It’s not unusual for a big new musical to cancel previews and/or postpone its press night. The producers of Movin' Out have done something far more surprising – they’ve moved their press performance forward by eight days.

The Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp Broadway dance musical will now receive its UK premiere on 10 April 2006, rather than 18 April as previously announced (See News, 7 Dec 2005). Previews will begin, as scheduled, from 28 March for the limited season which continues at the West End’s Apollo Victoria until 17 July ahead of a European tour.

A spokesperson told Whatsonstage.com that, as five of the six principals – including Fame Academy’s James Fox who plays the Piano Man (See News, 17 Jan 2006) - have already appeared in US productions of the show, they felt ready to “get cracking” as soon as possible in London “to get the word out there and get people in”.

In addition to Fox (See News, 24 Feb 2006), the international cast features Holly Cruickshank (as Brenda), Ron Todorowski (Eddie), David Gomez (Tony), Matthew Dibble (James) and Laura Costa-Chaud (Judy). Each of the principals has an alternate who will perform select shows every week, although schedules have not yet been finalised. They are supported by a 17-strong ensemble of dancers.

Movin' Out follows a group of high school friends from New York, as they dance their way through the Vietnam War, lost lives, lost loves and lost dreams. Set on Long Island in the 1960s, the king and queen of the prom, Brenda and Eddie, are finished, while forever sweethearts James and Judy are ready for marriage. War splits the friends apart, but finally they reunite to discover they have all found their way back home.

The story is told without dialogue, combining choreography by double Emmy Award winner Twyla Tharp, with 24 songs written by five-time Grammy Award winner Billy Joel, including classics such as “Uptown Girl”, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, “She’s Got a Way” and title track “Movin’ Out”. The musical opened in Broadway in September 2002, running for more than 1,300 performances before closing in December 2005. It was nominated for ten 2003 Tony Awards and won two, for Joel's orchestrations and Tharp's choreography.

- by Terri Paddock