Theater fans get worked up over almost any new production of a Stephen Sondheim musical. But when it’s one as underexposed as Anyone Can Whistle, the buzz really reaches fever pitch. The show’s 1964 pre-Broadway debut in Philadelphia was a disaster; it lasted for less than three weeks before heading to New York, where there were only 21 performances. But these days, it’s generally agreed that the unorthodox book—a wicked satire that includes a corrupt mayor, a bogus miracle, and a bevy of mental patients—was just ahead of its time. The score is sheer Sondheim brilliance, and the Prince has wisely decided to showcase it with full concert staging.
Ticket: Must-See: A Sondheim Jewel
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, January 2005