When I saw that this show was next on my list to write about, I had only listened to the original cast album once through. I told myself, "It's a Sondheim show. You can't say anything about this after one listen. It deserves repeated listenings." Thus began My Week With Anyone Can Whistle.
The original show ran for 9 performances on Broadway. There haven't been any Broadway revivals, although there was a very successful concert in 1995 and an Encores! staged reading a few years ago. Some international productions have taken place. People don't do it that often, it seems.
You can hear everything Sondheim would evolve into in this musical. It is funny and weird and complex and smart. It is VERY ahead of its time.
I spent MOST of my time listening to the 1995 concert recording because it's complete (the OBC recording was missing half the songs and sounds horribly dated). It stars Madeline Kahn and Bernadette Peters and they are both fantastic. I wish there was video recording. It's so good.
The song There's Always a Woman (how was this CUT from the original recording???) is now one of my favorite musical theatre songs. You can hear the ghost of it's future (Pretty Women from Sweeney Todd) in the orchestrations. It also would basically require you to ignore the orchestrations as a singer and trust yourself as a musician. Everybody Says Don't is basically a perfect patter song, that, depending on your current mindset and emotional state, could have you feeling extremely passionate towards your life goals. And the song Anyone Can Whistle can break your heart if you give it a chance. GIVE IT A CHANCE!!!
I mean, at least for me, Stephen Sondheim is just IT. I am so glad I gave this the time it deserves (it deserves even more time, but this was at least enough time for me to form some basic understanding).
Anyone Can Whistle
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents