The story concerns a corrupt mayoress, an idealistic nurse, a man who may be a doctor, and various officials, patients and townspeople, all fighting to save a bankrupt town. This musical was Angela Lansbury's first stage musical role.

Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

L'intrigue se déroule dans une ville imaginaire qui a fait faillite. Elle raconte l'histoire de l'épouse impopulaire du maire, manipulatrice et corrompue, Cora Hoover Hooper et de l'infirmière un peu idéaliste, Fay Apple. L'épouse du maire avec ses vieux complices politiques inventent un miracle - de l'eau qui coule d'une pierre - ce qui devrait attirer les dollars des touristes ("Miracle Song). Ils sont défiés par Fay Apple, une infirmière sceptique du sanatorium local, le "Cookie Jar", qui projette d'utiliser ses malades pour réfuter le miracle. Les malades du "Cookie Jar " se mélangent avec la population locale, en créant chaos et confusion ("A-1 March"). J. Bowden Hapgood, un malade pris pour un psychiatre, divise la ville en deux groupes, les sains et les fous, mais refuse de divulguer lequel est lequel. L'infirmière Apple, déterminée à apprendre la vérité au sujet du "miracle", se déguise comme un enquêteur français ("Come Play Wiz Me"). Elle est attirée par Hapgood mais a peur ("Anyone Can Whistle"). Finalement, l'infirmière Apple expose l'avidité et le cynisme des fonctionnaires élus. Elle et Hapgood sont unis ("With So Little to Be Sure Of").
Le thème de l'histoire est que la "normalité" est un euphémisme pour maîtrise de soi, conformité et ordre, et sa morale est que le vrai miracle est simplement d'être vivant.

Synopsis complet

Quelques commentaires

Passionnée de travailler avec Laurents et Sondheim, Angela Lansbury a accepté le rôle principal, en dépit de ses fortes craintes au sujet du scénario et de sa capacité de chanter la partition. Lee Remick et Harry Guardino ont aussi accepté. Après plusieurs semaines de répétition à New York, la troupe a déménagé à Philadelphia pour une série pré-Broadway. Les critiques furent très dures et le public hostile, apostrophant les comédiens pendant le spectacle et sortant en masse. Le metteur en scène, Laurents, a décidé d'ignorer la critique concernant le message du spectacle jugé banal ou le côté absurde du spectacle qui le rend difficille à comprendre. Il a mis toute son énergie à modifier la mise en scène plutôt que de s'attaquer à des problèmes de fond. Un autre problème de cette production était que Harry Lascoe jettait de l'ombre sur Lansbury. La chose fut résolue de manière brutale et involontaire: Harry Lacoe fit une crise cardiaque en scène et fut remplacé.
Après de nombreuses révisions, le spectacle a ouvert à Broadway le 4 avril 1964 au Majestic Theatre où il a fermé après neuf représentations, incapable de se battre contre les critiques très négatives, à nouveau. Le chorégraphe Herbert Ross a reçu la seule nomination du spectacle à un Tony Award. Mais le spectacle est devenu culte pour beaucoup. Un enregistrement tronqué est sorti chez Columbia qui s'est bien vendu auprès des fans de Sondheim et de muiscals en général. "There Won't Be Trumpets", coupé durant les previews, est devenu un hit dans bon nombre de cabarets.

Particularités

1 Anyone can whistle peut-être considéré comme un Flop musical

 

Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

Création)
The show was first announced in The New York Times on October 5, 1961: "For the winter of 1962, {Arthur Laurents} is nurturing another musical project, The Natives Are Restless. The narrative and staging will be Mr. Laurent's handiwork; music and lyrics that of Stephen Sondheim. A meager description was furnished by Mr. Laurents, who refused to elaborate. Although the title might indicate otherwise, it is indigenous in content and contemporary in scope. No producer yet." No news of the show appeared until July 14, 1963, in an article in The New York Times about Kermit Bloomgarden, where it discussed the four shows he was producing for the coming season; two were maybes, two were definite. One of the latter being a Sondheim-Laurents musical (now named Side Show). In a letter to Bloomgarden from Laurents, he wrote, "I beg you not to mention the money problems or any difficulties to Steve anymore. It depresses him terribly and makes it terribly difficult for him to work... It is damn hard to concentrate ... when all the atmosphere is filled with gloom and forebodings about will the show get the money to go on? ... Spare him the gory details." This behavior is considered unusual for Laurents, which runs contrary to his current reputation. Sondheim discovered that Laurents hated doing backers' auditions and he took over that responsibility, playing and singing more than 30. They found 115 investors to back the $350,000 production, including Richard Rodgers and Sondheim's father.

Eager to work with both Laurents and Sondheim, Angela Lansbury accepted the lead role as Mayoress Cora Hoover Hooper, despite her strong misgivings about the script and her ability to handle the score. Also signed were Lee Remick as Nurse Fay Apple and Harry Guardino as Hapgood. Laurents had wanted Barbra Streisand for the role of Fay, but she turned it down to star in Funny Girl. Following several weeks of rehearsals in New York City, the company moved to Philadelphia for a pre-Broadway tryout period. The reviews were brutal and the audiences hostile, talking back to the cast and walking out in droves. Director Laurents, ignoring criticism about the show's message being trite and its absurdist style difficult to comprehend, poured his energies into restaging rather than dealing with the crux of the problem. Also hampering the production was the fact that Lansbury was being overshadowed by actor Henry Lascoe (whose sudden death of a heart attack on stage, in California while taping a TV episode of "Day in Court", resolved that problem in an unexpected way).

Productions
After multiple revisions, the show opened on Broadway on April 4, 1964 at the Majestic Theatre, where it closed after 9 performances and 12 previews, unable to overcome the generally negative reviews it had received. Scenic design was by William and Jean Eckart, costume design by Theoni V. Aldredge, and lighting design by Jules Fisher.Choreographer Herbert Ross received the show's sole Tony Award nomination.
The show became a cult favorite, and a truncated original cast recording released by Columbia Records sold well among Sondheim fans and musical theatre buffs. "There Won't Be Trumpets," a song cut during previews, has become a favorite of cabaret performers.
On April 8, 1995, a staged concert was held at Carnegie Hall in New York City as a benefit for the Gay Men's Health Crisis. The concert was recorded by Columbia Records, preserving for the first time musical passages and numbers not included on the original Broadway cast recording. (For example, the cut song "It's Always A Woman" was included at this concert.) Lansbury served as narrator, with Madeline Kahn as Cora, Bernadette Peters as Fay, and Scott Bakula as Hapgood. Additional cast included Chip Zien, Ken Page, and Harvey Evans, the only original cast member to reprise his role.
In 2003, Sony reissued the original Broadway cast recording on compact disc. Two revivals were staged that year, one in London, at the Bridewell Theatre, and one in Los Angeles, at the Matrix Theatre.
The Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, Illinois presented a staged concert on August 26 and 27, 2005, with Audra McDonald (Fay), Michael Cerveris (Hapgood) and Patti LuPone (Cora).
On January 11, 2008, Talk Is Free Theatre presented the Canadian professional premiere (in concert) at the Gryphon Theatre in Barrie, Ontario, with a fundraiser performance on January 13 at the Diesel Playhouse in Toronto, Ontario. It starred Adam Brazier as Hapgood, Kate Hennig as Cora, Blythe Wilson as Fay, and Richard Ouzounian as Narrator, who also served as director. Choreography was by Sam Strasfeld. Additional cast included Juan Chioran as Comptroller Shub, Jonathan Monro as Treasurer Cooley, and Mark Harapiak as Chief Magruder. Musical direction was provided by Wayne Gwillim.
New York City Center Encores! presented a staged concert from April 8 through April 11, 2010, with Sutton Foster as Nurse Fay Apple, Donna Murphy as Mayoress Cora Hoover Hooper, and Raul Esparza as Hapgood, with direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw. The production was the second most attended in Encores! history, and Stephen Sondheim was present at the post-matinee talkback on April 10.
A London production of Anyone can Whistle opened at the Jermyn Street Studio Theatre, London, in association with Primavera Productions, running from March 10, 2010 to April 17, 2010. The director is Tom Littler, with Musical Director Tom Attwood, and a cast that includes Issy van Randwyck (Mayoress), Rosalie Craig (Nurse Fay Apple) and David Ricardo-Pearce (Hapgood).

 

Détails

Liste des chansons

Acte I
I'm Like the Bluebird—Company
Me and My Town—Cora Hoover Hooper and Boys
Miracle Song—Cora Hoover Hooper, Treasurer Cooley, Townspeople, Tourists and Pilgrims
Simple—J. Bowden Hapgood and Company
Acte I
A-1 March—Company
Come Play Wiz Me—Fay Apple, J. Bowden Hapgood and Boys
Anyone Can Whistle—Fay Apple
A Parade In Town—Cora Hoover Hooper
Everybody Says Don't—J. Bowden Hapgood
Acte I
I've Got You to Lean On—Cora Hoover Hooper, Comptroller Schub, Treasurer Cooley, Chief Magruder and Boys
See What It Gets You—Fay Apple
The Cookie Chase
With So Little to Be Sure Of—Fay Apple and J. Bowden Hapgood
Finale—Company

There Won't Be Trumpets" was cut from the original production. It was recorded for the original Broadway cast recording but not included on the LP release; it was reinstated on a later CD release. The song is still included in the officially licensed scripts and scores for performance.[11]
Added in the 1995 concert: "There Won't Be Trumpets"--Fay Apple; "There's Always A Woman"--Fay Apple and Cora

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Versions du musical

Versions majeures de Anyone can whistle

Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Anyone can whistle

 

Multimedia on-line

Vidéos on-line

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Principaux CD du musical

1) 1964-03-Original Broadway Cast

2) 1995-04-Carnegie Hall Concert Cast



Liste détaillée des principaux CD

 

Captations du musical