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Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
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Movin' Out

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 3, 2003
New York, NY

About the Author:

Movin' Out

Conceived by Twyla Tharp
Music and lyrics by Billy Joel
Directed and Choreographed by Twyla Tharp
Scenic Design by Santo Loquasto
Costumes by Suzy Benzinger
Lighting by Donald Holder
Sound Design by Brian Ruggles and Peter J. Fitzgerald
Press Representative: Barlow/Hartman

Producers: James L. Nederlander, Hal Luftig, Scott E. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Clear Channel Entertainment, Emanuel Azenberg

Richard Rodgers Theatre
226 West 46th Street


Performed by: David Gomez, Elizabeth Parkinson, John Selya, Ashley Tuttle, Scott Wise, Benjamin G. Bowman, Michael Cavanaugh,
A Full Cast, and The Movin' Out Band

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 3, 2003

This Broadway Musical song and dance production is clearly a presentation for an audience that likes certain kinds of music and dance and is clearly NOT a presentation for anyone else, unless they are stalwart balletomanes, who would come to see an ABT star, such as Ashley Tuttle, in a most unusual and dramatic role, at the cost of being subjected to extremely loud rock music and hyper-kinetic acrobatics for a couple of hours, all at once. If you like: smoky, dark, extremely large sets, which appear and re-appear, dented old Chevy's driven onto onstage parking lots, multi-level sets with rock musicians singing Billy Joel lyrics, which are unintelligible and uninteresting, military fatigues and flags, in the midst of anger and angst, a battle scene, which is a surreal version of Tybalt's death in the ballet, Romeo and Juliet, music volume that hurts your ears (I sat in the orchestra front), watching a favorite ballerina in torn, black material trying to maintain her classy, classical approach, among the non-dancing dancers, choreography that sends dancers into wild catapulting leaps and handstands, cartwheels and high jumps, with no visual affect or sensuality, but basking in the audience approval of gymnastic gyrations, then Movin' Out is a musical for you.

I must reiterate that Ashley Tuttle was a brilliant performer, with the appropriate amount of tragic affect in her acting, although, as was mostly the case for the entire cast, her ballet sequences were visual, with no need for words, as the haunting and annoying band sang what was supposed to lend meaning to the movement. I admit I am not a Billy Joel fan, and I do not enjoy rock music. Therefore, with some dance passages actually appealing, I would like to see some of Twyla Tharp's choreography performed to different 60's music, such as Elvis or the Beatles, to name a few musical geniuses of the era. The Vietnam years were a disturbing time for all Americans, as freedom of political expression and sexual liberation for women developed, as well as the drug culture and trends in dance and music. Yet, I prefer to see a more sensual and intellectual approach to political statements that occur in dance.

John Selya is an amazing and energetic gymnast, but I did not consider his macho machinations to be dance. Elizabeth Parkinson was much too wired. The remaining cast and musicians just did not seem appealing, and I do not recommend Movin' Out to fans of traditional Broadway, Ballet, or Modern Dance. However, the fans at the Richard Rodgers Theatre did not seem to fit this description, and there was a standing ovation. So, that's what America is all about, and freedom of expression began in the 60's, maybe even on Long Island.

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