Selected from hundreds of entries in the tri-state area, the ten wanna-be Broadway piano men and women include pianist-singers Deidre Broderick (New York City), Scott Eggert (Bedminster, New Jersey), Karen Jacobsen (NYC), Matthew Leland (NYC), Michael Miceli (Bayonne, NJ), William Vivino (Wayne, NJ), Cooper Grodin (NYC), Tony DeSare (West Orange, NJ), Miche Braden (East Orange, NJ) and John De Guzman (NYC).
Finalists will have one last chance to impress a panel of judges and a live audience as they tickle the ivories with one minute of a Billy Joel song of their choice.
Tony Award nominee Michael Cavanaugh and Wade Preston (who plays piano and provides lead vocals for matinees) kicked off the contest Oct. 7 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Contestants began taping their auditions — accepted through Oct. 31 — for a $1,000 free checking account from Washington Mutual and the shot at a live gig singing "New York State of Mind" at a performance of Movin' Out in January.
Movin' Out, currently residing at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre, uses Billy Joel's song lyrics and Twyla Tharp's choreography to tell the story of five friends and lovers across three decades through love, war and loss. There is no dialogue and all songs are performed by pianist-singer Michael Cavanaugh, who sings non stop and heads an on-stage band during the show.
The bookless show received 10 nominations for the 2003 Tony Awards including a nod for Cavanaugh. The production took home two prizes — one for Twyla Tharp (Best Choreography) and one for Billy Joel and Stuart Malina (Best Orchestrations). Tickets to the Broadway run at the Richard Rodgers, 226 West 46 Street, can be purchased by calling (212) 307-4100. For more information, visit www.movinoutonbroadway.com.