Stage and screen star Vanessa Williams stars in MasterVoice's one-night-only concert presentation of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents' seldom-seen musical Anyone Can Whistle at New York City's Carnegie Hall March 10. The event is conducted and directed by MasterVoices Artistic Director Ted Sperling.
Into the Woods Tony winner Joanna Gleason is the evening's narrator, with a supporting cast that comprises Tony winner Santino Fontana, Elizabeth Stanley, Douglas Sills, Eddie Cooper, and Michael Mulheren, along with the MasterVoices ensemble.
MasterVoices is recording the concert with hopes for a future release.
Williams stars as Cora Hoover Hooper, the mayor of a struggling town who concocts a fake miracle to make headlines and attract tourists.
Anyone Can Whistle premiered on Broadway in 1964 with a cast led by Angela Lansbury, running just 21 performances. Though seldom performed today, the Sondheim score introduced a number of songs that have become Sondheim favorites, including "There Won't Be Trumpets," "Anyone Can Whistle," "Everybody Says Don't," and "With So Little to Be Sure Of."
Sperling heads a creative team for the event that includes choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter, lighting designer Aaron Tacy, sound designer Marc Salzberg, and costume coordinator Tracy Christensen.
"MasterVoices mourns the recent passing of the irreplaceable Stephen Sondheim," shared Sperling in an earlier statement. "Steve was a friend, a great colleague, and a mentor. He was delighted we were revisiting Anyone Can Whistle, which has one of his favorite songs, ‘With So Little to Be Sure Of,’ and he had agreed to help us with the project. ... [W]e know his spirit will be with us as we bring his and Arthur's work back to the stage."
MasterVoices' 2021-2022 season concludes this June with Songs for a Summer Night, set to feature Tariq Al-Sabir and West Side Story star Shereen Pimentel. The date and venue for this concert will be announced in the coming weeks.