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The new musical revue What’s it All About? Bacharach Reimagined at the New York Theatre Workshop celebrates the music of the iconic Burt Bacharach. Happily, this musical defies any preconceived notion of how awful jukebox musicals are supposed to be. It has been lovingly woven together by a talented and earnest young man, Kyle Riabko. Riabko is also the show’s lead, inasmuch as he seems to have the most numbers in the show. Thankfully, he is accomplished at singing and playing the guitar while also being easy on the eyes.
When you walk into the New York Theatre Workshop you immediately notice the coziness of the set (by Christine Jones and Brett J. Banakis). The walls are paneled in carpets and other sound-absorbing material with small shelves interspersed every few feet, each shelf holding a small lamp. On the stage there are couches on either side of the set where audience members are being seated.
On the back wall of the theatre couches hang on the wall and sit atop platforms where the seven-member cast of talented musicians roost as the audience files in. Musical instruments are hung about and stowed in every nook and cranny. It’s a cozy environment that lends itself to something familiar, the soundtrack to many of our childhoods.