Anyone Can Whistle — with LuPone, McDonald and Cerveris — Is Next for Chicago's Ravinia Festival | Playbill

News Anyone Can Whistle — with LuPone, McDonald and Cerveris — Is Next for Chicago's Ravinia Festival
Having presented critically acclaimed concert stagings of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Passion, A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George, the Ravinia Festival will next mount the Sondheim-Arthur Laurents musical Anyone Can Whistle.

A spokesperson for the theatre confirmed that Anyone Can Whistle will be part of the Ravinia's Sondheim 75 series, a five-year salute to the works of the famed composer, which will culminate in 2005 with Sondheim's 75th birthday. The quirky musical will play Aug. 26-27 in the Pavilion with a cast that boasts Tony Award winners Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald and Michael Cerveris. All three have been part of previous Sondheim productions at the Ravinia.

Anyone Can Whistle will feature direction by Lonny Price with musical direction by Paul Gemignani. The concert will use 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.

There is also a possibility that the Sondheim 75 celebration may continue after the 2005 season. Welz Kauffman, president and CEO of Ravinia, told the Chicago Sun-Times, "We've asked Steve about extending the project, and he was willing. This series has been a wonderful success for us, adding a new flavor to the mix for the traditional Ravinia audience." About the upcoming presentation of Whistle Kauffman said, "I just think that Anyone Can Whistle has a poignant, gorgeous score, and that it's great to go back to such an early work and see what Sondheim was doing in the early 1960s — a very political time."

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.”

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