Holden, who has performed with the show sporadically since Aug. 27, played on Nov. 1 when the show's music composer Billy Joel surprised the audience at the Richard Rodgers Theatre for the evening performance.
"After our bows, I turned around and there was Billy standing behind me and smiling," said Darren Holden. "The audience was in a frenzy...it was like a rock concert! Billy gave me a big hug and was very complimentary about my performance. I immediately got up from the piano so he could sit down and he then sang [the show's unlisted closer] `New York State of Mind.' Billy still has a cast on his right wrist but he played anyway. I had no idea he was watching the show that night. It was such a thrill to be on stage with the 'man' himself." For more information on Holden, check out www.darrenholden.com.
The national tour for Movin' Out, the new Broadway musical collaboration between pop legend Billy Joel and choreographer Twyla Tharp will launch from Detroit's Fisher Theatre, Jan. 26, 2004.
The premiere will play through Feb. 15 at the Motor City Nederlander house before venturing off to venues in Buffalo, Hartford, Boston, Appleton, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Denver, Seattle and San Diego. Dates and its extensive list of tour stops will be announced shortly.
Producers of the Broadway run — James L. Nederlander, Hal Luftig, Scott E. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Clear Channel Entertainment and Emanuel Azenberg — will also present the tour. The bookless show, currently residing at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre, uses Joel's song lyrics and 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.
Following a tryout at Chicago's Shubert Theatre, the show officially opened on The Great White Way Oct. 24, following previews since Sept. 30. The new show took home the Tony Awards for Best Choreography (Tharp) and Orchestrations (Joel and Stuart Malina).
The songlist includes many of Joel's hit songs and even interpolates some of his classical work. "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" functions as a sort of overture, introducing the characters. The story kicks off with "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" and moves through other songs as the popular "We Didn't Start the Fire," "Big Shot," "Uptown Girl" and "Captain Jack," as well as more obscure early work like "James," "Summer, Highland Falls," and "Angry Young Man." As a final curtain coda, Cavanaugh belts out the apropos "New York State of Mind."
For more information and updates on the tour, visit www.movinoutonbroadway.com/tour.