Anyone Can

By Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents

March 10, 2022 at 7:00PM | Carnegie Hall

MasterVoices | Ted Sperling, Conductor and Director

Music and Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Orchestrations by DON WALKER
Choreography by JOANN HUNTER

MasterVoices mourns the recent passing of master lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim. 

Better than buried treasure! Come rediscover a madcap, provocative, and weirdly romantic gem from the legendary Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents.

Narrated by Joanna Gleason and starring Vanessa Williams in the role of a corrupt mayoress (originally played by Angela Lansbury), who, with her three trusted henchmen (Douglas Sills, Eddie Cooper, Michael Mulheren) fakes a miracle to revitalize her bankrupt town. The zany plot includes an ill-fated romance between a rational nurse, out to expose the fraud (Elizabeth Stanley) and a chaos-loving doctor (Santino Fontana) who makes us question the very notion of sanity.

Rarely performed, this timely “satire on conformity” is also an exuberant musical comedy, filled with one showstopper after another and highlighting what Ben Brantley called Sondheim’s “gift for defining, in song, characters who are a hair’s breadth from nervous breakdowns.” Hit songs from the show include “Me and My Town,” “There Won’t Be Trumpets,” “Anyone Can Whistle,” “Everybody Says Don’t” and “With So Little to be Sure Of”… which is one of Sondheim’s own favorites.

Tickets on sale on December 13, 2021, and may be purchased online at, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800 or in person at Carnegie Hall’s box office at 57th and Seventh Avenue.

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MasterVoices’ “Anyone Can Whistle” – Press Release

Season artwork designed by Asia Pietrzyk

Artist Bios

Vanessa Williams, Cora Hoover Hooper

Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry today. Having sold millions of records worldwide, Vanessa has also achieved numerous #1 and Top 10 hits on various Billboard Album and Singles charts: Pop, Dance, R&B, Adult Contemporary, Holiday, Latin, Gospel and Jazz.

Her critically acclaimed work in film, television, recordings and the Broadway stage has been recognized by every major industry award affiliate including 4 Emmy nominations, 11 Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination, 3 SAG award nominations, 7 NAACP Image Awards and 3 Satellite Awards. Her platinum single “Colors of the Wind,” from the Disney’s Pocahontas, won the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Vanessa is a strong advocate for equal rights, especially concerning the gay community and minorities. She was honored with the Human Rights Campaign “Ally for Equality” Award for her humanitarian contributions. Vanessa also achieved a career pinnacle with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.

Vanessa’s autobiography, “You Have No Idea,” co-written with her mother Helen Williams, was a New York Times Best Seller in 2012. Her recent Broadway credits include co-starring with Cicely Tyson in The Trip to Bountiful, (the #1 play of the 2013 season), After Midnight (2014), and a special limited engagement in Hey, Look Me Over at New York City Center in 2018. Vanessa is currently in Josie Rourke’s City of Angels in London’s West End.

Vanessa is one of the world’s most accomplished concert artists, appearing regularly with the most prestigious symphony orchestras in the world, most recently with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center.

Vanessa is exclusively managed by Sterling Winters Company (SWC) / kathy ireland®​ Worldwide.

Santino Fontana, J. Bowden Hapgood

Santino Fontana has cemented himself as one of Broadway’s foremost leading men as well as a formidable screen talent. In 2019, Santino won the Tony Award for “Best Actor in a Musical” for his groundbreaking performance as “Michael Dorsey”/”Dorothy Michaels” in TOOTSIE. His dual-role also garnered him a Drama Desk and an Outer Critics Circle Award. He is widely known for lending his voice to the villainous ‘Prince Hans’ in Disney’s Academy Award winning animated feature, FROZEN. He was also seen in Universal Studio’s SISTERS, opposite Tina Fey & Amy Poehler. His independent film work includes the romantic comedy OFF THE MENU, psychological thriller IMPOSSIBLE MONSTERS, and comedy PAPERCOP, for which he won a Best Actor Award at the Williamsburg International Independent Film Festival.

On television, Santino will be seen in the upcoming season of THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL.  He also starred on The CW’s critically acclaimed hour-long musical comedy series, CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, as fan favorite ‘Greg.’ He also appeared on NBC’s drama series SHADES OF BLUE, opposite Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta. Other television credits include SINGULARITY, an FX pilot from producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and guest stars on FOSSE/VERDON, THE GOOD WIFE, NURSE JACKIE, BRAIN DEAD, MOZART IN THE JUNGLE, and ROYAL PAINS. He can also be seen in the popular web series, SUBMISSIONS ONLY.

One of Broadway’s brightest stars, Santino is highly regarded for his work onstage.  The New York Times wrote, “Santino Fontana [is] one of the most promising young actors to emerge in the New York theater in recent years.” Santino received a Tony Nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of “Prince Topher” in CINDERELLA. His other Broadway credits include his roles in Scott Rudin’s Tony-winning mega-hit, HELLO DOLLY! opposite Bernadette Peters, as “Moss Hart” in the Tony nominated ACT ONE opposite Tony Shalhoub, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Clarence Derwent Award), A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (Drama Desk Award), BILLY ELLIOT and SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. Santino won a Lucille Lortel Award, Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award for his acclaimed performance in Stephen Karam’s SONS OF THE PROPHET. He also starred as ‘John Adams’ in 1776, ‘Elliot Rosewater’ in GOD BLESS YOU, MR. ROSEWATER, and ‘Niko’ in ZORBA all for New York City Center Encores!.

As a vocalist, Santino won the renowned Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the age of 18.  He has performed in jazz venues such as Lincoln Center’s Appel Room and Birdland. As an orchestra soloist, Santino has sung at Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and other top tier venues with symphonies, big bands, and smaller ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, the New York Pops and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Elizabeth Stanley, Fay Apple

ELIZABETH STANLEY received 2020 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations and a 2020 Grammy Award for her performance in Jagged Little Pill, inspired by the music of Alanis Morissette. Ms. Stanley has dazzled Broadway audiences as Claire De Loone in the revival of On the Town (Drama Desk Nomination), Dyanne in Million Dollar Quartet, Allison in Cry-Baby, and April in the Tony Award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company. She appeared as Gussie in the revival of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along at City Center Encores! (PS Classics cast recording), The Nurse in Hello, Again (Transport, Drama League Award), Signature Theatre’s production of F**king A and Of Thee I Sing (MasterVoices, Carnegie Hall). She starred as Francesca in the First National Tour of Jason Robert Brown’s The Bridges of Madison County and as Kira in the First National Tour of Xanadu. Television guest-starring roles include “New Amsterdam”, “Blue Bloods”, “N0S482”, “FBI”, “The Affair,” “Black Box,” “Made in Jersey,” and “PBS Great Performances – Company.” She is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Douglas Sills, Comptroller Schub

DOUGLAS SILLS has starred on Broadway in War Paint, Living on Love, Little Shop of Horrors and in his Tony and Drama Desk nominated performance as The Scarlet Pimpernel. On the New York Stage Douglas appeared in Hey, Look Me Over, Lady Be Good, Music in the Air, Carnival (all for Encores), and Moonlight & Magnolias (MTC). He has toured the country starring in Addams Family, Secret Garden and Into the Woods, played numerous leading roles for the California Shakespeare Festival and appeared regionally at La Jolla, Long Wharf, Westport , The Kennedy Center, South Coast Rep, and Reprise LA. Douglas can currently be seen in the HBO series “The Gilded Age”. Other TV credits include “Christmas on the Square” for Netflix, “Chicago Justice,” “CSI,” “The Closer,” “Numb3rs,” and “Will & Grace.” Douglas can be seen in the feature films Erotic Fire of the Unattainable and Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo.

Eddie Cooper, Treasurer Cooley

EDDIE COOPER: NY- Classic Stage Company: Assassins, The Cradle Will Rock and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui all directed by John Doyle. Encores! Off Center: Promenade, Assassins, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater and Little Shop of Horrors. Atlantic Theater Company: This Ain’t No Disco. Bucks County Playhouse: The New World. Cleveland Playhouse: Little Shop of Horrors. Two River: All-male A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. TV: Russian Doll, Delco Proper, Forever, Mozart In The Jungle, Banshee, The Night Of and coming soon to Disney+ Better Nate than Ever. Proud graduate of Laguardia High School and Ithaca College. Thanks to my family and friends for their love and support. @MrEddieCooper

MICHAEL MULHEREN, Police Commissioner Magruder

Tony and Drama Desk Award nominee for Kiss Me Kate. Other Broadway: Bright Star, Spider-Man, Looped, The Farnsworth Invasion, Deuce, La Cage aux Folles, The Boy From Oz, Titanic, and On The Waterfront. Off-Broadway: Floyd Collins, The Fantasticks, and The Cocoanuts. Television: All NYC soaps, recurring roles on “Hightown,” “Salem,” “Person of Interest,” Rescue Me,” “Royal Pains,” and Law & Order.” Guest spots on “Gotham,” “The Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods,” and 20 other series. A baker’s dozens films by such directors as Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Richard Donner. Love always to Amanda, Conor, and Fiona.

Joanna Gleason, Narrator

Joanna Gleason has appeared in fifteen Broadway and Off-Broadway and Off-off Broadway shows, winning the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical in Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Into The Woods”. She has three Drama Desks, and two Outer Critics’ nominations and wins.
Other Broadway: “Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels”, “Joe Egg” “The Real Thing”, I Love My Wife”, “Nick And Nora”. Off-Broadway includes shows for The Public Theatre, (The Normal Heart)The Roundabout (Sons Of The Prophet), and Manhattan Theatre Club. (It’s Only A Play. Eleemosynary)
Film work includes Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hannah and Her Sisters; Boogie Nights, Last Vegas, The Skeleton Twins.
Television includes The Affair, West Wing, The Newsroom, Friends, Bette, Murphy Brown, Blue Bloods, and many more.

She can tango.
She has written and directed two films- “Morning Into Night” (a short) and the recently completed “The Grotto” (feature)

Ted Sperling, Conductor and Director

One of today’s leading musical artists, Tony Award-winning Maestro Ted Sperling is a classically trained musician whose career has spanned from the concert hall and the opera house to the Broadway stage. Presently Artistic Director of MasterVoices, he has led such symphony orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Boston Pops, San Diego Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, the Iceland Symphony, Czech National Symphony, and BBC Concert Orchestra, as well as New York City Opera and Houston Grand Opera. Formerly Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic, Mr. Sperling is a multi-faceted artist also known for his work as orchestrator, singer, pianist, violinist, violist, director, and music director.


Is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.