Robert Tanitch reviews What’s It All About? at Menier Chocolate Factory, London SE1
His songs from the 1960s and early 1970s have been rearranged, refashioned, re-orchestrated and updated by Kyle Riabko for acoustic guitar, percussion, bass and keyboard. It’s a major deconstruction and it works really well in the intimacy of the Menier.
The personable and talented Riabko heads a cast of seven talented singer-musicians. The show has been imaginatively staged and choreographed by Steven Hoggett who keeps the cast on the move and gives the performance such a spin, literally with not one but two revolves, that it never looks like any jukebox musical I have seen before.
The catalogue, some thirty songs, includes such favourites as I’ll Never Fall in Love Again. A House is Not a Home. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head. Close to You, Walk on By (Don’t stop), I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself, and What’s New, Pussycat?
My seat was a low, comfy sofa on the side of the stage. I felt I was watching the show from the wings. I saw more backs than faces, but the sheer sound, the music and the singing, plus the interesting staging, were such that I still had a really enjoyable time.