Chicago's Pegasus Drowns The Frogs in Favor of Revised Anyone Can Whistle in Spring

News   Chicago's Pegasus Drowns The Frogs in Favor of Revised Anyone Can Whistle in Spring Pegasus Players, the Chicago troupe committed to the works of Stephen Sondheim over the years — here's where Saturday Night got its U.S. premiere — dropped its spring plan to present Sondheim's The Frogs and will stage Anyone Can Whistle instead.

The amphibious musical comedy was pulled because of a conflict with Lincoln Center Theater's summer plan for a revised revival of the unique work, which was originally presented at a swimming pool at Yale in the 1970s. LCT won't have an Olympic-sized pool, but it will offer a half-dozen new Sondheim songs and a rewritten book by Nathan Lane (who also stars).

The Pegasus Anyone Can Whistle run, meanwhile, represents the Chicago premiere of a rewritten version of that experimental 1964 musical, with book by Arthur Laurents and music and lyrics by Sondheim. The new script was tested in London and then had a 2003 commercial run at a tiny theatre in Los Angeles.

Anyone Can Whistle begins performances at Pegasus Players May 21 and continues to July 3. Official opening is May 25.

This is a return to the material for the non-Equity Pegasus: Anyone Can Whistle, about a depressed town, a corrupt mayoress, a fake miracle and residents of the local asylum, was a hit for Pegasus in 1988 and received a Joseph Jefferson Citation for Best Production.

The plot takes scattershot aim at sex roles, romance, the war industry, corrupt government and more. It was considered ahead of its time and famously closed after a week of performances on Broadway, but a cast album was recorded, sealing its cult status. The score includes the title song, "Everybody Says Don't," "There Won't Be Trumpets," "With So Little to Be Sure Of" and more.

Ticket prices are $12 for preview performances and range $20-$25 for regular performances. Tickets are available at the Pegasus Players box office or by calling (773) 878-9761. Pegasus Players is located at 1145 West Wilson, at the O'Rourke Center on the campus of Truman College.

Arlene Crewdson is executive director of Pegasus Players. Visit www.pegasusplayers.org.