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AuthorMessage: ANYONE CAN WHISTLE at New Line Theatre
Posted by: newchaz64

On: 5/23/2001 at 1:30:24 PM GMT

Message #: 119

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ST. LOUIS, May 1, 2001 . . . New Line Theatre's tenth season of outrageous,
provocative, critically acclaimed, alternative musical theatre continues in
June with Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents' hilarious, rarely produced,
ground-breaking Broadway musical farce ANYONE CAN WHISTLE, June 14-30, at the
Art Loft Theatre, 1529 Washington, in St. Louis.

New Line is delighted to finally present the wicked comic genius of Sondheim
and Laurents' irreverent, gleefully crazed Anyone Can Whistle, a show that
was waaaay too far ahead of its time when it first played Broadway in the
early 1960s. In fact, audiences were so offended by it, the show ran for only
nine performances (a run New Line will equal in June). Most of the critics
simply couldn't make heads or tails of it, but a few realized what they were
seeing. Writing in the New York World Telegram & Sun in 1964, critic Norman
Nadel said, "Were I a less inhibited creature, I'd spend the next month
hurling roses at the Majestic Theatre [where Anyone Can Whistle opened]. . .
You have no idea how many breath-taking surprises are in store for you in the
Arthur Laurents-Stephen Sondheim musical. At a time when even the good
musicals look a little or a lot like something out of a recent season, it is
exciting to encounter one so spectacularly original."

Sondheim went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and write the scores for Company,
Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Passion, Assassins (all of which New Line has
produced), and other masterpieces. Stephen Sondheim is also an honorary
member of the New Line Theatre board of directors. Laurents also wrote the
books for Gypsy and West Side Story, among other shows.

As they set to work writing Whistle, Arthur Laurents said, "This will be
something very different in musicals, very strange and zany. It will be
contemporary, satirical and kind of far-out." And ever since it first opened,
no one has known just what to make of the rule-busting, convention-shattering
Anyone Can Whistle, but in typical New Line fashion, we charge headlong and
eyes closed into this wacky tale of fake miracles, escaped lunatics, corrupt
politicians, tourism, racism, psychotherapy, and good ol' true love. Taking
well-aimed pot shots at everything America holds dear, it comes up with some
very surprising and somewhat unsettling parallels to our own recent city
politics here in St. Louis. It's one of the funniest and most subversive
musicals ever written for Broadway -- not equaled until the current Broadway
smash hit The Producers.

Marcus Aurelius once said, "The object of life is not to be on the side of
the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."
Anyone Can Whistle explores notions of conformity and the collective insanity
of the majority as it weaves its tale of Mayoress Cora Hoover Hooper and her
corrupt town council, who fake a miracle -- water spouting from a rock -- in
order to boost tourism and save their bankrupt town. But when Nurse Fay Apple
shows up with the patients from the local asylum, the Cookie Jar, the town
council realizes the Cookies' failure to be cured by the "miracle waters"
will expose their scam. So they turn to the new doctor in town, J. Bowden
Hapgood, to save their "miracle" and save the town. But Hapgood has some
secrets of his own and unraveling the tangle of all this is the wicked fun of
Anyone Can Whistle.

New Line Theatre is a professional company dedicated to involving the people
of the St. Louis area in the exploration and creation of innovative,
provocative, issue-oriented works of the musical theatre. New Line receives
funding from the Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council, a state
agency, and the Arts & Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

Anyone Can Whistle will be presented at the Art Loft Theatre, 1529 Washington
at 15th Street, in St. Louis, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at
8:00 p.m., June 14-30. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students, and
are available now through all Metrotix outlets, including Famous Barr stores,
Streetside Records, and select Schnucks Video Clubs. To charge tickets by
phone, call 314-534-1111. All programs are subject to change. For more info,
visit New Line Theatre's full-service website at or
call us at 314-773-6526.
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