Arts & Entertainment

Westfield High School Presents ‘Anyone Can Whistle’

Cora Hoover Hooper (Madeline Rosenthal) is surrounded by Cora's "Boys" (Alex Cestero, Julian Mone, Tony Peter and Jack Ritter). Credits: Megan Blutfield
Treasurer Cooley (Daniel Coelho), Cora Hoover Hooper (Madeline Rosenthal) and Mrs. Schroeder (Jackie Daaleman) join in song after a local "miracle". Credits: Megan Blutfield
The cookies march onto the stage. Credits: Megan Blutfield
Comptroller Schub (Frank Guerriero) and Fay Apple (Kim Roth).   Credits: Megan Blutfield

WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield High Schoool Theatre Department will present Stephen Sondheim's 1964 musical “Anyone Can Whistle” March 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Westfield High School at 550 Dorian Road.

"Anyone Can Whistle" is a family-friendly musical that is part romantic comedy and part satire. It tells the tale of small-town mayor Cora Hoover Hopper (played by Madeline Rosenthal) whose scheme to profit from a local “miracle” is sidetracked by an idealistic nurse (played by Kim Roth), a charming doctor (played by Fraser Weist) and the patients of the town's mental hospital, known as the “cookies.”

Said one of the "cookies" herself, Freshmen Olivia Kuzman, “’Cookie’ is a term for people who are the rejects of society, when in reality they are the free-thinkers of the show. Everyone thinks they are crazy, but in reality it is the other way around and the other people have problems, and through the show they are trying to sort us out.”

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Director Daniel Devlin said “Anyone Can Whistle” has a melodic score packed with showstoppers and big dance numbers, but also delivers a message about the importance of individuals in a conformist society, “and our sometimes vague definition of sanity.”

“This show has pushed the cast to new limits and allowed us to improve as performers because of the unique and challenging music style. Everyone's putting in a lot of hard work and I think it's going to be another great WHS production,” said junior Marissa Alvarez who plays a rag person in the show.

WHS has earned a reputation as one of the most successful theater departments in the state, with the cast and crew of its spring musicals regularly among the top nominees for the Paper Mill Playhouse's prestigious Rising Star Awards.

Tickets for “Anyone Can Whistle,” which are reserved seating, are $12 each and can be purchased in advance at until 3 p.m. the day of the show. It is recommended to buy your tickets in advance, as the shows often sell out. Any tickets not sold in advance will be available for sale at the door.

In honor of the “cookies” that appear in the show, at each performance one lucky audience member will win a free tray of cookies, courtesy of Bovella's Pastry Shoppe in Westfield.

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