As previously tipped (See The Goss, 15 Nov 2005), Broadway hit dance musical Movin’ Out, featuring pop classics by Billy Joel, will receive its European premiere at the West End’s Apollo Victoria, where it will have a limited run from 18 April to 17 July 2006 (previews from 28 March), ahead of a continental tour.

The musical, which opened in New York in September 2002, closes this coming Sunday (11 December 2005) on Broadway where it has played at the Richard Rodgers Theatre for more than 1,300 performances.

Though Movin’ Out features many of Joel’s pop hits, including the title song, it isn’t your standard compilation musical but rather a narrative ballet, with choreography by the legendary Twyla Tharp. Described as a "Broadway ballet", the piece follows a group of high school friends from Long Island, 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.

Songs in the show include “Pressure”, “Big Shot” and “Captain Jack” as well as 23 other hits from the Grammy-winning songwriter. The production was nominated for ten 2003 Tonys and won two, for Joel's orchestrations and Twyla Tharp's choreography. It’s presented in the West End by IP Live plc.

Currently at the Apollo Victoria, screen-to-stage disco musical Saturday Night Fever will, after numerous extensions, finish its run on 18 February 2006. It opened at the Apollo Victoria in July 2004 after extensive touring and its original West End run at the London Palladium, where it had its world premiere in May 1998, marking the 21st anniversary of the release of the 1977 hit film, starring John Travolta.

- by Caroline Ansdell