there are forces who want to put the kibosh on Eliot's philanthropy-like Norman Mushari (Skylar Astin), a lawyer plotting to have Eliot declared insane. With an irresistible crazy-quilt score that volleys between pop, ragtime, Gilbert & Sullivan, and proto-Disney ballads, the Encores! Off-Center production featured orchestrations by Danny Troob, which were heard for the first time.

Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater features book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken, and additional lyrics by Dennis Green. It was originally presented by The WPA Theatre, where it was directed by Howard Ashman.

Alan Menken is also represented on Ghostlight Records with the cast recordings of Newsies, Sister Act, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Leap of Faith and the upcoming Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. The label served as executive producer for Aladdin.


Skylar Astin (Norman Mushari) originated the role of Georg in the Tony- and Grammy Award-winning musical Spring Awakening. He recently appeared as Tony in Carnegie Hall's special production of West Side Story at the Knockdown Center. In film, Skylar is best known for his breakout role as Jesse in Pitch Perfect and its sequel Pitch Perfect 2. His other film credits include Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, the Sundance favorite Hamlet 2, the Disney animated feature Wreck-It Ralph, and 21 and Over, in which he starred opposite Miles Teller. Skylar currently appears opposite Nick Nolte in the EPIX TV series Graves. Previous television credits include the lead in the Bill Lawrence-created sitcom Ground Floor and memorable roles on Girls, House M.D, Glee, and Halt and Catch Fire.

Santino Fontana (Eliot Rosewater) starred in the Encores! production of 1776 and Zorba. Broadway: Act One, Cinderella (Tony Award nomination), The Importance of Being Earnest (Clarence Derwent Award), Billy Elliot, Brighton Beach Memoirs (Drama Desk Award), and Sunday in the Park with George. New York Theater: Sons of the Prophet (Lortel and Obie Awards), The Fantasticks, and Perfect Harmony (co-writer). Regional: Six Degrees of Separation, Death of a Salesman, A Christmas Carol, As You Like It, Hamlet (Guthrie); Love's Labour's Lost, On the Verge, September 11th Project (Chautauqua Theater Co.) Film: Sisters, Frozen, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Hunter. TV: "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," "Shades of Blue," "The Good Wife," "The Money," "Nurse Jackie," and "Made in Jersey."

Clark Johnson (Senator Rosewater) is an actor and an Emmy Award-nominated director; he has worked in both capacities on Homeland, The Shield, The Wire, and Homicide: Life on the Street. Other TV/Film: Alpha House, Law & Order: SVU, S.W.A.T., The Sentinel, The Walking Dead, and Magnum Opus (upcoming). He began his professional theatrical career at the age of nine; at 15, he found girls and baseball and took a 35-year break from musicals. This is his New York stage debut.

James Earl Jones (Kilgore Trout) made his Broadway debut in 1957 and most recently starred on Broadway in The Gin Game and You Can't Take It with You. He won Tony Awards for The Great White Hope and Fences and received Tony Award nominations for On Golden Pond and The Best Man. He received Drama Desk Awards for Othello, Les Blancs, Hamlet, The Cherry Orchard,and Fences; Obie Awards for Clandestine on the Morning Line, The Apple, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl; the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Fences; and an Olivier Award nomination for Cat on the Hot Tin Roof. Other theater credits include Driving Miss Daisy (Broadway, London, Australia). He is an award-winning film and TV actor and recipient of three Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Oscar.

Brynn O'Malley (Sylvia Rosewater) Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, Annie (revival), Wicked, Sunday in the Park with George (revival), Hairspray, and Beauty and the Beast. Regional: Las Vegas: Avenue Q; Paper Mill Playhouse: Boeing-Boeing (Gabriela), Oklahoma!, Meet Me in St. Louis; Signature Theatre: Sunday in the Park with George; Arena Stage: She Loves Me (Helen Hayes nom.); Baltimore Center Stage: Arsenic and Old Lace; Kansas City Rep: Into the Woods. Television: Mysteries of Laura, Smash, A Gifted Man, Royal Pains, and The Big C. Education: University of Michigan.

Michael Mayer (Director) Currently: Funny Girl at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London. New York credits include Hedwig And the Angry Inch; Whorl Inside A Loop; Brooklynite; Spring Awakening; American Idiot; Side Man; Thoroughly Modern Millie; A View from the Bridge; Everyday Rapture; On A Clear Day You Can See Forever; Uncle Vanya; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; and Triumph of Love. National tours: Angels in America, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Spring Awakening, Charlie Brown, and American Idiot. Michael has received Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and Jefferson awards, as well as fellowships from the Drama League, Fox Foundation, TCG/NEA, and Juilliard. Feature films: The Seagull (in post-production), A Home at the End of the World, and Flicka. TV: Smash (Season One) and Alpha House for Amazon Prime. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut with a celebrated new production of Rigoletto. He serves on the Board of New York Stage and Film.

Lorin Latarro (Choreography) Broadway credits include Waitress and Waiting For Godot starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Lorin served as the Associate Choreographer of The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time and American Idiot. She choreographed Queen Of The Night (Drama Desk Award), The Public Theater's The Odyssey and Twelfth Night at the Delacorte, Ira Glass and Lin-Manuel Miranda's 21 Chump Street, Fanny at City Center Encores!, Beaches The Musical at the Drury Lane, Best Is Yet To Come (Drama Desk Award), and Kiss Me Kate at Barrington. Select opera work includes The Met's Rigoletto (associate), Die Zauberflote, and Love for Three Oranges. As an Artistic Associate at Bucks County Playhouse, she has choreographed Company, Ain't Misbehavin', The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and A Taste of Things to Come. Lorin performed in 14 Broadway shows and is a graduate and adjunct professor at The Juilliard School.

Chris Fenwick (Encores! Off-Center Music Director) music directed the Broadway production of Fun Home and is music supervisor of the current national tour. He music directed the original productions of Michael John LaChiusa's Giant, Los Otros, Queen of the Mist, and See What I Wanna See. Broadway credits include Rocky, Grease, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town, and Elaine Stritch at Liberty. Other credits include the Off-Broadway productions of Hello Again, Here Lies Jenny, Road Show, Happiness, and Mother Courage, and concerts with Patti LuPone at Carnegie Hall, Ravinia Festival, and many more. Chris was music director of the Encores! Off-Center productions of Runaways; The Wild Party; Little Shop of Horrors; A New Brain; Pump Boys and Dinettes; Faust; tick, tick...BOOM!; I'm Getting My Act Together...; and The Cradle Will Rock.

Encores! Off-Center was founded in 2013 with the mission of presenting Off-Broadway musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were first produced. Filtered through the lens of today's artists, these shows are presented not as historical documents but as living, vital works that continue to resonate with audiences. The New York Times has called Encores! Off-Center "a summer theater highlight," with past productions including Violet with Sutton Foster (which transferred to Broadway the following year); tick, tick...BOOM! with Lin-Manuel Miranda; A New Brain with Jonathan Groff; and Little Shop of Horrors with Ellen Greene and Jake Gyllenhaal. In keeping with City Center's founding mission to make the Arts Accessible to all, many Off-Center tickets are $25.

New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. It was Manhattan's first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia with a mission to make the best in music, theater, and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, City Center's Principal Dance Company, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as "one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York." In summer 2013, City Center launched Encores! Off-Center, a series that features landmark Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today's most innovative artists. Dance has been integral to the theater's mission from the start-and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival, remain central to City Center's identity. Vital partnerships with arts organizations including Jazz at Lincoln Center and London's Sadler's Wells Theatre enhance City Center's programmatic offerings. City Center brings dance and musical theater to over 9,000 New York City students each year through its robust education program, and other learning opportunities are offered to seniors, families, and the general public. City Center is expanding its programming beyond the proscenium and activating its alternative spaces with pre-show talks, master classes, exhibitions of visual art, and intimate performances that give an up-close look at the work of the great theater and dance artists of our time. In October 2011, City Center completed an extensive renovation project to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.

Sh-K-Boom with its imprint Ghostlight Records has become the leading independent force in Original Broadway Cast Recordings - building a library of over 150 records in the last 16 years, featuring some of the most successful Broadway musicals and solo albums by Broadway's brightest stars. Founded by Grammy Award winner Kurt Deutsch, Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight has received three Grammy Awards (for The Book of Mormon, In the Heights and Beautiful - The Carole King Musical) and is a frequent nominee, most recently for the OBCR of the 2015 "Best Musical" Tony Award nominee Something Rotten! Other notable recent releases include the 2016 "Best Musical" Tony Award nominee Bright Star by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, the 2016 "Best Musical Revival" Tony Award nominee She Loves Me, the 2014 "Best Musical" Tony Award winner A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, the 2014 "Best Score" Tony Award winner The Bridges of Madison County, Disney's Newsies, Pippin and Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella. Other highlights of the catalogue include OBCRs of Next to Normal, Hair, Legally Blonde, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Everyday Rapture, Passing Strange, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaperone and many more Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. The label has also released solo albums from some of Broadway's biggest names: Patti LuPone, Sherie Rene Scott, Adam Pascal, Sutton Foster, Kelli O'Hara, Alice Ripley, Christine Ebersole, Melissa Errico and Ben Vereen. The label continues to support the new generation of musical theatre composers with their extensive relationships with Michael John LaChiusa (First Daughter Suite, Giant, See What I Wanna See, Little Fish) and Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Love's Labour's Lost, The Fortress of Solitude), as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, Pasek & Paul, Joe Iconis, Ryan Scott Oliver, Shaina Taub, Dave Malloy, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk and Adam Gwon. The label recently created a new joint publishing venture with Razor & Tie to represent songwriters that fuse theatrical and pop music. Sh-K-Boom Entertainment is a producer of the acclaimed film version of The Last Five Years, written and directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Visit

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