Cover to cast recording

Adding Machine - a Musical

A Chamber Musical: Music by Joshua Schmidt; libretto by Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt, based on the play The Adding Machine by Elmer Rice.

Off-Broadway, Minetta Lane Theater: Opened 25 February, 2008 - Closed 31st August, 2008 (scheduled) Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Adding Machine is a darkly satirical examination of the abuses of capitalism in the early 20th century.


Mr. Zero is the eternal "little man," shallow yet possessing some dignity, who murders his boss when he learns that, after twenty-five years of being a bookkeeper, he is to be replaced by an adding machine. Condemned to death despite his piteous stream-of-consciousness appeal to the jury, he is executed and appears next in the Elysian Fields, where he meets and enjoys a brief idyll with Daisy, his deceased co-worker, whose love he had secretly desired.

But conventional Mr. Zero cannot abide the freedom of paradise for long, and he leaves.

Confused by encounters with such people as Shrdlu, who cannot understand why after killing his mother he has been sent to heaven, Zero finds happiness while operating a heavenly adding machine. Presently, however, he is sent back to earth by a celestial overseer to be reborn, endure again his insignificant life, and die, a perpetual victim of a depersonalising world.


Musical Numbers

  1. Prelude - Chorus
  2. Something to Be Proud Of - Mrs Zero and Chorus
  3. Harmony, Not Discord - Mr Zero, Daisy, Mr One, Mae, Mr Two, Betty
  4. Office Reverie - Mr Zero, Daisy, Mr One, Mae, Mr Two, Betty
  5. Movin' Up / In Numbers - Mr Zero, Daisy, Mr One, Mae, Mr Two, Betty
  6. I'd Rather Watch You - Daisy
  7. The Party - Mrs Zero, Mr Zero, Mr One, Mrs One, Mr Two, Mrs Two
  8. Zero's Confession - Mr Zero and Chorus
  9. Once More
  10. Zero's Confession - Mrs Zero, Chorus
  11. Ham and Eggs - Mr Zero, Mrs Zero
  12. Didn't We? - Mr Zero, Mrs Zero
  13. I Was a Fool - Mrs Zero, Mr Zero
  14. The Gospel According to Shrdlu - Shrdlu, Mr Zero, Chorus
  15. Death March - Mr Zero, the Fixer
  16. A Pleasant Place - Mr Zero, Chorus
  17. Shrdlu's Blues - Shrdlu, Mr Zero, Chorus
  18. Daisy's Confession - Daisy, Mr Zero
  19. I'd Rather Watch You (reprise) Daisy, Mr Zero, Chorus
  20. Freedom! - Shrdlu, Daisy, Mr Zero, Mrs Zero, Chorus
  21. The Flinch
  22. In Numbers (reprise) - Mr Zero, Charles, Chorus
  23. Freedom! (reprise) - Mr Zero, Charles, Chorus
  24. The Music of the Machine - Mr Zero, Charles, Chorus

Original Cast Recording

Vocal Selections