Note: Originally Published 8-26-07
So way back when, my wife and I bought tickets for a “new” musical called Movin’ Out. It was based on the music of Billy Joel, and while I’m not a super-fan by any means, it was something to do. The show was supposed to arrive in early June. For some reason-I’m still not sure why-it kept getting pushed back. Finally they settled on this weekend, and so Kristen and I went to the matinee yesterday afternoon.
Apparently I’m a little too literally minded. When they touted it as a “new” musical, I figured that simply meant it was new on the scene, as opposed to say … Cats. Within seconds, however, I realized that they proudly declared it a “new” musical because it did not play by the typical musical rules.
Movin’ Out was basically a series of scenes set to Billy Joel songs that made up a larger story. However, there was virtually no dialogue. We were to infer the emotions and storyline though the interpretive dance as performed from the moment it started to the instant it ended.
I’m afraid I’m not that into dance. I don’t know much about it, but I know what I like, and I did not care for the apparent mish-mash of dance that was somehow supposed to convey emotion and the human condition. Truthfully, most of it looked silly. I’m not knocking the performers, how they danced for nearly two hours straight with little rest is beyond me, and I’m sure some of the dancing they executed was stylistically sound and very demanding, but frankly, it looked ridiculous.
Just one man’s opinion.
Furthermore, the musicians were on a sort of catwalk above the stage, within sight of the audience but suspended above the dancers. They were good, certainly. However, I really would have liked canned Billy Joel singing with live musicians, as opposed to what I considered basically a Billy Joel impersonator. Don’t get me wrong, he sang the songs exactly right and sounded just like Billy Joel, but that’s my beef. Give me the real thing or give me your own style, not just a knock-off.
Wow, I sound really bitter and a little jerky, don’t I?
All in all, I don’t recommend this “musical” unless you really love to watch dance. Because there was no acting or dialogue, I think I’ll stick with the “old” musicals.