Stage and screen star Vanessa Williams starred 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 was conducted and directed by MasterVoices Artistic Director Ted Sperling.
Into the Woods Tony winner Joanna Gleason was the evening's narrator, with a supporting cast that included Tony winner Santino Fontana, Elizabeth Stanley, Douglas Sills, Eddie Cooper, and Michael Mulheren, along with the MasterVoices ensemble.
Williams starred as Cora Hoover Hooper, the mayor of a struggling town who concocts a fake miracle to make headlines and attract tourists.
Check out photos from the evening below:
MasterVoices recorded the concert with hopes for a future release.
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 headed a creative team for the event that included 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.