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December 20, 2013
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Burt Bacharach plays Beaver Creek’s Vilar Center Sunday

Burt Bacharach is responsible for what may be the most swoonable moment in theater history. The New York Times says so, and they don’t swoon about anything that’s not Barack Obama.

There’s an Off Broadway production, “What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined,” that features some of Bacharch’s massive body of outstanding work. In it, Kyle Riabko sings “Making Love” to Laura Dreyfuss. They’re wrapped up with each other, slow dancing and when the moment is just right, Riabko plays a guitar that’s hanging off her back.

The New York Times was so gushy it wanted to cut in and dance with Riabko.

Bacharach is in concert Sunday at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.

The New York show has gotten fabulous reviews, and although Bacharach is now 85, it still makes him grin. And he likes what Riabko has done with his songs.

“It’s like you’re getting a love letter from somebody,” Bacharach said in a phone interview this week. “It’s a real gem. This kid has done fantastic things with my music. He gave me a purer understanding of what I’d done.”

Concert classics

Sunday’s Vilar show is a concert, a sweeping presentation of hits that have spanned six decades. He’ll be joined on stage by three backup singers and a six-piece band.

They’re in Colorado this week: Thursday he was at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, tonight he’s in Aspen and Sunday at the Vilar.

“The last time I played at the Broadmoor, Marlene Dietrich was there. There’s one for your oddities,” he said.

He was in San Francisco last weekend for a concert with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and said it was one of the best three or four symphony concerts he’s had anywhere in the world.

“It’s all about the music. It’s always been about the music,” he said.

He did 13 concerts this summer in New York, is working on two musicals right now and is on the road with his band.

He has three Academy Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997, way before his life and career were over.

His memoir, “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” was released last May.

“A lot of my energy has gone in that direction instead of trying to write songs for the record business. There is no record business any longer as I knew it,” Bacharach said.

‘Already successful’

He’s collaborating with Elvis Costello and Mike Myers on a musical stage prequel of Myers’ Austin Powers films. Bacharach appeared in all three.

“It’s going to be fun. He’s taking a property that has been very successful on film and moving it to the stage. It’s already successful,” he said.

Bacharach and Costello are joined by sitcom writer Chuck Lorre and Tony award-winning lyricist and writer Steven Sater to create a musical based on the Slater’s 1998 album “Painted From Memory.”

In a completely different direction, Bacharach’s latest album with Boyzone lead singer Ronan Keating, “When Ronan Met Burt,” hit No. 3 in the UK charts. All of the tracks were recorded live with a full orchestra.

Over six decades, Bacharach has composed 48 top 10 hits, including nine that hit No. 1. His songs have been recorded by legends such as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin.

“I feel very blessed. I’m very grateful for it all,” he said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Dec 20, 2013 06:01PM Published Dec 20, 2013 05:42PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.