Movin' Out (musical)
Original Broadway Logo
2004 U.S. Tour
2006 West End
Conceived by Twyla Tharp, the musical tells the story of a generation of American youth growing up on Long Island during the 1960s and their experiences with the Vietnam War. The principal characters are drawn from those who appeared in various Joel tunes: high school sweethearts Brenda and Eddie ("Scenes from an Italian Restaurant"), James ("James"), Judy ("Why Judy Why"), and Tony (Anthony in "Movin' Out"). The show is unusual in that, unlike the traditional musical, it essentially is a series of dances linked by a thin plot, and none of the dancers sing. All the vocals are performed by a pianist and band suspended on a platform above the stage while the dancers act out the songs dialogue, making the show, in essence, a rock ballet.
The show started in pre-Broadway try-outs at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago from June 25, 2002 through September 1, 2002. It premiered on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on October 24, 2002 and closed on December 11, 2005 after 1,303 performances and 28 previews. Directed and choreographed by Tharp, the cast included Michael Cavanaugh, Wade Preston, Elizabeth Parkinson, James Fox, John Selya, Keith Roberts, Henry Haid, Ashley Tuttle, Benjamin Bowman, and Scott Wise.
The first national tour of Movin' Out ran for three years, opening on January 27, 2004  and ending on January 21, 2007 after 1,111 performances. The tour also played to generally excellent reviews and full houses in 82 U.S. cities, and also ran in Canada in December 2005. It featured numerous dancers from the original Broadway production, who rotated in and out as schedules allowed. Darren Holden was the primary Piano Man for the entire run of the tour, joined by Matt Wilson (2004), Charlie Neshyba-Hodges (2004), James Fox (2005) and Matthew Friedman (2006). Holly Cruikshank, in the role of Brenda, won the 2005 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Non-Resident Production.
The West End production opened on April 10, 2006, at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre where, despite receiving mostly solid reviews, it ran for less than two months, closing on May 2, 2006. James Fox and Darren Reeves were the leads, alternating as The Piano Man. Situated across from Victoria Station, away from the city's hub of theatre activity, and with more than 2500 seats, the Apollo Victoria was in a poor location (although Wicked has run there for five years) and far too large for the production. The show was marketed as a traditional musical rather than the dance production it is, and Joel had not had any major hits in the UK for several years, so he wasn't a major draw for mainstream audiences.
On October 15, 2002, a live cast recording was released featuring the 2002 original Broadway cast. It was a single CD featuring 30 tracks.
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|2003||Tony Award||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||John Selya||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical||Elizabeth Parkinson||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical||Michael Cavanaugh||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical||Ashley Tuttle||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Twyla Tharp||Nominated|
|Best Orchestrations||Billy Joel and Stuart Malina||Won|
|Best Lighting Design||Donald Holder||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actor in a Musical||John Selya||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress in a Musical||Elizabeth Parkinson||Nominated|
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Twyla Tharp||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lighting Design||Donald Holder||Nominated|
|Theatre World Award||John Selya||Won|
- Hernandez, Ernio."Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel Musical 'Movin' Out' of Broadway; Final Performance Dec. 11", playbill.com, August 18, 2005
- "'Movin' Out' production and reviews, London" thisistheatre.com, retrieved March 26, 2010
- Hoffman, Lori."Twyla Tharp's Broadway dance musical Movin' Out keeps the faith of Billy Joel's music", Atlantic City Weekly, July 12, 2007
- Movin' Out at the Internet Broadway Database
- Official website
- "'Movin' Out' plot and production at guidetomusicaltheatre.com