"Me and My Town": LuPone, McDonald and Cerveris Star in Anyone Can Whistle

News   "Me and My Town": LuPone, McDonald and Cerveris Star in Anyone Can Whistle A Tony-winning trio — Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald and Michael Cerveris — head the cast of the Ravinia Festival's presentation of Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle Aug. 26-27.

Tony Award winner Patti LuPone stars in Anyone Can Whistle
Tony Award winner Patti LuPone stars in Anyone Can Whistle

The quirky musical is part of the Ravinia's Sondheim 75 series, a five year salute to the works of the famed composer that culminates this month during the year of Sondheim's 75th birthday. The Ravinia has previously presented Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Passion and A Little Night Music.

LuPone, who has appeared in all five Ravinia Sondheim productions, heads the cast of Whistle as Cora Hoover Hooper, the role created on Broadway by Angela Lansbury. She is joined onstage by Audra McDonald (Fay Apple), Michael Cerveris (J. Bowden Hapgood), John Mahoney (Narrator), Ray Wills (Comptroller Schub), Jerry Galante (Treasurer Cooley), David Mendes (Chief of Police MacGruder), Johanna McKenzie Miller (Mrs. Schroeder), Peter Mohawk (Dr. Detmold), Stephen Colella (George), Christine Sherrill (June), Jason Bayle (John), Ty Perry (Martin), Gloria Kissel (Old Lady), Lucia Spina (Osgood), Emily Shoolin (Candy Striper), Shiri Nicole Gross (Baby Joan), Joshua Logan (Telegraph Boy) and Parris Collier, Darius Fearrington, Richard Strimer and Andrew Waters as the Four Boys.

The Cookies, Deputies, Townspeople and Pilgrims are played by Michael Accardo, Roger Anderson, Jason Bayle, Karla L. Beard, Max Chung, John Clonts, Stephen Colella, Lauren Creel, Devin Desantis, Berwick Haynes, Danny Heeter, Brian Herriot, Nate Johnson, Joshua Johnston, Gloria Kissel, Jacob Langfelder, Kate Loprest, Johanna Mckenzie Miller, Peter Mohawk, Ty Perry, Jeanai Ratcliffe, Christine Sherrill, Emily Shoolin, Jason Sperling, Lucia Spina, Genevieve Venjohnson and Lakesha Walker.

Anyone Can Whistle is directed by Lonny Price with musical direction by Paul Gemignani. The concert utilizes a version of the musical created by composer Sondheim and book writer Arthur Laurents that was presented at Carnegie Hall with Bernadette Peters and the late Madeline Kahn in the lead roles.

A Tony Award winner for her work in Evita, Patti LuPone also earned an Olivier Award for her performances in the West End productions of Lés Misérables and The Cradle Will Rock. Her other theatrical credits include Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Oliver!, Working, The Old Neighborhood, Master Class and Pal Joey. LuPone also headlined two solo Broadway concerts, Patti LuPone On Broadway and Matters of the Heart, and received glowing notices for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in the Lincoln Center concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. For the past four summers she has appeared in concert versions of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Passion, A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, IL. LuPone will return to Broadway this fall in the revival of Sweeney Todd playing opposite Michael Cerveris. A four-time Tony Award winner for her work in A Raisin in the Sun, Master Class, Carousel and Ragtime, Audra McDonald was also seen on Broadway in Henry IV. The singer-actress made her solo Carnegie Hall concert debut in an evening of songs scored for big bands, performing several tunes from her Nonesuch CD "Happy Songs." McDonald's other solo recordings, "Way Back to Paradise" and "How Glory Goes," are also on the Nonesuch label. The acclaimed actress also co-starred in the NBC series "Mister Sterling.”

Michael Cerveris, who won a Tony Award in the revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Weidman's Assassins, was also Tony-nominated for his performance in the title role of The Who's Tommy, a part he also played for two years in Germany. Cerveris originated the role of architect Thomas Andrews in the Tony-winning musical Titanic and also appeared onstage in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Total Eclipse, Abingdon Square, Life Is a Dream and the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and Ravinia Festival mountings of Passion.

John Mahoney won a Tony and a Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut in The House of Blue Leaves. He was also nominated for two Emmys and two Golden Globes for his performance on TV's "Frasier." His many other screen credits include "Fathers and Sons," "Almost Salinas," "She's the One," "Primal Fear," "The American President," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "Reality Bites," "Striking Distance," "The Water Engine," "Article 99," "Barton Fink," "Dinner at Eight" and "Say Anything."

With a score by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents, Anyone Can Whistle opened at the Majestic Theatre April 4, 1964, with a cast led by multi-Tony Award 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. Although the musical played but 21 performances, the Sondheim score contained several thrilling songs: “Me and My Town,” “There Won’t Be Trumpets,” “Anyone Can Whistle,” “Everybody Says Don’t” and “With So Little To Be Sure Of.”

For tickets or more information, visit www.ravinia.org.

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