My epiphany occurred as I sat in New York Theatre Workshop swaying to Bacharach’s melodies, silently mouthing the words to the 30 or so songs in the show and smiling at all the memories they evoked. For as I look back, Bacharach provided the “Mad Men” vibe to the soundtrack of my youth.
And director Steven Hoggett augments the aura with his trademark choreographed gestures—the flick of a wrist, a syncopated stomp—to underscore the subtext of each song.
I fall in the middle. I'm grateful to the show for reintroducing me to Bacharach and David but I did find parts of it to be a wee bit precious.
When the audience enters, the performers are already onstage, lounging on chairs and couches that have been suspended—for no discernible reason—on the walls of a set that’s been decked out to resemble a chic thrift shop. I kept worrying someone would fall as they clambered up and down for various numbers.
Still you’d have to be more of a grouch than I’m willing to be to naysay this affectionate tribute to old-style songwriting. I'm not sure it delivers on the promise of reimagining Bacharach but that may be because Bacharach's music is fine just as he originally imagined it.
And there's time for you to make up your own mind about that cause the show has been extended to Feb. 2. And if you go, stick around cause after the show the entire cast races outside (or at least they did before the frigid weather set in) to serenade audience members as they leave the theater.