Santino Fontana, Elizabeth Stanley & Vanessa Williams

Santino Fontana & Elizabeth Stanley join Vanessa Williams in Stephen Sondheim’s Anyone Can Whistle at Carnegie Hall

Broadway favourites Santino Fontana and Elizabeth Stanley will join Vanessa Williams in the concert presentation of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ Anyone Can Whistle at Carnegie Hall this Spring.

Joining the previously announced Tony, Emmy, and Grammy nominee Vanessa Williams as Cora Hoover Hooper will be Tony winner Fontana (Tootsie) as J. Bowden Hapgood, Tony nominee Elizabeth Stanley (Jagged Little Pill) as Fay Apple, Tony nominee Douglas Sills (The Scarlet Pimpernel) as Comptroller Schub, Eddie Cooper (Assassins) as Treasurer Cooley, and Tony nominee Michael Mulheren (Kiss Me, Kate) as Police Chief Magruder. 

Ted Sperling will direct and conduct the political satire with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, lighting design by Aaron Tacy, sound design by Marc Salzberg, and costumes coordinated by Tracy Christensen.

With a score by Sondheim and a book by Laurents, Anyone Can Whistle opened at the Majestic Theatre April 4, 1964, with a cast led by multi-Tony winner Angela Lansbury, Lee Remick, Harry Guardino, Gabriel Dell, Arnold Soboloff, James Frawley, Peg Murray, Don Doherty, Sterling Clark, Harvey Evans, Larry Roquemore, and Tucker Smith. 

Described by theater historian Ken Mandelbaum as “a satire on conformity and the insanity of the so-called sane,” the show tells a story of an economically depressed town whose corrupt mayor decides to create a fake miracle in order to attract tourists. This draws the attention of Fay Apple, an emotionally inhibited nurse, a crowd of inmates from a local asylum called The Cookie Jar, and a doctor with secrets of his own.

Anyone Can Whistle opened on Broadway in the 1963/64 season, where it played for only a handful of performances before generating a now-revered original cast recording (featuring Lee Remick, Harry Guardino and Angela Lansbury in her Broadway musical debut), and going on to develop a huge following.  Its score has generated several standards, including ‘There Won’t be Trumpets’, ‘Everybody Says Don’t’, ‘With So Little to Be Sure Of’,  and the wistful title song.

London audiences can catch the rarely revived musical at Southwark Playhouse this April starring Alex Young.

📷 Main photo: Santino Fontana, Elizabeth Stanley & Vanessa Williams

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