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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle

Jibl
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#1
Posted: 5/4/20 at 7:51pm
Does anybody remember an off brodway revival of Anyone Can Whistle Off besides the ones at York Theatre, Encores at City Center, or Carnegie Hall ? I remember seeing a small production but can find any trace of it existing when I search online
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joevitus
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joined:7/10/19
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#2
Posted: 5/4/20 at 10:57pm

Love seeing this referred to as "old." Not wrong, just amusing to read (I was in my 20's when it happened). There was a cast recording released. Bernadette Peters as Nurse Apple, Madeleine Kahn as Cora, and Scott Bakula as Hapgood. Only Peters had the voice for it. There were new orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick (neither better nor worse than the original by Don Walker). Angela Lansbury, who narrated, had a cute line about having "once been a mayoress of a similar town for a very shot term." The cd is likely still available, if the recording can't be found on iTunes. 

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Broadway Bob*
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joined:9/21/05
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#3
Posted: 5/5/20 at 11:38am

joevitus said: "Love seeing this referred to as "old." Not wrong, just amusing to read (I was in my 20's when it happened). There was a cast recording released. Bernadette Peters as Nurse Apple, Madeleine Kahn as Cora, and Scott Bakula as Hapgood. Only Peters had the voice for it. There were new orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick (neither better nor worse than the original by Don Walker).Angela Lansbury, who narrated, had a cute line about having "once been a mayoress of a similar town for a very shot term." The cd is likely still available, if the recording can't be foundon iTunes."

This wasn't a cast recording of a production. It was a live recording of the Carnegie Hall concert referred to in the original post. A GREAT and fun recording, though! One I listened to endlessly in my car when it first came out. It was my first introduction to the show.

<-- Tevye, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, March 2018
matt1982
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joined:2/3/12
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#4
Posted: 5/5/20 at 12:01pm

Jibl said: "Does anybody remember an off brodway revival of Anyone Can Whistle Off besides the ones at York Theatre, Encores at City Center, or Carnegie Hall ? I remember seeing a small production but can find any trace of it existing when I search online"

The now defunct Prince Music Theatre in Philly did a production maybe 15 or 16 years ago.  Jane Summerhays starred as the Mayor.  I don't remember much else about the production.  

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qolbinau
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joined:6/29/08
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#5
Posted: 5/5/20 at 12:03pm

joevitus said: "Love seeing this referred to as "old." Not wrong, just amusing to read (I was in my 20's when it happened). There was a cast recording released. Bernadette Peters as Nurse Apple, Madeleine Kahn as Cora, and Scott Bakula as Hapgood. Only Peters had the voice for it. There were new orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick (neither better nor worse than the original by Don Walker).Angela Lansbury, who narrated, had a cute line about having "once been a mayoress of a similar town for a very shot term." The cd is likely still available, if the recording can't be foundon iTunes."

I frequently listen to Bernadette's tracks, but I do find it very hard to find something to like about the rest of the cast - especially Kahn. Is there anything here anyone can say to help me appreciate Kahn's performance? It's hard to not just want to go back to Lansbury.

"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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ljay889
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joined:8/4/04
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#6
Posted: 5/5/20 at 12:21pm
I always disliked how Kahn sang the big notes in head voice. Lansbury belted her butt off in the original, some notes were even a bit out of her range.

The OP isn’t referring to this concert though.
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joevitus
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#7
Posted: 5/5/20 at 1:29pm

qolbinau said: "joevitus said: "Love seeing this referred to as "old." Not wrong, just amusing to read (I was in my 20's when it happened). There was a cast recording released. Bernadette Peters as Nurse Apple, Madeleine Kahn as Cora, and Scott Bakula as Hapgood. Only Peters had the voice for it. There were new orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick (neither better nor worse than the original by Don Walker).Angela Lansbury, who narrated, had a cute line about having "once been a mayoress of a similar town for a very shot term." The cd is likely still available, if the recording can't be foundon iTunes."

I frequently listen to Bernadette's tracks, but I do find it very hard to find something to like about the rest of the cast - especially Kahn. Is there anything here anyone can say to help me appreciate Kahn's performance? It's hard to not just want to go back to Lansbury.
"

Well, she might already have been sick at that point with the cancer that would sadly kill her, so that may be the issue. Although, she was infamous for just putting almost nothing into live performances unless they were opening nights (Prince says she's why On the Twentieth Century didn't have a long run). The tempos for her songs are sluggish, and she doesn't seem grasp the satire (even of the musical styles that are being satirized, and that she was surely familiar with). It's just an awful performance. 

Lilapip
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joined:1/11/06
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#8
Posted: 5/5/20 at 2:37pm
That's not my screen name. Wonder what I was thinking at the time.

The production with Scott Bakula was a benefit for Broadway Cares /Equity Fights Aids. It took place in April of 1995 on a weekend when I had previously planned to go to New York from Boston so that was convenient. We were in the nosebleed seats, left obstructed which means you can't see half the stage - through the floor. I think that a friend of mine had seats where you could see and paid 150 or $200 but they were pretty far in the back.
there were a bunch of very kind people sitting behind the bunch of us who said that it was okay if we stood up, through the performance, so we could see.

One of us saw Scott behind the bleachers which were for the chorus, pacing, and our section watched him. We looked like we were at a tennis game.

I can't speak to the vocal quality of anyone, however, years later after Scott took voice lessons oh, his father said that's now he had "a real Broadway voice" and he wasn't just faking It. Faking It is a paraphrase cause I don't remember. I was not friends with his father, just a fan of Scott. But he was quite a charming man.
So if his voice wasn't up to it at the time, and I don't know, I'm sure it would be now. It's been years since I've seen him sing. Got wiped out by the last recession, before the days when you had to remove your shoes in order to get through TSA.

I heard that the producers held out until almost the last possible moment trying to get Scott who couldn't commit to the performance because he was working on a pilot at the time. But they finally got him. I can't give you a source for that. And I don't know about the other performers. I know who they were. They also included Chip Zien from the sitcom Almost Perfect
Jibl
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joined:11/9/19
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#9
Posted: 5/5/20 at 7:19pm
That concert isn't 'old' to me either :) - I
was looking for a staged production after the 1980s one at the York theater and before the Encores production.

I cant find any trace of it, so either Im confused and actually saw the one that the York did or saw one that wasnt actually an equity production even though it was in NYC
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imeldasturn
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#10
Posted: 5/5/20 at 7:30pm

Not entirely related, but in 1980 there was a production in Stockbridge with George Hearn and Mary Louise Wilson and god I would have loved to see them in those roles.

Updated On: 5/7/20 at 07:30 PM
barberg
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joined:5/11/03
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#11
Posted: 5/5/20 at 8:01pm

You're not confused. I remember this too, though unfortunately I don't remember when it was, or really anything about the production itself.

I think the company that produced it was called Opening Doors (or something like that), and they did a couple of other shows as part of a series. One of them may have been a Cole Porter revue, and possibly also a production of Oh! Coward!

The venue may have been the 45th Street Theater (between 8th and 9th Aves, more recently known as the Davenport Theater.

mamaleh
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#12
Posted: 5/5/20 at 8:40pm
That 1980 Stockbridge production was my real introduction to Anyone Can Whistle. I had heard the OCR, of course, but always wondered how certain songs and scenes would be staged. Up at Stockbridge I remember being amazed by the complicated Group 1, Group A “Cookie” ballet number. Wow. That great weekend was capped off with a visit to the nearby Norman Rockwell Museum. Nice memory.
Jibl
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joined:11/9/19
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#13
Posted: 5/7/20 at 7:04am

Thank you Barberg, Im relieved to know I wasnt just having a reverse senior moment.

Updated On: 5/7/20 at 07:04 AM
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devonian.t
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Old revival of Anyone Can Whistle#14
Posted: 5/7/20 at 10:01am

I truly believe Anyone Can Whistle's "cynicism" would be considered almost charming in this cynical age.  Rather like 'Chicago'- what's all the fuss about?

So many great songs in this show, one day its time will come.