I had ninety, non-stop magic moments at the Menier Chocolate Factory earlier this month at the opening of What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined.
Sat on one of the (extremely comfy) onstage sofas, I felt as if I was in the middle of a Burt Bacharach mega-mix mash-up music video. A seven-strong company of terribly talented twenty-somethings, led by the tremendously talented show creator and arranger Kyle Riabko – sang, danced, played myriad instruments (including Stomp style detritus), shifted set items and scrambled over and around mis-matched, second-hand furniture (some of it perched high above the stage).
“These melodies are so deeply ingrained in the modern psyche, it’s almost unbelievable.”
In addition to some thrillingly inventive and modern arrangements, these classic songs by Bacharach and his long-time lyricist Hal David are dramatically re-interpreted through the direction and detailed choreography of Frantic Assembly co-founder Steven Hoggett, which gives this more-than-a-concert-not-quite-a-musical celebratory event a distinct look and feel.
And what’s more: on opening night, Bacharach himself was there and, at the curtain call, after a standing ovation, we all got to sing along to “Magic Moments” with the legend himself tinkling the ivories.
How many Burt Bacharach songs can you name?
Whether you knew he wrote them are not, I’m betting you can hum along to almost all of these. As Kyle Riabko himself notes in the programme: “These melodies are so deeply ingrained in the modern psyche, it’s almost unbelievable.”
- Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do)
- Close to You
- Do You Know the Way to San Jose?
- I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself
- I Say a Little Prayer
- I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
- Make It Easy on Yourself
- On My Own
- Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head
- That’s What Friends Are For
- The Look of Love
- (There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me
- Walk on By
- What the World Needs Now Is Love
- What’s New Pussycat?
- Wishin’ and Hopin’