Burt & Me – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

If your father insisted you practice the piano at 6 a.m. every morning, music you actively disliked, you might cheer when a new teacher Mrs. Bernstein introduces you to the pop tunes of Burt Bacharach. Soon Burt and his personal pin-up girl and wife Angie Dickinson become your idols and your love of music explodes.

Come meet Joe an engaging and charming Andy Christopher, as he grows up and discovers a romantic interest in Lacey, an adorable Lauren Gire in the delightful musical “Burt and Me,” featuring the music of Mr. Bacharach and Hal David, with book by Larry McKenna. Ivoryton Playhouse will be serenading young love until Sunday, April 7 and you’ll want to be there to cheer them on to heartfelt heaven.

As Joe and Lacey, with their friends Sally (Adrianne Hick), Rebecca (Katie Luke), Nick (Nathan Richardson) and Jerry (Josh Powell) navigate as pals in high school’s Blue Haze choral group all the way to romantic status at the prom, we witness their burgeoning relationship, Along the way great Bacharach tunes like “This Guy’s In Love With You,” “Wishin’ and Hopin’, “ “The Look of Love,” “I Say A Little Prayer For You,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and ”What The World Needs Now” punctuate every step of their journey.

With Joe’s dad, a supportive Neal Mayer, by his side, Joe endures and survives the ups and downs momentum of his courtship, helped by songs like “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” “A House Is Not A Home” and “One Less Bell To Answer.” The music clearly dictates the action.

You’ll be tempted to sing along as you probably nostalgically know all the words, even if you didn’t know Bacharach and David get all the credit. Michael Morris, on piano, serves as music director with his band Michael Raposo on woodwinds, Mark Gehret on bass and Gus Gustamachio on drums and percussion.

For tickets ($55, seniors $50, student $25, children $20), call the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7816 or online at ivorytonplayhouse.org. Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. A special tribute to long time Board of Director member Harvey Hoberman who is recently deceased was held after the opening night performance.

Come follow Joe as he pursues Lacey, wrapping her securely in his favorite music, as they establish a happy-ever-after life together.