What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined
The Menier Chocolate Factory today announces the international cast – hailing from across the UK, US and Canada, for the UK première of What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined. Burt Bacharach’s celebrated songbook is given an exciting new interpretation with Kyle Riabko’s thrillingly original musical arrangement. This show, directed by Oliver Award-winner Steven Hoggett, is a dynamic 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, where generations old and new can revel in the joy of these hits as if for the very first time.
Joining Riabko are Daniel Bailen (also original cast with Riabko, and part of successful band The Bailen Brothers), Greg Coulson (multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and performer – he takes a break as member of The Selecter, with whom he has toured the world, to join the company), Anastacia McCleskey (major Broadway musicals including Violet, The Book of Mormon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Hair), Stephanie McKeon (most recently as Natalie in The Commitments – Palace Theatre), Renato Paris (musician, singer and songwriter) and James Williams (also original cast with Riabko, and also in the film Lullaby).
This production previously played to critical acclaim at New York Theatre Workshop, where it became the venue’s longest running show.
What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined features over 30 of Bacharach’s unparalleled catalogue of hits including Alfie, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, What the World Needs Now Is Love, I Say a Little Prayer, Walk on By, A House Is Not a Home, That’s What Friends Are For, Close to You, (There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me, The Look of Love, What’s New Pussycat?, Do You Know the Way to San Jose?, The Windows of the World, I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself, Magic Moments, Anyone Who Had a Heart, Make It Easy on Yourself, Wishin’ and Hopin’ and Message to Michael.
After being introduced to Bacharach at a Los Angeles recording studio, Riabko created a series of demos, reinterpreting Bacharach’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 – a tour de force musical performance for long-time Bacharach fans and an exhilarating introduction to his timeless music for a younger audience. 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.”
Burt Bacharach has been one of the most honoured and successful composers for six decades. His music is as diverse as his audiences, spanning generations and continents, as he is celebrated both as a pop culture icon and one of the world’s greatest contemporary composers. He has written nine #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. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is the recipient of other tributes received from top music industry institutions to governments, universities and charitable and philanthropic groups. Bacharach’s memoir, Anyone Who Had a Heart, was published in May 2013.
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 include 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.