Kyle Riabko, whose Broadway credits include the original Tony-winning production of Spring Awakening and the Tony-winning revival of Hair, can be heard on Ghostlight Records' Close to You: Bacharach Reimagined, which will be available in digital formats June 24 with two-disc physical copies in stores July 1. Seen in New York and London, the show revitalizes Bacharach's catalog for a new generation with Riabko’s acclaimed arrangements and interpretations. Here, the singing actor reveals the productions and performers that most affected him as part of the audience.
I grew up in the music scene as opposed to theater, and I loved the way this show combined the two. When I saw it in 2008, it started to give me ideas about how I might approach projects in the future.
I’ll never forget having seen the great Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman. You don’t need me to tell you — he was brilliant.
Denzel Washington was amazing, but it was Sophie Okonedo’s performance that I loved most about this show.
I ended up in this show’s second cast, but I loved it from the moment I saw it. The first thing I noticed was the fact that my favorite drummer of all time, Bernard Purdie, was in the band. Performing with him every night was a highlight for me.
It was after seeing this show that I realized the genius of Steven Hoggett, and that he would be a perfect creative collaborator for Bacharach Reimagined.
An abstract story about fame, disappointment, disenchantment — all of the themes that go side by side with a life in show business. A great performance by Elaine Paige, who I ended up becoming friends with in London.
The second funniest thing I’ve ever seen in a theater.
One Man, Two Guvnors - The National, London
The funniest thing I’ve ever seen in a theater.
I loved the scrappy, homemade energy of this show.
You can’t go wrong with Gershwin!