WHAT’S HAPPENING BROADWAY FANS?! Can you believe we are only 28 DAYS AWAY till Broadway’s biggest night of the year…. The 73rd Annual Tony Awards. We are waking you up once again with some of the best musical numbers from previous Tony telecasts on our TOP 40 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN. Well, here comes another big Broadway toe tapper!!
At # 28 on our countdown is another show set during the Vietnam War. This was not your traditional Broadway show. This particular musical was told through song and dance featuring the music of a particular singer-songwriter who goes by one nickname. It centers on a group of friends in the 1960’s dealing with romance and heartbreak. Some of the main characters are even named after people called out during this one particular singer-songwriter's songs. This is MOVIN’ OUT!! The show features the songs of the legendary Billy Joel (a.k.a. THE PIANO MAN). It also features high energy direction, choreography, and a full vision by the legendary Twyla Tharp.
From the 2003 telecast, Michael Cavanaugh as the onstage “Piano Man” and the MOVIN’ OUT band accompany acclaimed dancers John Selya as "Eddie", Elizabeth Parkinson Elite Ballet and Contemporary Dance Intensive as "Brenda", Keith Roberts as "Anthony", Ashley Tuttle as "Judy", Benjamin G. Bowman as "James", and the entire cast dance out to 3 popular Billy Joel hits performed as a medley in the show…. RIVER OF DREAMS, KEEPING THE FAITH, and ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG.
Following an acclaimed out of town tryout in Chicago, MOVIN' OUT officially arrived on Broadway on October 24th, 2002 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre where it ran for an acclaimed total run of 1,331 performances. Under the direction and choreography of Twyla Tharp, the cast featured…
Tony nominee John Selya as "Eddie" (from SCENES FROM AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT),
Tony nominee Elizabeth Parkinson as "Brenda" (from SCENES FROM AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT),
Tony nominee Keith Roberts as "Anthony" (from the title song itself MOVIN’ OUT),
Tony nominee Ashley Tuttle as "Judy" (from WHY JUDY WHY),
Benjamin G. Bowman as "James" (from JAMES),
and Tony nominee Michael Cavanaugh (who got discovered by Billy Joel in a piano bar in Las Vegas) as on the onstage "Piano Man".
In addition due to the demands of the dancing in the show, the main roles in the show were alternated and had a separate group of dancers that performed at the Wednesday & Saturday matinees. The alternating cast included…
Ted Banfalvi as "Eddie",
Meg Paul as "Brenda",
Ian Carney as "Anthony",
Mabel Modrono as "Judy",
Alex Brady as "James".
and Wade Preston (who usually played keyboards in the band) took center stage and served as the alternate onstage “Piano Man”.
The show was a smash hit and went on to be nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 2003 winning 2 for Best Choreography (for Twyla Tharp) and Best Orchestrations (for Billy Joel and Stuart Malina).
Following its Broadway success, MOVIN' OUT went on to travel across America, played London's West End at the Apollo Victoria Theatre for a limited run, and more.
FUN FACT: During the closing night on Broadway, Billy Joel himself made a surprise appearance and performed as a special encore MIAMI 2017 (I SAW THE LIGHTS GO OUT ON BROADWAY).
Isn’t this a dance Broadway show experience like no other?!!