The cast for the new musical collaboration between pop legend Billy Joel and choreographer Twyla Tharp, Movin' Out, is apparently coming together. According to Theatrical Index, John Selya, Elizabeth Parkinson, Keith Roberts, Ashley Tuttle, Scott Wise, Benjamin Bowman and Michael Cavanaugh have taken roles in the show. A few of the performers had already participated in a workshop of the project.
Movin' Out will have an out-of-town tryout in Chicago before hitting Broadway, where it will open at the Richard Rodgers on Oct. 24, after previews from Sept. 30. The Chicago run, at the Shubert Theatre, will be June 25-Aug. 4.
No official announcement regarding casting has been made.
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 29. The musical, previously called The Thoel Project, had a workshop over the Oct. 6-7, 2001, weekend. The story concerns six friends who grow up in the 1960s and go on to fight in Vietnam. One is killed in the war and another comes to blame the third for the man's death. The show—which, according to sources, will be heavy on song and dance, and light on book (in fact, no librettist is attached to the project)—will incorporate existing Joel songs as well some new material the songwriter will pen for the show. The show will feature 24 Joel compositions including the songs "Innocent Man," "Big Shot," "River of Dreams" and "Movin' Out."
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."