Okay, so sometimes the performances have been better than the works themselves: no matter; Ravinia’s five-year “Sondheim 75” series has been a gas for performers and audiences alike, and it’s a shame to see it all come to an end this year with the staging of one of the most obscure works of the Sondheim canon, “Anyone Can Whistle.” Despite having been financed by Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin and Frank Loesser, among others, the 1964 work closed after a mere nine performances on Broadway and has been staunchly defended by Sondheim aficionados as having been too far ahead of its time ever since. Never having been given the opportunity to achieve the popularity of his later works, stagings are infrequent and so with Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald and Michael Cerveris all back, if anyone can make this piece “sing,” as it were, they can. John Mahoney narrates and Sondheim himself will be on hand for a pre-concert pavilion discussion an hour before the Friday evening curtain. (Dennis Polkow)
8pm, August 26, 7:30pm, August 27, Ravinia Festival, Lake-Cook and Green Bay Rds., Highland Park; (847)266-5100.