What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined – Menier Chocolate Factory

Menier Chocolate Factory Dress Rehearsal July 2015 What's it All About Bacharach Reimagined Music by Burt Bacharach  Lyrics by Hal David & others Conceived by  Kyle Riabko & David Lane Seltzer Directed & Choreographer  Steven Hoggett  Designer Christine Jones & Brett Banakis  Lighting Tim Lutkin  Sound Richard BrookerAssistant Choreographer Katie Spelman Daniel Bailen  Greg Coulson   Anastacia McCleskey Stephanie McKeon  Renato Paris   Kyle Riabko James Williams  Guitar Tuner Stephen Hackett ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7274-2105 nobby@nobbyclark.co.uk What The World Needs Now, Always Something There To Remind Me, A House Is Not A Home, One Less Bell To Answer; Burt Bacharach is the man behind some of the most timeless music, and the centerpiece for this show. What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined rediscovers some of the greatest songs in music history in an entirely new way.

The show takes you on a journey through Bacharach’s music, using songs for mini-storylines and getting to the grit of the meaning behind them. Through some of the most stunning and sharp choreography I’ve ever seen paired with flawless lighting, you’ll be taken through a range of emotions, ultimately leaving wondering when you can go back.

Kyle Riabko is not only the leading man of the show, but a co-creator as well as the musical arranger. Now that alone should tell you, this is not just a guy who likes to stand on the stage and sing to a crowd. There is a lot of passionate people in this business, that’s for sure; but rarely, so you come across someone with such a deep understanding and appreciation for what he’s doing. And it should be quite obvious to everyone watching; almost in a trance-like state playing Alfie from the treehouse-like backdrop, raving into a possessive state raving with energy during his massive guitar solo, “doing what you truly love” is the perfect phrase to describe this guy.

James Williams is an absolute master of rhythm; there was a point during the show where he had shaker rings on while he beat the percussion box with one hand, a rock shaker in the other, bells tied to one foot, while the other stomped on a tambourine – this is not a joke. I have never seen anyone more in-tune with a beat, and was absolutely mesmerized with his abilities. He and Kyle make a great pair with their obvious connections and skill for sound.

Renato Paris is the one to keep on your radar for the future. Transitioning between the guitar, the piano, and a few solos, he gives off a flawless performance with an innocent charm that only makes you want to hear more out him – and he’s only 19! He’s already been recognized by some of the top music agencies, I don’t see his career going anywhere but up. Big things will come from this guy.

Stephanie McKeon and Anastacia McCleskey make up the women of the cast. Stephanie has a gorgeous voice, hauntingly beautiful during her solo piece Walk On By. Anastacia completely silenced the entire room with her powerful voice during Don’t Make Me Over that was quickly overpowered with the booming applause once she hit the final note. Greg Coulson and Daniel Bailen complete the group, showing even more how talented this cast is. At one point, Daniel was alternating between bass guitar and double bass – in the same song!

The show ended with a wild encore of Pussycat, followed by the legend himself, Burt Bacharach, coming out to join the cast on piano for a touching moment of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. It was an absolutely stunning evening that has still left me lost for words to describe how much I enjoyed it. I would recommend this to all walks of life; you will leave with a smile on your face, and an itch to keep rocking some more.

Reviewed by Caity O’Shaughnessy
Photo: Nobby Clark

What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined is playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 3 September 2015. Click here for tickets