Review: Movin’ Out

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Is it a musical?  Is it a ballet?  Is it a rock concert?

It is sort of all these things but unfortunately never really delivers on any.

Good thing the Playbill contains a synopsis of the show because without it the audience would have had no idea what the show is supposed to be about.  There is virtually no dialogue for the two hour show and the mish-mash of Billy Joel songs doesn’t make for a cohesive storyline.

More of a dance play (without the play) Movin’ Out was conceived, directed and choreographed by renowned Broadway and Hollywood choreographer, Twyla Tharp.  Tharp sure keeps her dancers busy throughout the show but it lacks a narrative that links what the dancers are doing to what we are told the story is supposed to be about.

Quickly, the story follows a group of friends from their high school graduation in the 60s through to their reunion years later.  In between, the men go off to the Vietnam War, one dies and ultimately they all must get on with life after the war.

If you’re a Billy Joel fan come to the show for the music (and the dance) but not if you are expecting musical theatre.  The music is provided by a live band suspended above and behind the dancers on stage.  The music was good but it certainly is not the same as hearing Billy Joel himself sing his own songs.

We recommend waiting to see if Billy Joel mounts a new tour.  Or just buy his greatest hits CD.

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