Tharp's Three-Year-Old, Movin' Out, Dances Past Long Run Musicals on Broadway

News   Tharp's Three-Year-Old, Movin' Out, Dances Past Long Run Musicals on Broadway As the new Twyla Tharp-Bob Dylan project gets underway, the Tony Award-winning director-choreographer's collaboration with Billy Joel nears the end of its third year performing, having recently surpassed other dance-heavy, long-running Broadway shows.
Elizabeth Parkinson and Keith Roberts in Movin' Out
Elizabeth Parkinson and Keith Roberts in Movin' Out Photo by Joan Marcus

On June 11, Movin' Out — playing on Broadway since Oct. 24, 2002, following a Chicago tryout (June, 2004) — reached its 1,094th performance, edging its mark in theatre history past Fosse (which stands at 1093) and Contact (1010).

The dance musical also boasts most of its original cast — who have taken breaks here and there, some to have children, but returned — including Tony Award nominees John Selya, Elizabeth Parkinson, Keith Roberts, Ashley Tuttle, Michael Cavanaugh as well as Scott Wise and Benjamin G. Bowman.

The current cast of Movin' Out also includes dancers Michael Balderrama, Timothy W. Bish, Christopher Body, Alexander Brady, Ian Carney, Ron DeJesus, Carolyn Doherty, Melissa Downey, Pascale Faye, Kurt Froman, Philip Gardner, Charlie Hodges, Lorin Latarro, Marty, Lawson, Brian Letendre, Tiger Martina, Mabel Modrono, Jill Nicklaus, Rika Okamoto, Eric Otto, Meg Paul, Justin Peck, Karine Plantadit-Bageot, Lawrence Rabson, Ron Todorowski and Jessica Walker with the band that features Wade Preston, Henry Haid, Tommy Byrnes, Kevin Osborne, Dennis Delgaudio, Greg Smith, Chuck Bürgi, John Scarpulla, Scott Kreitzer and Barry Danielian.

Producers of the Broadway run — James L. Nederlander, Hal Luftig, Scott E. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Clear Channel Entertainment and Emanuel Azenberg — also present the still-running national tour which launched Jan. 26, 2004. The tour recently earned the 2005 Touring Broadway Award for Best New Musical, also giving Tharp another win for Best Choreography.

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 the pianist-singer, 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, 2002 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 on the Broadway and national tour stagings of Movin' Out, visit www.movinoutonbroadway.com.

John Selya in <i>Movin' Out</i>
John Selya in Movin' Out Photo by Joan Marcus