How did Howard get the rights to Vonnegut's novel?

edited December 2011 in Theater
As a young theater writer who's had dramatic rights problems, is there some interesting story behind how Howard got the rights to the novel GOD BLESS YOU, MR. ROSESWATER? Obviously, he was fairly young and unknown. How did that all happen? I've heard that Vonnegut was very cooperative, so maybe he just had blind faith and loved musicals. I'd love to hear anything you can remember. (Maybe there's even an interesting story behind the rights to the original LITTLE SHOP film too...) Thanks.


  • Hey John,
    I think blind faith is probably the best answer. But also, Howard and Alan had to make a lot of concessions to get the rights.
    As for Corman, don't forget that at the time The Little Shop of Horrors (Howard dropped the THE) was a cult movie at best, known by very few, so the fact that it might have a life in a musical must have been very appealing. Also don't forget that Betamax and VHS tapes were just coming out so Corman's movie had little exposure except an occasional afternoon airing at odd times on one of the three stations available.
    It was a very different time...
  • edited February 2015
    I heard Alan Menken say in an interview once that both he and Howard were big fans of Kurt Vonnegut's work, which may have provided SOME of the impetus for adapting ROSEWATER.
    I only recently read ROSEWATER, and before that, for my junior-year high English class in high school, I read SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE. Just as a matter of curiosity, how do you think a musical adaptation of THAT book would have turned out?
  • In my opinion, Slaughterhouse, too, could have made a great musical. In the right hands, of course. Not sure if anyone would or even would be allowed to try their hands on it now, but it'd be interesting to see how they'd structure it.
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