Billy Joel's: Movin' Out
A Rock Show for the Boomer Generation
The what: a story based on twenty-four hit singles by Billy Joel, the "piano man" rock musician. He has written hits such as "Only the Good Die Young," "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," "She's Always a Woman to Me," and countless more. The bonus: contemporary choreography by Twyla Tharp. Now not everyone knows the top ten of choreography, but I studied Tharp when I was in college in the seventies. Apparently, she leaped out of Barnard College with her degree in 1963 and has been setting the dance world on fire ever since. She is still HOT!
Joel: Historian for the Seventies through Today
Like Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel sang about matters touching him personally. Therefore, their material follows their times and their lives. Joel's music reflects the first-hand witness of the Vietnam conflict, the social rebellion of the sixties and seventies and the explosion of drug use by teens, his own romantic ups and downs, recession, and recovery. In the show Movin' Out, the story is presented through the original ordering of his songs. It helps to read the program beforehand because it contains what is essentially a libretto.
A Lighting Extravaganza
Wow. Three thumbs up. An incredibly effective rock concert feel permeates the show. Especially when combined with the smoke or fog machines, the sense onstage can sometimes be heart-wrenchingly and appropriately eerie.
Choreography Has Gymnastic Feats
The bar gets raised higher and higher in Broadway musicals. This dancing is some of the best I have seen for movement matching the lyrics and instrumental explosions right on target. It has the roughness of West Side Story with the extra feature of Olympic floor exercises, especially by the men. Precision is constant, including the chilling choreography of a military funeral with the folding of the flag. It ripped my heart out. In addition, there are some dances which are rock in nature but which have the lead female en pointe. To say the choreography is impressive, does not begin to do it justice.
Worth the Ticket Price
I saw the touring company and it was a bit pricey for me. However, now I am ashamed that I hesitated in spending the money. It was worth much more than the ticket cost.
Text copyright 2008 Maren E. Morgan