Composer Alan Menken, whose scores to Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and many more have sold millions of copies, will finally get a cast album for one of his earliest and least-known scores, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.
The July 2016 New York City Center Encores! Off-Center concert revival of the 1979 show is getting a cast album, according to cast member Skylar Astin, who tweeted about it November 16:
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater was the first collaboration between Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman, with whom he went on to write some of his biggest hits. It had a short run Offr-Broadway and was never recorded. The 2016 Encores! Off-Center revival starred Astin, Santino Fontana, James Earl Jones, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Kate Wetherhead, among others.
Based on Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical novel of the same name, the musical follows an alcoholic millionaire and his philanthropic endeavors. The cast, directed by Michael Mayer, also included Derrick Baskin, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Nick Choksi, Eddie Cooper, Kevin Del Aguila, Clark Johnson, Kevin Ligon, Marla Louissaint, Liz McCartney, Bonnie Milligan, and Brynn O’Malley.
“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.”