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University of Iowa News Release


March 14, 2008

Twyla Tharp/Billy Joel Broadway hit, 'Movin' Out' comes to Hancher April 4-6

"Movin' Out," the Broadway music and dance extravaganza, is hitting the stage of the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium, sharing its timeless music from five-time Grammy winner Billy Joel and choreography from legendary director/choreographer Twyla Tharp, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 4-5, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 6.

Called the "No. 1 Show of the Year" by Time magazine, and "a shimmering portrait of an American generation" by Ben Brantley of the New York Times, this story features 24 of Billy Joel's best-known songs, including "Uptown Girl," "Movin' Out" and "We Didn't Start the Fire." It brings to life the story of five American youths and their journey to adulthood from the 1960s through the 1980s and the years of the Vietnam War.

Though Joel is not present onstage to perform his music, the life and passion of his songs are represented by its musicians, just as Twyla Tharp's energy-driven choreography is given life by those dancers who perform it. The rock-and-roll music and modern dance choreography never stop throughout the entire performance.

Unique to this musical is that during the performance the dancers never sing. Instead, the music medley of classic songs comes from a band of musicians and one lead singer suspended on a platform above the dancers.

Its storyline initially conceived by Tharp, this Broadway hit premiered on Oct. 24, 2002, in the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and ran for 1,303 performances, surpassing the runs of the two most popular Broadway dance hits, "Fosse" and "CONTACT."

In 2003 the show won two Tony Awards, one for "Best Orchestrations" for Joel with Stuart Malina and one for "Best Choreography" for Tharp, and attracted eight other Tony nominations.

Its U.S. tour of "Movin' Out" began on Jan. 27, 2004, in Detroit and the show has since traversed the country to great success and admiration by its audiences and critics.

Tharp is one of the world's best known choreographers, having created more than 135 dances, choreographed five Hollywood movies, written two books, directed and choreographed three Broadway shows, and received numerous awards and grants. Tharp's company, Twyla Tharp Dance, was founded in 1965 to perform the unique choreography and movement created by Tharp.

Joel is probably best known for his first hit song "Piano Man" from 1973, and he has since created classic works including "New York State of Mind" and "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me."

Joel began his musical career with classical piano training at the age of four. Both his admiration for Broadway musicals and a love of rhythm & blues contribute to a diverse musical background that has made him one of the best-selling artists in the world and one of America's most widely known songwriter/performers.

The story of "Movin' Out" begins on Long Island when its five main characters, Brenda, Eddie, James, Judy and Tony -- all characters pulled from Billy Joel classics -- finish high school with high hopes and dreams. The men are sent overseas to fight in the war and James is killed. The two returning heroes find it hard to fit in, but after a detour filled by drugs and self-loathing, and with the help of Brenda and Judy, they find the love that heals the hurts of the war.

The performance of "Movin' Out" is supported by Riverside Casino & Golf Resort through the University of Iowa Foundation, with media support from KDAT-FM.

Tickets are $58/53/48; UI student $52.20/47.70/43.20; senior citizen $52.20/47.70/43.20; youth $40.60/37.10/33.60.

The Hancher Auditorium business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered at

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.


STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),; Writer: Jenna Ely