The Menier Chocolate Factory will host the UK première of What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined from 3 July to 5 September (press night is 15 July). Burt Bacharach’s celebrated songbook is given an exciting new interpretation with Kyle Riabko’s thrillingly original musical arrangement. This show, directed by Olivier Award-winner Steven Hoggett, is a 90-minute non-stop musical journey in which the 27-year-old Riabko leads a talented group of young performers through Bacharach’s classic melodies, blending nostalgia and innovation.
This production, conceived by Kyle Riabko and David Lane Seltzer, previously played to critical acclaim at New York Theatre Workshop, where it became the venue’s longest-running show.
After being introduced to Bacharach at a Los Angeles recording studio, Riabko created a series of demos, reinterpreting the composer’s classic songs. Over the ensuing months, he took the demos to Bacharach who gave his blessing to What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined. After seeing the show, Bacharach said it felt as though he had received “a love letter” and commented: “Kyle has done something truly unique with my music.”
Here’s a taster of the music:
And a sneak preview of the show and a brief interview with Riabko:
Burt Bacharach has been one of the most honoured and successful composers for six decades. He has written nine No. 1 songs, 48 Top 10 hits and over 70 Top 40 hits. Bacharach and Hal David were the recipients of the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Bacharach is also the recipient of three Academy Awards and eight Grammys, including the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award and 1997 Trustees Award.
Canadian born Kyle Riabko’s credits include Spring Awakening (Broadway, US national tour) and Hair (Broadway). At the age of 17, he released a full-length album of original material on Columbia/Aware Records. He has been an opening act for John Mayer, Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, BB King, Buddy Guy and James Brown, amongst others.
Steven Hoggett directs. His work as a choreographer includes The Light Princess (National Theatre), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre, West End and Broadway), Rocky the Musical (Stage Entertainments, Hamburg), Rigoletto (Met Opera), The Full Monty (Sheffield); and for the National Theatre of Scotland – Let the Right One In (also Royal Court and West End), Black Watch (also Barbican and St Anne’s Warehouse – Olivier Award, Best Choreographer), The Bacchae. As director/choreographer, credits include Lovesong, Beautiful Burnout, Othello (TMA Award, Best Director). He is a founding member of Frantic Assembly. On Broadway his work includes Once (Obie, Lucille Lortel, Callaway awards, Tony nomination; also West End), American Idiot, Peter and the Starcatcher (Lucille Lortel Award; also at NYTW) and The Glass Menagerie.
This production is presented by special arrangement with David Lane Seltzer and Management 360.