Following its Tony Award-winning success on Broadway, Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp’s dance-driven musical Movin' Out received its European premiere at the West End’s Apollo Victoria last night (10 April 2006, previews from 28 March).

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer was on hand at the opening night party at Pacha in Victoria, which was also attended by guests including Ralf Little, Natalie Casey (TV’s Two Pints of Lager), Tony Lundon (Liberty X), John Taylor (Duran Duran), Nicholas Ball (TV’s Hazel), Billy Murray (EastEnders), Peter Straker and Bonnie Langford, as well as members of the company led by dancers Ron Todorowski, Holly Cruikshank, David Gomez, Laura Costa Chaud and Matt Dibble and, on the piano, Fame Academy star James Fox.

The Movin' Out 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.

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.

Movin' Out continues its limited season at the Apollo Victoria until 17 July 2006, before embarking on a European tour.

- by Terri Paddock


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