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Bacharach musical hits West End

Published 4 September 2015

Following its hit Menier Chocolate Factory run, Kyle Riabko’s critically acclaimed musical concert that takes audiences through Burt Bacharach’s legendary songbook will transfer to the West End next month under the new title Close To You.

Riabko’s exhilarating 90-minute theatrical concert, which had previously been titled What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined, will play at the Criterion Theatre from 3 October (press night 15 October).

The Broadway star, who conceived the show alongside David Lane Seltzer, will once again lead a talented company of musicians and singers in performing the legendary singer/songwriter’s most loved songs, all reimagined for the stage in new and innovative ways.

Directed by Olivier Award winner Steven Hoggett (The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, Once), Close To You features everything from Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head and I Say A Little Prayer to Walk On By, What’s New Pussycat? and I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.

While audiences may have responded positively to Riabko’s radical versions of the well-known songs, there is obviously only one man’s opinion that really matters, Bacharach himself who gave the show his seal of approval, proclaiming it “brilliant” and saying: “Kyle has done something truly unique with my music. I loved it!”

Official London Theatre’s Matthew Amer was similarly won over when it made its UK premiere at the Menier, concluding: “It’s a gig like none you’ve ever seen before. It’s mystifying and enchanting, charming and wistful, nostalgic and progressive… Hoggett’s movement direction – more Once than The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time – is joyful and fun-filled, never overpowering, while Riabko’s arrangements genuinely bring new life to Bacharach and lyricist Hal David’s timeless classics.”

Close To You will become the first new production to play at the Criterion Theatre in several years following the closure of the venue’s long-running comedy caper The 39 Steps.


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