There’s a temptation when writing about Sondheim and Laurents’ failed 1964 musical Anyone Can Whistle to write it off as being ahead of its time and misunderstood by the contemporary commercial Broadway audience. Opening in the same season as Hello Dolly, Funny Girl and Oliver!, its nine performance run helped the show achieve a sort a cult status, boasting a couple of stand-out classics and legendary anecdotes. Read more
Anyone Can Whistle is political allegory in musical comedy form that tells the story of a town that's gone bankrupt because its only industry is manufacturing something that never wears out. In order to revive her town Mayoress Cora Hoover Hooper and her town council fake a miracle - water flowing from a rock - to attract tourists. When patients at the local mental hospital escape and mix with the townspeople and tourists, chaos ensues whilst J. Bowden Hapgood, a fake psychiatrist falls in love with Fay Apple, a nurse at the asylum who has disguised herself as a miracle verifier sent from Lourdes.
The show contains a raft of classic Sondheim numbers including Me and My Town, Anyone Can Whistle, There Won’t be Trumpets, Everybody Says Don’t and With So Little to be Sure Of.