Show History



An entirely original musical with little reference to other source material. Sondheim stated in a talkback after the 2010 Encores! City Center production that the storyline was, in fact, meant to mock the conformity of the Eisenhower era; a time when the growth of the suburbs boomed and a desire for comfort, security and material goods like that of your neighbors became a much more common and achievable dream.


Anyone Can Whistle first opened at the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia on March 2, 1964, where it ran as a three-week engagement in part of its pre-Broadway, out-of-town tour. Although it would be the third collaboration for creators, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, it would mark only the second time that Sondheim was credited as both composer and lyricist.

Anyone Can Whistle headed to New York City shortly thereafter, premiering at Broadway's Majestic Theatre on April 4, 1964. The opening night cast included Angela Lansbury, Harry Guardino and Lee Remick.

The show closed after only nine performances and twelve previews. It has since become a cult classic and gone on to many successful runs regionally and internationally, including such high-profile stagings as two recent revivals in London's West End in 2003 and 2010, along with productions at the Matrix Theatre of Los Angeles, NYC's Carnegie Hall, Chicago's Ravinia Festival and as a part of the 2010 Encore! Concert Series.