A new off-Broadway show backed by the tunes of celebrated composer Burt Bacharach, called "What's It All About? Bacharach Reimagined," is currently in rehearsal at New York Theatre Workshop. NY1's Frank DiLella filed the following report.
It's all about the music of Burt Bacharach.
"What's It All About? Bacharach Reimagined" is a new song cycle that celebrates the accomplished composer's songbook. The revue is the brainchild of performer/musician Kyle Riabko.
"We're taking this catalog of music and putting it into a new form and spreading it out, focusing on certain parts of it, and using it to tell an emotional story," Riabko says.
Riabko became interested in the Bacharach catalog when he was called in by the legendary songwriter to perform some backup vocals for new material that Bacharach was writing.
"I knew what you're supposed to know about Bacharach, but then, as I started working with him, I realized there's a lot of depth beneath that," Riabko says.
Soon after their first encounter, Riabko began experimenting with Bacharach's tunes. He played the rock-infused arrangements for the master artist. Then, Burt surrendered his entire catalog to the young performer, and this new musical was born.
The show features 35 songs performed by seven performers, including Riabko. Steven Hoggett, the choreographer of Broadway's "Once," serves as director.
"All of the songs, which is why I love these songs, is that they all have within them their own arc as well, which is why they're great pieces of music making, because they have a beginning, a middle and an end. They don't just stay in one place," Hoggett says. "There's a lot to play with."
As for what Riabko hopes folks take away from his new song project?
"We want to introduce Bacharach to people who don't know Bacharach, and we want people who know Bacharach to enjoy it again, to rediscover it," he says.
Previews for "What's It All About?" begin on November 19. Opening night is set for December 5. For more information, go to nytw.org.