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Musicals That Said So Much: Anyone Can Whistle

Musicals That Said So Much: Anyone Can Whistle

Since COVID the only song that has been in my head has been “Everybody Says Don’t ” from Anyone Can Whistle. The other night I saw a concert version of the musical Parade and I knew I needed to do a series of shows that were just too ahead of their time. These shows told a truth or truths that the world was not ready to accept.

Anyone Can Whistle was a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents. A satire on conformity and the insanity of the so-called sane. The show’s Mayoress, is corrupt and in an attempt to draw tourists, she decides to create a fake “miracle”. This attracts Fay Apple, an emotionally inhibited nurse, a crowd of inmates from a local asylum called “The Cookie Jar,” and a “doctor” with secrets of his own.

The show opened at the Majestic Theater on Broadway on April 4, 1964 and closed after a run of 12 previews and 9 performances due to its profound message the world was not ready to hear. The show marked the stage musical debut of Angela Lansbury.

On April 8, 1995, a staged concert was held at Carnegie Hall as a benefit for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis was recorded by Columbia Records. Included was the cut song “There’s Always A Woman”. Lansbury served as narrator, with Madeline Kahn as Cora, Bernadette Peters as Fay, and Scott Bakula as Hapgood. Additional cast included Chip Zien, Ken Page, and Harvey Evans, the only original cast member to reprise his original role.

The most important part of the whole show is when Cora warns that she will arrest forty-nine people, normal or not, if Fay, doesn’t help. The names are Susan B Anthony, Herman Brecht, Chaplin, Dillinger, Fraud, Gandhi, Ibsen, Mozart and more.

Word comes of a new miracle, two towns over, of a statue with a warm heart. When true love is embrace, the real miracle happens.

Everybody Says Don’t
Everybody Says Don’t
Everybody Says Don’t It Isn’t Right
Don’t Is Isn’t Nice
Everybody Says Don’t
Everybody Says Don’t
Everybody Says Don’t Walk On The Grass
Don’t Disturb The Peace
Don’t Skate On The Ice
Well I Say Do I Say
Walk On The Grass It Was Meant To Feel I Say Sail Till To The Windmill
And If You Fail You Fail
Everybody Says Don’t
Everybody Says Don’t
Everybody Says Don’t Get Out Of Line
When They Say That Than Lady That’s A Sign
No Times Out Of Ten
Lady You’re Doing Just Fine
Make Just A Ripple Come On Be Brave
This Time A Ripple Next Time A Wave
Sometimes You Have To Start Small
Climbing The Tiniest Wall
Maybe You’re Going To Fall
But It Is Better Than Not Starting At All
Everybody Says No Stop
Musn’t Rock The Boat Musn’t Touch A Thing
Everybody Says Don’t
Everybody Says Wait
Everybody Says Can’t Fight Cityhall
Can’t Upset The Court
Can’t Laugh At The King
Well I Say Try I Say
Laugh At The King Or He’ll Make You Cry
Loose Your Poise
Fall If You Have To But Lady Make A Noise
Everybody Says Don’t
Everybody Says Can’t
Everybody Says Wait Around For Miracles
That’s The Way The World Is Madei Insist On Miracles
If You Do The Miracles Nothing To Them
I Say Don’t
Don’t Be Afraid!


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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