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Anyone Can Whistle: Encores! announce cast

Raúl Esparza, Edward Hibbert, Jeff Blumenkrantz and John Ellison Conlee will join the presviously announced Donna Murphy and Sutton Foster in Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents' Anyone Can Whistle, the final New York City Center Encores! production of the 2009-2010 season.

Anyone Can Whistle, running for five performances from 8 - 11 Apr 2010, will be directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw with musical direction by Rob Berman.

The cast (as of March 17) also includes Clyde Alves, Tanya Birl, Holly Ann Butler, J. Austin Eyer, Sara Ford, Lisa Gajda, Stephanie Gibson, Linda Griffin, Karen Hyland, Natalie King, Grasan Kingsberry, Max Kumangai, Michael Marcotte, Joseph Medeiros, Denny Paschall, Monica L. Patton, Steve Schepis, Eric Sciotto, Tally Sessions, Brian Shepard, Dana Steingold, Brandon Tyler, Anthony Wayne and Patrick Wetzel.

The musical features set design by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Gregg Barnes, lighting by Ken Billington and sound by Leon Rothenberg.

Anyone Can Whistle: Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents' 1964 experimental satire of any and every target on the American cultural scene of the moment - conformity, psychology, race relations, greed, religion and politics closed after a brief run, becoming an instant legend that has grown over the years as Sondheim's reputation has soared.

Anyone Can Whistle is set in an imaginary town that has gone bankrupt, it focuses on the unpopular, manipulative and corrupt mayoress, Cora Hoover Hooper and the practical but idealistic nurse, Fay Apple. Mayoress Cora Hoover Hooper together with her political cronies fakes a miracle—water flowing from a rock—that they think will attract tourist dollars ("Miracle Song"). They find themselves challenged by skeptical Fay Apple, a nurse at the local sanitarium, the "Cookie Jar", who intends to use her patients to disprove the claim.

Anyone Can Whistle opened on 4 Apr 1964 at the Majestic Theatre, starring Angela Lansbury, Lee Remick and Harry Guardino, directed by Arthur Laurents, and ran for 12 previews and 9 regular performances.


Jeff Blumenkrantz (Treasurer Cooley) has appeared on Broadway in 'A Class Act,' 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,' 'Damn Yankees,' '3 Penny Opera' and 'Into the Woods.' He was nominated for a Tony Award for his contribution to the score of 'Urban Cowboy.'

John Ellison Conlee (Police Chief Magruder) was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in 'The Full Monty.' His other Broadway credits include 'The Constant Wife' and '1776.' Conlee was last seen at City Center in the Encores! production of 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.'

Raúl Esparza (J. Bowden Hapgood) was nominated for Tony awards for his performances in 'Speed-the-Plow,' 'The Homecoming,' 'Company' and 'Taboo.' His other Broadway credits include 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,' 'Chess,' 'The Rocky Horror Show' and 'Cabaret.'

Edward Hibbert's (Comptroller Schub) many Broadway credits include 'Curtains,' 'The Drowsy Chaperone,' 'Noises Off,' 'The Green Bird,' 'Me and My Girl' and 'Marlene.' He was last seen at City Center in the Encores! production of 'Lady In The Dark.'

Sutton Foster (Nurse Fay Apple) won the Tony Award for 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' and has been nominated for Tony Awards for 'Shrek,' 'The Drowsy Chaperone' and 'Little Women.' Her other Broadway credits include 'Young Frankenstein,' 'Les Misérables,' 'Annie,' 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' and 'Grease.'

Donna Murphy (Cora Hoover Hooper) won Tony Awards for her performances as 'Fosca' in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's 'Passion' and as 'Anna' in 'The King and I.' She was nominated for Tony Awards for 'Lovemusik' and 'Wonderful Town,' a performance she originated in the City Center Encores! production. Her Broadway credits include 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood,' 'The Human Comedy' and 'They're Playing Our Song.'

Casey Nicholaw was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Choreography for Monty Python's 'Spamalot' and also for his direction and choreography of 'The Drowsy Chaperone.' Other New York credits include 'Candide,' starring Patti LuPone and Kristin Chenoweth for the New York Philharmonic (shown on PBS' Great Performances), and 'South Pacific' at Carnegie Hall, with Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell (also on PBS' Great Performances). His previous Encores! credits include director/choreographer of 'Follies,' the musical staging of 'Can-Can' and choreography for 'Bye Bye Birdie.' Upcoming projects include the new musicals 'Minsky's,' 'Elf' and 'Robin and the 7 Hoods.'

Rob Berman (Music Director) has been music director of the Encores! series for three seasons and has conducted 'Stairway to Paradise,' 'Damn Yankees,' 'Music in the Air,' 'Applause' and 'Finian's Rainbow,' which he also conducted in its Broadway transfer of 'Finian's Rainbow' at the St. James Theater. Other Broadway credits include 'Irving Berlin's White Christmas,' for which he serves as music supervisor, the Tony Award-winning revival of 'The Pajama Game' and 'Wonderful Town.'

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