“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.