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Movin' Out

by Billy Joel

COMPANY : Atlanta Broadway Series [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The Fabulous Fox [WEBSITE]
ID# 1229

SHOWING : March 29, 2005 - April 03, 2005



a Billy Joel revue with interpretive dance set by Twyla Tharp

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Billy Joel state of mind (4.5)
by Okely Dokely
Monday, April 11, 2005
I guess tribute bands aren't as bad after all.

My music and acting/theatre life don't co-exist that well. I'm either hardcore into one thing or hardcore into the other. Because of this, a fact about me that you might not know is how much of a Billy Joel fan I am. As a piano player, I know most of these songs (and I can now add the pianist/vocalist for this show to my Dream Role list), and have been playing them for several years. I have a harmonica for every major key, and I even have one of those harmonica holders that looks like head gear, which leaves my hands free to play Piano Man. I saw a Billy Joel Q and A special on TV a few years back, where he recalled the first time he saw this apparatus. It was at a Bob Dylan concert back in the 60s. He didn't know what it was, and had thought Dylan had been in some horrible accident. He said the MC's announcement should have been "Ladies and gentleman, please...feel sorry for...Bob Dylan!!!"

In addition, Mr. Joel has been through a lot of depression and tough times in his life, and his music and inspirational lyrics have helped me through my darkest hours - more than I'll ever get to tell him personally, I bet. The narrator of his Behind the Music episode got it right when he said we hear our own stories in his songs. I'm glad I was alone when I went down to the Fox to see this, because just when I thought I was desensitized to his music and lyrics - and the fact that he was "there" for me more than anyone else in those worst moments of my life going on 7 years ago - I got emotional. My toes were tapping through the overture (It's Still Rock and Roll to Me, which was butchered by Kimberly Caldwell during American Idol 2003), and I was boo-hooing through practically all of Scenes From an Italian Restaurant. I regained my composure, though I got a couple slight misty-eyed spells sporadically throughout the experience, particularly during This Night [what a great song - the chorus was taken directly from Beethoven].

The best stuff from Joel's classical album is even in this show. Of the songs with lyrics, other favorites were Goodnight Saigon, We Didn't Start the Fire, and a slightly-revamped Pressure. I will be at the next casting call for this (or whatever you call it when new musicians are being "cast"), wherever and whenever it may be. I'm still not sure how he hits that middle C so quickly at the beginning of the Prelude to Angry Young Man. That part continues to kick my ass.


Oh, yeah, there was that interpretive dancing thing. That was kinda sorta okay, the little bit I saw. I was mostly focusing on the band. The NY State of Mind encore was really cool. The pianist's improv was particularly inspired. Jason told me that in the Broadway production, the guy came back out and did Piano Man, which unfortunately, we didn't get. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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