‘What’s It All About?’ at New York Theater Workshop

December 6, 2013 5:31 AM

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‘What’s It All About?’ at New York Theater Workshop

Stifle that yawn, please: For once, these tidings are merry. This artfully staged show brings a fresh vibe to a genre that has come to seem prematurely superannuated. Subtitled “Bacharach Reimagined,” the musical reinvigorates the staged-songbook genre by stripping familiar pop songs of their shiny veneer, and by digging into the melancholy and yearning that suffuses so many of the hits Mr. Bacharach wrote with his longtime lyricist partner, Hal David.

Kyle Riabko, a singer and actor who appeared on Broadway in “Spring Awakening” and “Hair,” conceived the show with David Lane Seltzer and leads the small cast through a tightly woven tapestry of more than two dozen Bacharach songs, most written with Mr. David during the heyday of their collaboration...

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