A reviews round-up for Close To You – Bacharach reimagined at the Criterion Theatre.
Whilst he may have Burt Bacharach’s blessing, Kyle Riabko’s new musical arrangement of Bacharach’s extensive song-book has divided critics. Like Marmite, critics were either in full praise of the refreshingly new take on Bacharach’s catalogue or alienated by this juke-box musical.
Riabko’s interpretation features over 30 of Bacharach’s 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.
Close To You: Bacharach Reimagined originally transferred from the New York Theatre Workshop to the Menier Chocolate Factory where it ran under the title What’s it all about? Bacharach Reimagined, playing to great acclaim at both venues.
Close To You: Bacharach Reimagined plays until 10 January at the Criterion theatre.
Average rating score for this production:
"a delirious dreamscape" “Jukebox musicals can be the scourge of musical theatre. At their worst, they simply and unthinkingly plonk an artist’s back catalogue on stage, sometimes with a bit of narrative thrown in for good measure. Yet this straight musical retread through the Burt Bacharach songbook shows how well the genre can work.” “Kyle Riabko, an outrageously talented Canadian-American composer and performer, has taken some 30 classic songs by Bacharach and his regular lyricist Hal David and, through some highly imaginative, tender new arrangements, stripped them right back to reveal the narrative of bruising melancholy at their core.”
“Part gig, part immersive movement piece, Close to You: Bacharach Reimagined is an evening that brings Burt Bacharach back to the West End in all his musical glory” “There's no plot, but there’s lots of motion and emotion conveyed through Bacharach’s compelling songbook"
"a celebration of the vast back catalogue of octogenarian MOR-dispenser Burt Bacharach, in which a bunch of fresh-faced, perma-grinning performers give BB’s copious greatest hits a sort of terrifyingly earnest acoustic rock makeover."
"Bacharach’s back catalogue is a joyous thing — I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, Magic Moments, Walk on By, to name but three — but Riabko adds almost nothing to it with these new settings that are allegedly creating a fresh generation of fans. "
"Far from being another jukebox musical, this show gives a slew of Bacharach-David hits an exuberant makeover that invites fresh appreciation"
Date: 16 October 2015
Written by: WestEndTheatre
Tags: Burt Bacharach, Close To You: Bacharach Reimagined, Criterion Theatre, reviews round-up