The Look of Love (musical)

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The Look of Love is musical revue of the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The revue was conceived by David Thompson, Scott Ellis, David Loud and Ann Reinking. It had a limited engagement on Broadway in 2003.

Production[edit]

The revue was a Roundabout Theatre Company production, scheduled for a limited engagement. It opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 4, 2003 in previews and officially on May 4, 2003 and closed on June 15, 2003 after 49 performances and 35 previews. The cast was: Liz Callaway, Kevin Ceballo, Jonathan Dokuchitz, Eugene Fleming, Capathia Jenkins, Janine LaManna, Shannon Lewis, Rachelle Rak and Desmond Richardson, with Farah Alvin and Nikki Renee Daniels. The show was directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Ann Reinking, scenic design was by Derek McLane, costume design was by Martin Pakledinaz, and orchestrations by Don Sebesky.[1] [2]

An earlier revue featuring the works of Bacharach and David, Back to Bacharach and David, opened in New York in 1992.

Background[edit]

David Thompson, in an interview published by the Roundabout Theatre, said that "the challenge was to figure out how to make the songs theatrical...Each lyric's narrative is usually a character singing about a situation...With the Roundabout we had the opportunity to do a couple of workshops, play with the music, and find out what works. We brought in musical director David Loud to give it its musical sensibility and Ann Reinking to give it a style and a sexiness."[3]

Concept[edit]

There is no story or unifying theme, songs are staged like skits or dance routines. "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" has a ballet solo; "What's New Pussycat?" has a dance tribute to Bob Fosse, "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" is done as a variation on a barbershop quartet. "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," is a tap number.

Songs[edit]

Critical reaction[edit]

The production was reviewed by Bruce Weber in The New York Times:"Hearing 29 Bachrach-David songs one after another only makes you realize how limited their range has been, how bland their musical and lyrical palettes are and how little interest they have shown in venturing away from a commercially viable blueprint. With rare exceptions, like Walk on By, their substance is all style."[4]

Elysa Gardner in her USA Today review wrote:"...there also are moments when pop savvy and theatrical razzle-dazzle meet harmoniously, and most of them owe at least as much to Reinking's perfect pitch as they do to the vocalists or musicians. The alternately wistful and exuberant dance routines accompanying instrumental versions of Wives and Lovers and Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head are among the show's peaks, while a naughty reinterpretation of What's New, Pussycat? nods stylishly to Reinking's mentor, Bob Fosse."[5]

The talkinBroadway reviewer wrote:"A few good moments do prevent The Look of Love from being entirely dreary. The self-mocking choreography in "I Say a Little Prayer" is amusing and Shannon Lewis's jaw-droppingly sexy and sinewy dancing transcends the rather pedestrian choreography she must frequently cope with. An interesting bar scene combining "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and "Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa" is central to the second act...one of the show's finest moments is its last, when the entire cast assembles onstage for one of Bacharach and David's most enduring anthems, "What the World Needs Now." They're able to lift the spirits and the heart just when they're needed most by standing and singing."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "What the World Needs Now: The Look of Love Opens on Broadway, May 4" playbill.com, May 4, 2003
  2. ^ Hernandez, Ernio."Walk On By: Broadway's Burt Bacharach-Hal David Revue, The Look of Love, Closes June 15" playbill.com, June 15, 2003
  3. ^ Clevenger, Andrew."Interview with Scott Ellis and David Thompson" roundabouttheatre.org, Spring 2003
  4. ^ Weber , Bruce.29 Tunes in a Row (That's the Show) The New York Times, May 5, 2003
  5. ^ "New Bacharach-David revue is worth a look for old time's sake USA Today, May 4, 2003
  6. ^ Murray, Matthew.Review, The Look of Love talkinbroadway.com, May 4, 2003

External links[edit]