Jump to content

What's It All About? Bacharach Reimagined


edjames
 Share

Recommended Posts

This limited run musical tribute to the music of Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David is now running at the NY Theater Workshop in the East Village.

 

There has been a lot of buzz about this highly anticipated review of Bacharach/David hits performed with new and fresh arrangements by a group of young and talented performers, who, quite frankly, could be Burt's great-grandchildren!

 

I'm happy to report this production lives up to the hype and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Hit's such as The Look Of Love, Anyone Who had A Heart, Alfie, Message to Michael and all the others are given a new twist while maintaining the integrity of the original versions.

 

Set in a smoky downtown loft-like set with musical instruments crawling up the back wall, rugs arranged on the walls, couches set on the stage (yes, some audience members sit on stage right and left) and lit with lamps strategically placed around the stage, this vibrant group of performers move chairs and instruments around to create an event that's quite like going to a private show (No! Not that kind of private show!!! LOL).

 

90 minutes, no intermission. Directed by Steven Hoggett, lately of the wonderful revival of Broadway's Glass Menagerie and American Idiot, the imaginative creative team has created a downtown look and feel to this production complete with choreographed moves and wonderful vocals. The cast sings and plays all instruments.

 

Of note.....young handsome singer, guitar player, musical arranger and director, KYLE RIABKO is outstanding!!!!

 

If this were an episode of the now defunct TV series Smash, Kyle would be the young struggling musician who tries to get his show noticed by producers and moved to Broadway. Based on last night's audience reaction, the real Kyle may realize this dream come true. I am sure Broadway producers are circling the theater anxiously watching this one.

 

Burt and Hal's music deserves a good Broadway turn. The last show devoted to their music The Look of Love presented by the Roundabout in 2003 was a disaster. I look forward to this transitioning to a Broadway house!

 

As I said...limited run, ends Jan 5.

http://www.nytw.org/whatsitallabout.asp

 

It was so good, I'm going back next weekend.

 

ED

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SPOILERS!

 

I have to say that this is one of the very few times that I have not wholly agreed with Ed's review. I saw this last night and found it sadly dull. I love Bacharach's music and was very excited about it, but found most of the 90 minutes feeling like 3 hours.

 

And there's so much "direction" happening during the songs, moving chairs and mics, and instruments, that it became distracting. There was one number, beautifully sung by Riabko and one of the female singers, that I couldn't concentrate on because two other castmembers were moving around too much.

 

Now, I fully admit, the cast was very musically talented...several playing five, six, seven instruments. And the voices were good, as well. But I felt no connection with most of the performers; there was one very animated and happy singer who was engaging, but otherwise it was very sterile.

 

The last forty minutes were constant ballads, even some uptempo numbers taken at very slow tempos. And the encore was a version of What's New Pussycat that proved that the star, Kyle was no Tom Jones.

 

To summarize in a word, this, to me, was Glee meets American Idol set in the East Village. I do hope that it introduces these songs to a new audience.

 

I will be interested to see what other posters here think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...
This limited run musical tribute to the music of Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David is now running at the NY Theater Workshop in the East Village.

 

There has been a lot of buzz about this highly anticipated review of Bacharach/David hits performed with new and fresh arrangements by a group of young and talented performers, who, quite frankly, could be Burt's great-grandchildren!

 

I'm happy to report this production lives up to the hype and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Hit's such as The Look Of Love, Anyone Who had A Heart, Alfie, Message to Michael and all the others are given a new twist while maintaining the integrity of the original versions.

 

Set in a smoky downtown loft-like set with musical instruments crawling up the back wall, rugs arranged on the walls, couches set on the stage (yes, some audience members sit on stage right and left) and lit with lamps strategically placed around the stage, this vibrant group of performers move chairs and instruments around to create an event that's quite like going to a private show (No! Not that kind of private show!!! LOL).

 

90 minutes, no intermission. Directed by Steven Hoggett, lately of the wonderful revival of Broadway's Glass Menagerie and American Idiot, the imaginative creative team has created a downtown look and feel to this production complete with choreographed moves and wonderful vocals. The cast sings and plays all instruments.

 

Of note.....young handsome singer, guitar player, musical arranger and director, KYLE RIABKO is outstanding!!!!

 

If this were an episode of the now defunct TV series Smash, Kyle would be the young struggling musician who tries to get his show noticed by producers and moved to Broadway. Based on last night's audience reaction, the real Kyle may realize this dream come true. I am sure Broadway producers are circling the theater anxiously watching this one.

 

Burt and Hal's music deserves a good Broadway turn. The last show devoted to their music The Look of Love presented by the Roundabout in 2003 was a disaster. I look forward to this transitioning to a Broadway house!

 

As I said...limited run, ends Jan 5.

http://www.nytw.org/whatsitallabout.asp

 

It was so good, I'm going back next weekend.

 

ED

What about the 2010 revival of Promises Promises ? Sean Hayes, Kristen Chenowith, and Katie Finneran did a commendable job. My only problem was the needless interpolation of " I Say a Little Prayer" and "A House Is Not A Home". IMHO, Bacarach and David's contributions to the American Song Book are right up there with Rogers and Hart, and the Gershwins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My only problem was the needless interpolation of " I Say a Little Prayer" and "A House Is Not A Home".

 

Yes, but given that I think "A House Is Not A Home" is among the best songs ever, I have to say I can't complain that much about it being shoehorned into the show lol.

 

It's a shame that Bacharach didn't write any other shows - it's said he didn't feel comfortable with the way the show ran (seemingly he was much more comfortable in an exacting studio setting than with a live theatrical show that wouldn't be exactly the same night after night). I have a musical director friend who once wrote Bacharach to ask if he'd ever consider giving permission to turn his (fabulous flop) musical film The Lost Horizon into a stage musical (my friend was hooked on the soundtrack at the time), and the response was a very definitive "no." o_O

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, but given that I think "A House Is Not A Home" is among the best songs ever, I have to say I can't complain that much about it being shoehorned into the show lol.

 

It's a shame that Bacharach didn't write any other shows - it's said he didn't feel comfortable with the way the show ran (seemingly he was much more comfortable in an exacting studio setting than with a live theatrical show that wouldn't be exactly the same night after night). I have a musical director friend who once wrote Bacharach to ask if he'd ever consider giving permission to turn his (fabulous flop) musical film The Lost Horizon into a stage musical (my friend was hooked on the soundtrack at the time), and the response was a very definitive "no." o_O

Bacharach did an interview on an L.A. Public radio station years ago. He said that after Promises Promises opened he attended performances for a few days, and then other commitments took him away. When he returned to New York a few weeks later he went to see the show and was shocked to find that the orchestra had gotten sloppy, and the show did not sound like the creation that he had spent so much time on. The experience was so distasteful he had no further interest in writing musicals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never knew he & Angie Dickinson had a child with Aspergers who eventually committed suicide:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-2321487/Burt-Bacharach-married-times-lost-daughter-suicide--long-tells-story-words.html

I saw Bacharach interviewed by Carol Bayer Sager in Santa Monica a few years ago. What a life he's led. Yes, they did discuss the suicide. That portion of the conversation was quite touching and sad. He discussed starting out in NYC how sitting alone on the upper portion of a double decker bus, and Leonard Bernstein planted himself down next to Bacharach. One can't blame, as Bacharach was quite the looker, right? He also went on at length about touring with Marlena Dietrich, and much, much more. What a fun evening to hear those two talk about their lives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...