Movin' Out (musical)
2004 North American Tour
2006 West End
Movin' Out is a 2002 jukebox musical featuring the songs of Billy Joel. Conceived and created 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 diverts from the traditional musical in that it essentially is a series of dances linked by a thin plot, and none of the dancers sing. Instead, all the vocals are performed by a pianist (the "Piano Man", representing Billy Joel) and band suspended on a platform above the stage while the dancers act out the songs' lyrics, basically making the show 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 (Piano Man), Darren Holden (replacement Piano Man), Wade Preston (alternate Piano Man), Elizabeth Parkinson (Brenda), John Selya (Eddie), Keith Roberts (Tony), Henry Haid (understudy Piano Man), Ashley Tuttle (Judy), Benjamin G. Bowman (James), and Scott Wise (Sergeant O'Leary/Drill Sergeant).
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 lead Piano Man and star for the entire run of the tour, understudied 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.
A third National Tour opened in La Crosse, Wisconsin on November 4, 2008 with Matthew Friedman, Kyle Martin, and Jon Abrams in the lead role of Piano Man.
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" Archived 2010-07-02 at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, August 18, 2005
- Hoffman, Lori."Twyla Tharp's Broadway dance musical Movin' Out keeps the faith of Billy Joel's music" Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine, Atlantic City Weekly, July 12, 2007
- "MOVIN' OUT – ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING 2002". Masterworks Broadway. 2002. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.