We’ve reviewed Close To You twice over its 8 month London run at the Criterion Theatre and Menier Chocolate Factory. It is a heart-warming, magical show with wonderful music and performed by an incredibly talented group of musicians and vocalists. The show takes classic Bacharach songs and changes the melody and rhythm with the clever use of different instruments and a few everyday objects that you wouldn’t think of using to make music (such as a water cooler!). It is a joy to watch for anyone, especially aspiring musicians.
Kyle Riabko, Stephanie McKeon, Greg Coulson, Daniel Bailen, Renato Paris and James Williams were all fantastic once again. Anastacia McCleskey’s place (who left a week before the show’s closure) was taken by Shanay Holmes, who was impressive, especially when considering she’d been performing in the show for the last week. Holmes slotted into the show perfectly, grooving and harmonising with all the cast, and she has a wonderful, powerful voice.
The final performance was bittersweet. Close To You is very uplifting and happy but, knowing it was the last, it was very sad. It was obvious the cast were having a ball and going out in style. The audience were incredible, cheering, clapping and singing-along, and there were many return visitors.
Once again, it is a phenomenal show, celebrating the music of one of the all-time great songwriters, Burt Bacharach, and it will be greatly missed in the West End.
There is a cast recording coming out soon. To receive notification of when the CD is released, subscribe to Close To You’s mailing list here.
For more information about the Criterion Theatre, visit West End Theatre Guide’s website to view their profile.