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By: Neal Travis
(May 5th, 2002)
Former Billy Joel bandmate Larry Russell is penning a behind-the-scenes memoir of his early days with the "Piano Man." "I was the first member of Billy's first band," says bass player Russell, who worked with Joel in 1971-72. But don't expect a raunchy tale of sex and drugs. He says Joel had a weakness for Jack Daniel's and the band smoked pot together, but that backstage was generally tame. Russell and co-writer Janet Sullivan are shopping the manuscript around to publishers.
(May 26th, 2002)
This world premiere, pre-Broadway
production is based on the music of Billy Joel. Conceived, choreographed
and directed by Twyla Tharp, the show also will feature a set created
by Santo Loquasto, the Broadway designer also known for his cinematic
collaborations with Woody Allen.
Although the 27-member cast contains no marquee names, it's unsurprisingly heavy on performers with intensive dance backgrounds. The lineup of principal performers includes Keith Roberts (who played The Swan in Matthew Bourne's acclaimed production of "Swan Lake"), Joffrey Ballet veteran Elizabeth Parkinson, John Selya, Ashley Tuttle, Benjamin G. Bowman and Michael Cavanaugh. All except vocalist Cavanaugh are current members of Twyla Tharp Dance.
The show will also feature Broadway veteran Scott Wise, who was nominated for Tony Awards in 1996 and 1999 for his work in "State Fair" and "Fosse," respectively.
"Movin' Out": Press Release
Six Lifelong Friends
Two Turbulent Decades
24 Classic Billy Joel Songs
(May 29th, 2002)
"Movin' Out," a new musical conceived, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp and based on 24 classic songs and musical compositions by Billy Joel, will open on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street) on Thursday, October 24th, 2002. Preview performances will begin Monday, September 30th, 2002. "Movin' Out" is presented by James L. Nederlander, Hal Luftig, Scott Nederlander and Emanuel Azenberg.
Told through 24 classic songs and musical compositions by Billy Joel, "Movin' Out" is the story of six lifelong friends through the turbulent years of 1967-1987 as they and the world around them continue to change. The 27-member cast of "Movin' Out" features John Selya, Elizabeth Parkinson, Keith Roberts, Ashley Tuttle, Scott Wise, Ben Bowman, and Michael Cavanaugh. The cast also includes Andrew Allagree, Mark Arvin, Aliane Baquerot, Holly Cruikshank, Ron De Jesus, Melissa Downey, Scott Fowler, David Gomez, Meg Gurin-Paul, Laurie Kanyok, William Marrie, Rod McCune, Jill Nicklaus, Rika Okamoto, Karine Plantadit-Bageot, Lawrence Rabson, Pascale Faye, Dana Stackpole and John J. Todd.
"Movin' Out" will feature a scenic design by Santo Loquasto, costume design by Suzy Benzinger, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Brian Ruggles and Peter Fitzgerald and musical continuity and supervision by Stuart Malina.
"Movin' Out" will play a six-week world premiere engagement at Chicagos Shubert Theatre from June 25th, 2002 to August 4th, 2002, with an official opening set for Friday - July 19th, 2002.
"'Movin' Out' Extended"
(May 31st, 2002)
Although it hasn't even arrived in Chicago for previews yet, the new Broadway-bound musical "Movin' Out" has announced an extension. The show, which features 24 of Billy Joel's greatest hits woven into a danced scenario created by director-choreographer Twyla Tharp, will open on July 19th, 2002 at the Shubert Theatre, 22 West Monroe, and run through September 1st, 2002, rather than August 4th, 2002, as previously announced.
"Tickets For Broadway's 'Movin' Out' Go On Sale"
By: Robert Simonson
(May 31st, 2002)
Tickets for the Broadway production of the new musical collaboration between pop legend Billy Joel and choreographer Twyla Tharp, "Movin' Out," will go on sale June 2nd, 2002.
Those interested should call Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100 or consult TicketMaster.com - tickets to "Movin' Out" range from $40.00 to $95.00.
"Movin' Out" will have an out-of-town tryout in Chicago before hitting Broadway, where it will open at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on October 24th, 2002, after previews from September 30th, 2002. The Chicago run, at the Shubert Theatre, will be June 25th, 2002 - August 4th, 2002. Tickets to the Windy City production are already on sale at (312) 902-1400.
As previously reported by Playbill On-Line, the show's leads will be played by John Selya, Elizabeth Parkinson, Keith Roberts, Ashley Tuttle, Scott Wise, Benjamin G. Bowman and Michael Cavanaugh.
The casting of seasoned performers who are nonetheless not marquee names in the lead roles would seem to indicate the producers' and creative team's wish to make the unique teaming of the talents of Joel and Tharp the star attraction.
The cast of 27 is completed by Andrew Allagree, Mark Arvin, Aliane Baquerot, Alexander Brady, Holly Cruikshank, Ron De Jesus, Melissa Downey, Scott Fowler, David Gomez, Meg Gurin-Paul, Laurie Kanyok, William Marrie, Rod McCune, Jill Nicklaus, Rika Okamoto, Karine Plantadit Bageot, Lawrence Rabson, Katya Shelkanova, Dana Stackpole and John Todd.
The principals are a group highly steeped in dance, as opposed to theatre. Their prominence in the piece would seem to lend authority to accounts that "Movin' Out" will be a show heavy on song and dance, and light on book (in fact, no librettist is attached to the project). One source close to project said the musical's tale will be told entirely through Joel's songs and Tharp's footwork.
Parkinson and Wise were both featured dancers in the Broadway revue, "Fosse." Wise first made his mark in Jerome Robbins' Broadway, winning a Tony for his work. The two hoofers are husband and wife.
Roberts was also in "Fosse" as well as Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake." Selya is a veteran of many seasons at American Ballet Theatre. Tuttle also has dozens of ABT ballets to her credit. Much of Bowman's work has been at the New York City Ballet.
All are members of Tharp's own dance group, Twyla Tharp Dance.
The Chicago-to-Broadway route is the same one used by "The Producers" and, with less fortunate results, "Sweet Smell of Success." Rehearsals are to start April 29th, 2002.
The musical, previously called "The Thoel Project," had a workshop over the October 6th, 2001 - October 7th, 2001, weekend. According to press materials, the story concerns "six lifelong friends, told over two turbulent decades. This new musical takes us back to a time we all remember - to the days when almost anything could happen, and the nights when almost everything did."
The show will feature 24 Joel compositions including the songs "An Innocent Man," "Big Shot," "The River of Dreams" and "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)."
Designers are Santo Loquasto (sets), Suzy Benzinger (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting) and Brian Ruggles and Peter Fitzgerald (sound).
Stuart Malina is the music director on the venture.
Joel had talked about writing a musical off and on over the years. The self-styled "Piano Man" from Long Island has steadily hit the pop charts since his breakthrough 1977 album, "The Stranger." Since then, he has recorded such records as "52nd Street," "Glass Houses," "The Nylon Curtain," "Storm Front," "An Innocent Man" and "River of Dreams." Among his best known songs are "Only The Good Die Young," "Just The Way You Are," "My Life," "You May Be Right," "Tell Her About It," "Uptown Girl," "We Didn't Start the Fire" and "A Matter of Trust."
"Visa 'Movin' Out' To Broadway With Billy Joel-Inspired Musical"
Visa Extends Broadway Involvement With Sponsorship of New Broadway Musical Opening October 24th, 2002
(May 31st, 2002)
Building on its current sponsorship of the League of American Theatres and Producers, the American Theatre Wing and the Tony Awards, Visa USA announced today it will become the proud sponsor of this fall's new musical, "Movin' Out."
Conceived, directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp and based on the songs and musical compositions of Billy Joel, "Movin' Out" tells the story of six lifelong friends living through the tumultuous times from 1967 through 1987. This new musical takes the audience back to a time we all remember - to the days when almost anything could happen, and the nights when almost everything did.
Visa's association with "Movin' Out" features an unprecedented six-week advance ticket access exclusively for Visa cardholders. An additional five days has been added to this advance sale for the first ever Internet advance ticket availability for a Broadway show. This internet pre-sale is specifically targeting Billy Joel ticket and record buyers.
In addition, Visa cardholders receive other benefits that are featured in an 8-page mini-magazine produced exclusively for consumers purchasing tickets with their Visa card. These benefits include such values as discounted room rates at Manhattan Marriott hotels, discounted parking at Icon parking garages and complementary dessert at 2002 James Beard Outstanding Chef of the Year Lidia Bastianiach's restaurants, Becco and Felidia.
"'Movin' Out' is very proud to be associated with Visa," said lead producer James Nederlander, Jr. "From the inception of this show, our team has worked with Visa to integrate Visa into the overall advertising and marketing campaign for the production. The result is a partnership that both enhances the excitement surrounding this theatrical event and provides an ongoing, tangible value to the 'Movin' Out' ticket buyers."
"Movin' Out" will open on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street) on Thursday, October 24th, 2002. Preview performances begin Monday, September 30th, 2002. "Movin' Out" is presented by James L. Nederlander, Hal Luftig, Scott Nederlander, Emanuel Azenberg and Terry Allen Kramer.