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Westfield HS Presents Sondheim's 'Anyone Can Whistle' Thurs-Sat

Townspeople confront J. Bowden Hapgood (Fraser Weist, center right) about the normal group and the miracle.  "Anyone Can Whistle" will be performed on Thursday, March 13; Friday, March 14; and Saturday, March 15.  All shows are at 7:30 p.m.
Townspeople confront J. Bowden Hapgood (Fraser Weist, center right) about the normal group and the miracle. "Anyone Can Whistle" will be performed on Thursday, March 13; Friday, March 14; and Saturday, March 15. All shows are at 7:30 p.m.
The Westfield High School Theatre Department is proud to present Stephen Sondheim's madcap 1964 musical "Anyone Can Whistle," a family-friendly musical that features a cast of more than 40 talented student performers. 

Performances will be Thursday, March 13; Friday, March 14; and Saturday, March 15. All shows are at 7:30 p.m. 

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

"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."

Westfield High School 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.

Roth, a senior, said "Anyone Can Whistle" is a challenging show to perform, but is confident that her training at WHS over the years has prepared for the role.  "I am beyond excited to work with so many talented actors and see how the audience reacts to one of Sondheim's most controversial works," she said.
 
The show also features Daniel Coelho as Treasurer Cooley, Colin Barry as Police Chief Magruder, and Frank Guerriero as Comptroller Schub, who aid the crooked Cora along with her chorus of "boys" played by Alex Cestero, Julian Mone, Tony Peer and Jack Ritter.

Other roles include Elena Arida as the Narrator; Connor Wynne as the Sandwich Man; Sophie Hurwitz as Baby Joan; Jackie Daaleman as Mrs. Schroeder; Jill Rosenfeld as Dr. Detmold; J.D. Kelly as George; Lauren Echausse as June; Michael Poyntz as John; Katherine Ko as Marta; Abbie Paone as Velma and Victoria Guerriero as Osgood.

Also appearing in various roles are Lizzy Allen, Luke Altman, Marissa Alvarez, Sarah Boyle, Catherine Bruno, Gabrielle Dunn, Alan Fang, Alex Frisch, Lucy Hale, Steve Heron, Maddie Hudelson, Alexandra Jackman, Hasitha Kakileti, Jack Kirkland, Olivia Kuzman, Victoria Napolitano, Meagan O'Connell, Andrew Orenberg, Megan Pinna, Lisa Morgan Simon, Sydney Stewart and Jesse Zimmermann.

Students play a large role in the "behind the scenes" production as well. The show's colorful set is being constructed by a crew of students under the direction of set designer Roy Chambers, an art teacher at the high school.

Samantha Gruskin is the show's stage manager, and Steven Bubniak and Matt Hopen are assistant stage managers. Jack Venezia and Hannah Mackenzie are assistant technical directors. Alex Palatucci is the show's graphic designer.  Hair and makeup is under the direction of Alexa Derman; Maddie Kevelson is the show's costume designer; and Ellie Smith is head of props. 

The lighting will once again be designed by Lisa and Michael Kimmel of Sharp Edge Lighting Design of Hoboken, with the assistance of student technical leaders Matt Binkowitz and Mary Kate Miller. The show's many dance numbers are being arranged by professional choreographer Samantha Hahn, with assistance from student dance captain Catherine Bruno.

The show also features a live orchestra of Westfield High School students, led by musical director John Brzozowski, a chorus teacher at the high school.

Tickets for "Anyone Can Whistle," which are reserved seating, are $12 each and can be purchased in advance at the web site www.ShowTix4U.com until 3 p.m. the day of the show. 

Advance purchases are recommended, since WHS shows often sell out. However, any tickets not sold in advance will be available for sale at the door. Questions can be emailed to WHStickets@Westfieldnjk12.org. 

All performances will be held in the auditorium of Westfield High School, located at 550 Dorian Road.

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 Bakery in Westfield. 

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