WHERE: Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave.
WHEN: Mar. 6 – Mar. 8
PRICE: $25, Student Rush $20
“No, we didn’t start the fire / It was always burnin’ since the world’s been turnin’ / No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it.” Billy Joel has been so effective in capturing the voice of the entire Vietnam generation that “Movin’ Out,” a touring Broadway musical, was made solely from his lyrics as homage to Joel and the baby boomers.
First conceived by Twyla Tharp, a New York-based choreographer, “Movin’ Out” paints a picture of a small group of teenagers living on Long Island during the Vietnam War.
Shifting from plays like “Hairspray” and “Spring Awakening,” which rely heavily on character development, no actor is given a name or speaking role. Instead, all of the music is played by a single man sitting at the piano while dancers dramatize the words. The dance ranges from a shimmying, hip-hop version of “Uptown Girl” to a slow, ballroom/ballet mashup set to the tune of “Shameless.”
The show moves swiftly from number to number, with only a tiny bit of plot holding the show together. In its essence, “Movin’ Out” cannot exactly be called a musical. Instead, it has coined the term “rock ballet” to describe the constant twists and twirls of the interpretive performers.
The work’s dancing is fanatical, shifting from point ballet to something akin to ballroom flamenco and then to jazzercising hip-hop. The maniacal gyrations of each dancer are solely to the credit of Tharp. She is a world-renowned choreographer, most recognized for her work with the Broadway show “Singin’ in the Rain,” which played for 367 shows. “Movin’ Out” nabbed a 2003 Tony for Best Choreography and the 2003 Astaire Award for Choreography.
This is the second national tour of “Movin’ Out,” the first running from January 2004 to January 2007 and playing 1,111 shows. At its core, “Movin’ Out” is a fantastic rock ballet featuring a generation that experienced Joel’s toils.
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