REVIEW ROUNDUP: Anyone Can Whistle Revival Opens at London's Jermyn Street Theatre
The 1964 musical satirizes any and every target on the American cultural scene of the moment, including conformity, psychology, race relations, greed, religion and politics. The company features Issy van Randwyck (Cora), Rosalie Craig (Fay Apple), David Ricardo-Pearce (Hapgood), Alistair Robins (Schub), Leo Andrew (Cooley), and Karl Moffatt (Magruder), along with Richard Colvin, Sophie Jugé, Lloyd Gorman, Deborah Hewitt, Elizabeth Reid, Rhiannon Sommers, and Nick Trumble. Jessica Adair and Martha Tipper alternate the role of Baby Joan.
The creative team includes Morgan Large (scenic design), Christopher Nairne (lighting design), and Emily Stuart (costume design).
In their reviews, critics are finding both of the show's leading ladies worthy of praise, but have mixed feelings about the show itself and Tom Littler's production.
Among the reviews are:
Anyone Can Whistle at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London SW1
"It has things going for it, most of all a score that features some great tunes: Everybody Says Don't, There Won't Be Trumpets and a title song that's affecting, clever and catchy. Littler's revival has some spirited performances from a cast of 16 that also doubles as the house band."
"It's too fizzing with ideas, good and bad, to be dull. But they don't really join up, so there's a slightly end-of-term-play feel about it all. Commendable ambition. Middling results."
Anyone Can Whiste
"As Cora, Issy Van Randwyck slithers around the stage swathed in scarlet, oozing charm and beguiling her audience. Randwyck's casting here is immaculate and from the moment she sings out Me and My Town, we know Sondheim is taking a wry sideswipe at musical theatre of the time."
"Rosalie Craig plays the complex role of Fay with conviction, slipping smoothly between sceptical nurse and Gallic vixen with aplomb and brings a lift to the proceedings with her hilarious Come Play Wiz Me routine. "
"Director Tom Littler should be very proud of the team he has pulled together for this excellent production, not only a talented cast but also intuitive musical director Tom Attwood and costume designer Emily Stuart, whose work help narrate the story beautifully."
Anyone Can Whistle
"While three or four songs short of a good score, the nurse Fay Apple's three items - "There Won't Be Trumpets," "Anyone Can Whistle" and "Take One Step" - are alone worth the ticket price, and Rosalie Craig despatches them beautifully."
"But even [Craig] is upstaged by a knock-out turn from Issy van Randwyck, shimmering with bitchy malice in a red gown and perfect coiffure, and articulating with the precise savagery of a square-jawed cobra, as the wicked mayoress, Cora Hooper (the Lansbury role), who hoodwinks her townsfolk in the middle of the Depression with false promises and fake miracles."