- Big shot: Billy Joel's musical, Movin' Out, opens at the Palace Theatre this week.
Of the dozens of cities on Movin' Out's national tour, only one -- Cleveland -- caught the eye of Michael Cavanaugh, the Tony-nominated singer from the Broadway run of Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel's musical. A native of Middleburg Heights, Cavanaugh agreed to meet up with the company when it comes to town and perform the 24 Joel songs one more time. "A good show is all about the audience," he says. "That's why I can sing the same songs every day."
Technically speaking, Cavanaugh never appears onstage. He leads the band on a raised platform, leaving the stage clear for the dancers, who are the show's main characters. The story follows six teenage friends growing up on Long Island, as they endure the Vietnam War and suffer its emotional aftereffects. Choreographer Tharp stitched together the story from Joel's repertoire.
"Since the second we opened in New York, it's pretty much been great," says Cavanaugh. "Sometimes it's like a rock concert up there." Movin' Out is at the Palace Theatre (1519 Euclid Avenue) Tuesday through February 20. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $32.50 to $77.50, available by calling 216-241-6000. -- Zachary Lewis
Just Say Yes!
World music group gets high on music.
Keyboardist Kennedy Thompson of One World Tribe wants to clear up a rumor about world music: Not all reggae musicians smoke pot. "Another one is that all Africans are good hand-drummers," says Thompson, who founded the 11-piece ensemble in Erie, Pennsylvania, a decade ago. "We have a vocalist from Sudan who can't play drums at all, and he couldn't care less." Most of Kennedy's other bandmates hail from places like Jamaica, Senegal, and Puerto Rico. "If you could compare us to anyone, you could say we're influenced by Santana, with many different ethnic groups on one stage," says Kennedy. "It's African, Caribbean, rock, jazz, funk, hip-hop. All of those into one stew." One World Tribe performs from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at the Ohio Theatre, 1519 Euclid Avenue. Admission is free; call 216-987-2741. -- Cris Glaser
Mardi Gras? Party Gras!
Get ready for some heavy-duty merriment.
It's never too early to prepare for Mardi Gras. There's a lot of groundwork that goes into one of the year's best reasons to party, even if you don't plan to make it to New Orleans later this week. Stomachs need to be in shape for all that drinking. Feet need to be ready for some major dancing. And breasts need to be firm, since about 5,743 different guys will be offering beads in exchange for a peek at them. At Friday's Mardi Gras Tune-Up, hosted by Art House, there'll be plenty of music, booze, and food to get you in the mood. It starts at 6 p.m. at Lava Lounge, 1307 Auburn Avenue. Admission is $20; call 216-398-8556. -- Michael Gallucci
Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
The reconstructed version of The Big Red One, Samuel Fuller's 1980 World War II epic, includes 50 minutes of footage added to a work that's always seemed mired in 1940s-style filmmaking. With the gritty new material, it now falls somewhere between The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan. It's at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8; call 216-421-7450. -- Michael Gallucci