Adding Machine: A Musical

Adding Machine: A Musical

by  Elmer Rice, Joshua Schmidt, Jason Loewith

Full Length Musical, Drama  /  5m, 4f

Musical adaptation of Elmer Rice's incendiary 1923 play.

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Adding Machine: A Musical
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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 4f
  • Duration

    Duration

    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Fantasy, Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Period, Experimental
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

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.

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Accolades

  • Winner! 2008 Lucille Lortel Award - Outstanding Musical
    Winner! 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award - Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score

Reviews

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
More videos +

Keywords

Aging, Business, Death, Love, Memory

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage

Cautions

  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1920s
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Setting: Here and the afterlife. An American city in the 1920s.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Operetta
  • Vocal Demands: Difficult
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size: Small

Song Samples

01 Prelude
0:00
02 Something to Be Proud Of
0:00
03 Harmony, Not Discord
0:00
04 Office Reverie
0:00
05 Movin' Up-In Numbers
0:00
06 In Numbers
0:00
07 I'd Rather Watch You
0:00
08 The Party
0:00
09 Zero's Confession
0:00
10 Ham and Eggs!
0:00
11 Didn't We
0:00
12 I Was a Fool
0:00
13 The Gospel According to Shrdlu
0:00
14 Death March
0:00
15 A Pleasant Place
0:00
16 Shrdlu's Blues
0:00
17 Daisy's Confession
0:00
18 I'd Rather Watch You (Reprise)
0:00
19 Freedom!
0:00
20 Freedom! (Reprise)
0:00
21 The Music of the Machine
0:00

Casting

5m, 4f

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)

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

Plus SATB chorus

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

1 Piano/Vocal Score
9 Vocal Chorus Books
1 Media CD

Full Conductor’s Score
Synthesizer
Percussion

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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. His first work, the melodramatic On Trial ...

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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 ...

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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 French. He is currently the Artistic Director of ...

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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.

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