Talk Is Free Theatre presents four performances of the cult-favorite 1964 musical in concert Jan. 11-13. The theatre company will use proceeds from the recently added Jan. 13 performance to nurture, develop and produce new writers and productions for the Canadian musical theatre.
Anyone Can Whistle centers on a corrupt mayoress, who with the help of a fake miracle, hopes to save her bankrupt town. However, among the tourists her miracle attracts are a skeptical nurse, her group of insane "cookies," and an enigmatic doctor, all of whom turn the town on its head.
The Anyone Can Whistle cast features Kate Hennig (Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival) as Cora Hoover Hooper, Adam Brazier (Broadway's Woman in White and Into the Woods) as J. Bowden Hapgood, Blythe Wilson (Oliver!, Oklahoma, Mamma Mia!) as Fay Apple and Richard Ouzounian (theatre critic for The Toronto Star) as The Narrator.
Joining them are Steve Ross (The Producers, Toronto) as Chief of Police Magruder, Juan Chioran (The Producers, Toronto; Kiss of the Spider Woman on Broadway and national tour) as Controller Schub, Jonathan Monro (The Producers, Toronto) as Treasurer Cooley with Jennifer Stewart (Hairspray, Toronto) and Sam Strasfeld (We Will Rock You).
The production will feature a 15-piece orchestra conducted by Wayne Gwillim, who serves as musical director. Ouzounian will stage the production, with choreography by Sam Strasfeld. The original 1964 Broadway production marked Stephen Sondheim's second musical to arrive on Broadway for which he wrote both music and lyrics. Anyone Can Whistle starred Lee Remick, Harry Guardino and Angela Lansbury in her first musical role. After facing difficult out-of-town tryouts and crushing opening-night reviews on Broadway, Anyone Can Whistle would play only nine performances at the Majestic Theatre.
The musical – featuring the songs "There Won't Be Trumpets," "Me and My Town," "Everybody Says Don't," "With So Little to Be Sure Of," "Simple," "A Parade In Town," "The Miracle Song" and the title tune — has become a cult favorite of Sondheim and musical theatre aficionados.
The Jan. 13 benefit performance of Anyone Can Whistle will play Toronto's Diesel Playhouse. Tickets are available by calling (416) 971-5656 or by visiting www.dieselplayhouse.com.
Regular performances of Anyone Can Whistle will take place at the Gryphon Theatre, located at 1 Georgian Drive, Barrie, ON. Tickets are available by visiting www.tift.ca or by calling (705) 792-1949.