For Immediate Release

‘Movin’ Out’ Moves into Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre: Previews Begin September 30; Show Opens October 24

Conceived, Choreographed and Directed by Twyla Tharp and Based on the Songs and Music of Billy Joel

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“Movin’ Out,” a new dance musical production conceived, directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp and based on 30 songs by Billy Joel, will open on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on October 24.  Previews begin September 30th.  “Movin’ Out” is presented by James L. Nederlander, Hal Luftig, Scott E. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Clear Channel Entertainment and Emanuel Azenberg.

Time: the 1960’s.  Place: Long Island. “Movin’ Out” is a dance-told tale of five friends —Eddie, Tony, Brenda, James and Judy—whose young lives are forever transformed by their changing romantic relationships as well as by historic forces beyond their control.  Using no spoken dialogue, the characters are revealed and defined by their unique movement vocabulary, while their intertwining stories are told through nonstop powerhouse dancing that draws from the virtuosity of classical ballet, the expressiveness of modern dance and the exuberant force of contemporary social dance.

Situated above the stage, the ten piece band sets the emotional atmosphere, its music resonating with the kinetic spirit of the dancing below.  Although the songs, including such Joel hits as “Uptown Girl,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “Just the Way You Are,” reinforce the dancing; rarely does the movement illustrate the lyrics, using them, instead, as a narrative touchstone in the unfolding tale.

The show, which played for ten weeks  (June 25-September 1) at the Shubert Theater in Chicago, marks Tharp’s second for Broadway and Joel’s first.  The scenic design is by Santo Loquasto; Suzy Benzinger created the costume designs; Donald Holder, the lighting, and Brian Ruggles and Peter Fitzgerald, the sound design.

The cast members are: John Selya (Eddie); Elizabeth Parkinson (Brenda); Keith Roberts (Tony); Ashley Tuttle (Judy); Benjamin G. Bowman (James) and Scott Wise (Sergeant O’Leary/Drill Sergeant).  At all Wednesday and Saturday matinees, William Marrié will play Eddie; Holly Cruikshank, Brenda; David Gomez, Tony and Dana Stackpole, Judy.

The Ensemble is comprised of Mark Arvin, Karine Bageot, Alexander Brady; Holly Cruikshank, Ron de Jesus, Melissa Downey, Pascale Faye, Scott Fowler, David Gomez, Rod McCune, Jill Nicklaus, Rika Okamoto, Meg Paul, Lawrence Rabson, Dana Stackpole and John J. Todd.  Swings are Andrew Allagree, Aliane Baquerot, Laurie Kanyok, William Marrié, Meg Paul, Lawrence Rabson, Dana Stackpole and John J. Todd.

Band members include Michael Cavanaugh (piano/lead vocals); Tommy Byrnes; Wade Preston; Dennis Delgaudio; Greg Smith; Chuck Burgi; John Scarpulla; Scott Kreitzer; Barry Danielian and Kevin Osborne.  The musical continuity and supervision is by Stuart Malina.

Performance Time

The performance schedule for “Movin’ Out” is: Monday through Saturday evenings at 8pm, with 2pm matinees on Wednesday and Saturday during previews (Monday September 30 through Wednesday, October 23).  Regular performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, and matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm.  There will also be Sunday matinees at 3pm beginning October 26.

Please note: There is no performance on Friday, October 25.  The opening night performance on Thursday, October 24 (6:30pm) is sold out.

Where To Go

Tickets, which range from $40-$95, may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 212-307-4100, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or at the box office of The Richard Rodgers Theatre located at 226 West 46th Street.

Artist Bios

TWYLA THARP (Conception, Choreography, Direction).

Since her graduation from Barnard College in 1963, Twyla Tharp has created more than 125 dances, choreographed five Hollywood movies, written an autobiography and received two Emmy Awards, 17 honorary doctorates and numerous grants including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. In 1965, Ms. Tharp began assembling a group of dancers, which eventually became Twyla Tharp Dance. In 1988, Twyla Tharp Dance merged with American Ballet Theatre where Ms. Tharp held the position of Associate Artistic Director for two years and created more than a dozen works. Since that time Ms. Tharp has choreographed dances for many companies, including the Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Boston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance and The Martha Graham Dance Company.  Among the better known dances are: Tank Dive, her first piece; The Fugue; The One Hundreds; Eight Jelly Rolls, to the music of Jelly Roll Morton; The Bix Pieces, to the music of Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra and Thelonious Monk; Deuce Coup for the Joffrey Ballet, to music by the Beach Boys; Sue’s Leg, created in residence at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; Bach Partita; Push Comes to Shove, widely known as a vehicle for Mikhail Baryshnikov; Baker’s Dozen, to the music of Willie “The Lion” Smith; Nine Sinatra Songs; In the Upper Room, a collaboration with Philip Glass; Brief Fling; Bum’s Rush; three major works to music by Beethoven – Diabelli Variations, Hammerklavier and The Seventh Symphony; and three dances set to variations by Brahms: the Paganini, the Handel (with Jerome Robbins), and most recently the Haydn.  She took modern dance to Broadway in 1980 with When We Were Very Young; in the 1981 collaboration with David Byrne, The Catherine Wheel at the Winter Garden; and her 1985 staging of Singin’ in the Rain, which played at the Gershwin for 367 performances, followed by an extensive national tour. In film, Ms. Tharp has collaborated with directors Milos Forman on Hair (1978), Ragtime (1980) and Amadeus (1984); with Taylor Hackford on White Nights (1985) and with James Brooks on I’ll Do Anything (1994). Her television credits include choreographing Sue’s Leg for the inaugural episode of PBS’ “Dance in America,” co-producing and directing “Making Television Dance,” which won the Chicago International Film Festival Award; and directing “The Catherine Wheel” for BBC Television. Ms. Tharp co-directed the television special “Baryshnikov by Tharp,” which won two Emmy Awards as well as the Director’s Guild of America Award for Outstanding Director Achievement. Ms. Tharp has held an Honorary Distinguished Professorship at Hunter College and in 1991 was invited to become an artist in residence at the Wexner Center at Ohio State University. The first year resulted in four new works: The Men’s Piece, Grand Pas: Rhythm of the Saints, Octet and Sextet, all of which were incorporated into her 1992 New York season at City Center.  That same year, she created a full-length program with her company and Mr. Baryshnikov called Cutting Up, which went on to become one of contemporary dance’s most successful tours, appearing in 28 cities over a two month period. In 1992, Ms. Tharp also published her autobiography, Push Comes to Shove.  She is currently working on a second book to be published by Simon and Schuster on the creative process.  In 1993 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1997 she was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  In 1999, Ms. Tharp regrouped the company Twyla Tharp Dance and has been touring internationally to critical acclaim, performing a repertoire of popular favorites and new works such as Surfer at the River Styx, Mozart Clarinet Quintet K.581 and Westerly Round.

BILLY JOEL (Music & Lyrics)

Billy Joel has had a staggering 33 Top 40 hits since he signed his first solo recording contract in 1972.  He has received some 23 Grammy nominations–the most recent being this year’s nod in the Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals category for his duet with Tony Bennett on “New York State Of Mind”–and won five Grammy Awards including Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year for “Just the Way You Are”; Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for the album 52nd Street; and Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male for the album Glass Houses. In 1990, he was presented with a Grammy Legend Award for his contributions and influence in the recording field. In 1992, Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and, in 2001, was presented with the Johnny Mercer Award, the organization’s highest honor. In 1999 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and he received the Recording Industry Association of America Diamond Award for Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II. The Diamond Award is presented for albums that have sold over 10 million copies, and with over 20 million albums sold, Joel’s album is the highest RIAA certified greatest hits album by a male artist. Having sold more than 100 million records over the past quarter century, Billy Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world.  In addition to his Grammy Awards, Joel has earned three Awards For Cable Excellence (ACE) for “A Television First, Billy Joel” (1984) and “Live From Leningrad” (1987) and has received numerous ASCAP and BMI awards including the ASCAP Founders Award and the BMI Career Achievement Award and, in 1994, was given the 1994 Billboard Century Award.  Among his many other awards and honors, Billy Joel has been given a Doctor of Humane Letters from Fairfield University (1991), a Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music (1993), and a Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hofstra University (1997) and a Doctor of Music from Southampton College (2000). Joel has been very active outside his music career, donating his time and resources to a variety of charitable causes. A longtime advocate for music education, he first began holding “master class” sessions on college campuses more than 20 years ago. “An Evening of Questions, Answers…and a Little Music” has developed over the years, with Joel giving sessions at colleges across the country and around the world. In addition, he has held classes as a benefit for the STAR Foundation (Standing for Truth About Radiation) and to establish the Rosalind Joel Scholarship for the Performing Arts at City College in New York City. For his accomplishments as a musician and as a humanitarian, Billy Joel was  honored as the 2002 MusiCares Person Of The Year by the MusiCares Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

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Photo by Joan Marcus.