Adding Machine: A Musical

A CONCORD THEATRICALS TITLE

Adding Machine: A Musical

Full-Length Musical, Drama  /  4f, 5m

Composed by Joshua Schmidt
Libretto by Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt
Based on the play The Adding Machine by Elmer Rice

Musical adaptation of Elmer Rice's incendiary 1923 play.

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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4f, 5m
  • Duration
    Duration
    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Fantasy, Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Period, Experimental
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
Accolades
Accolades
  • Winner! 2008 Lucille Lortel Award - Outstanding Musical
    Winner! 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award - Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score
Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
    This title may have restrictions in place for London based productions. Please submit a licence request to confirm specific availability.
Adding Machine: A Musical

Details

Summary
Darkly comic and heartbreakingly beautiful, Adding Machine, a musical adaptation of Elmer Rice's incendiary 1923 play, tells the story of Mr. Zero, who after 25 years of service to his company is replaced by a mechanical adding machine. In a vengeful rage, he murders his boss. An eclectic score gives passionate and memorable voice to this stylish and stylized show, which follows Zero's journey to the afterlife in the Elysian Fields where he is met with one last chance for romance and redemption.

History

Adding Machine: A Musical was developed and received its world premiere at the Next Theatre Company, Artistic Director Jason Loewith.

Adding Machine: A Musical  was produced in New York by Scott Morfee, Tom Wirtshafter and Margaret Cotter at the Minetta Lane Theatre,opening night February 25, 2008.

Cast Attributes
  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage

MR. ZERO (Tenor/Baritone) - Male, 40s-50s. "Antihero" who murders his boss after being replaced by an adding machine after 25 years on the job. 
MRS. ZERO (Soprano) - Female, 45. Mr. Zero's wife of 25 years. Chronic complainer and gossipy unkempt housewife. 
DAISY DOROTHEA DEVORE (Mezzo Soprano) - Female, middle-aged. Mr. Zero's assistant book-keeper who is infatuated with him.  
SHRDLU (Tenor) - Male. Jailmate who bears a great amount of guilt and confides in Mr. Zero. 
THE BOSS (Same actor plays FIXER & CHARLES; does not sing) - Male, middle-aged. BOSS: Mr. Zero's boss. Informs Mr. Zero about his termination which results in his own death. FIXER: an allegorical figure with wings suggesting an angel. Points out Zero's life has been worthless. CHARLES: An immortal, he functions in the place where souls are prepared for reincarnation and is charged with dispatching Zero back to earth

CHORUS:
SOPRANO (MRS. ONE/MAE/PRISONER’S WIFE)
ALTO (MRS. TWO/BETTY/MATRON)
TENOR (MR. ONE/PRISONER)
BASS (MR. TWO/PRISON GUARD)

  • Time Period 1920s
  • Setting Here and the afterlife. An American city in the 1920s.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Additional Features Not Applicable
  • Duration 105 Minutes
  • Cautions
    • Strong Language
    • Mild Adult Themes

Media

REVIEWS
"CRITICS PICK! A brillant musical! A superb libretto by Loewith and Schmidt and music that gets under your skin and stays there."
New York Times, Read More 

"Exciting and adventurous!" - NY Post, Read More 

"THE BEST NEW MUSICAL of 2008!" - Time Out New York, Read More 

"A marvel! Joshua Schmidt's music sneaks up on us until we are begging for more! Adding Machine dazzles!" - Bloomberg.com

"A masterpiece of expressionism. Brave and bold!" - Variety, Read More 

RELATED ARTICLE ON BREAKING CHARACTER

Mr. Zero's Journey: ADDING MACHINE, A MUSICAL
by Ben Coleman
November 25, 2014

Videos

  • Mr. Zero at Work

  • Freedom

  • Clifford Morts as Mr. Zero

Music

Song Samples

01 Prelude
02 Something to Be Proud Of
03 Harmony, Not Discord
04 Office Reverie
05 Movin' Up-In Numbers
06 In Numbers
07 I'd Rather Watch You
08 The Party
09 Zero's Confession
10 Ham and Eggs!
11 Didn't We
12 I Was a Fool
13 The Gospel According to Shrdlu
14 Death March
15 A Pleasant Place
16 Shrdlu's Blues
17 Daisy's Confession
18 I'd Rather Watch You (Reprise)
19 Freedom!
20 Freedom! (Reprise)
21 The Music of the Machine
  • Musical StyleOperetta
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra SizeSmall/Combo
  • Chorus SizeSmall

Materials

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
1 Piano-Vocal
9 Vocal Books
1 Full Score
1 Media CD

1 Synthesizer
1 Percussion
1 Piano-Vocal
9 Vocal Books

Add-Ons

Take a look below at how you can enhance your show!

Authors

Elmer Rice

Elmer Rice (born Sept. 28, 1892, New York City—died May 8, 1967, Southampton, Hampshire, Eng.) was an American playwright, director, and novelist noted for his innovative and polemical plays. Rice graduated from the New York Law School in 1912 but soon turned to writing plays ...
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Joshua Schmidt

Josh Schmidt is the award-winning composer of Adding Machine (Lucille Lortel Award - Best Musical; Outer Critic’s Circle Award - Best Score & Best Off-Broadway Musical; Joseph Jefferson Award - Best Musical; as well as 4 Obie Awards, 9 Drama Desk nominations, and Drama League ...
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Jason Loewith

Jason Loewith produced and co-wrote the world premiere of Adding Machine: A Musical, winning Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best New Musical of the Season, as well as four OBIE Awards for direction, design, and performance; and is published by Samuel Frenc ...
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