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Movin' Out: The Rough Draft

Rob Bates

The Tony-Award winning "Movin' Out," based on the music of Billy Joel, closes on Broadway on December 11. In honor of the show's closing, we would like to take a moment to remember its humble beginnings. We have obtained a rough draft of this piece, which follows below.

SCENE: Fade in. Billy Joel, "the Piano Man," entertaining the patrons in a lowdown bar.

MAN: Wow. I was really in the mood for a melody, but you got me feeling all right! Let me put tips in your jar! Man, what are you doing here?

BILLY: Research! One day, I'm going to write a song about you losers and your pathetic lives.

(To the tune of "Piano Man")

"I'll play you a song. I'm the piano man.

I'm playing for drunks in a dump

Oh, but I could be a millionaire

If I just get away from you shlubs."

BILLY: There's one line I'm stuck on. I have a character named Davy, and I want to say he's still in -- I'm not sure. The army, the air force?

WOMAN: How about Davy, who's still in the Navy?

BILLY: Perfect! (STARTS TO NOTICE HER) Hey, baby. Are you a loser like everyone else here? That's okay. Cause I love you just the way you are.

("To the tune of "Just the Way You Are")

"Don't go changing to try and please me

I don't expect that much from you

Don't imagine that you're clever

I know you haven't got a clue

Don't go thinking

That you're fancy

You're just some skank who's at the bar.

Until I marry a supermodel

I love you just the way you are."

BILLY: Babe, I'm gonna love you for the longest time!

(To the tune of "The Longest Time")

"You might feel this is a pleasant song

But you will see it goes on for far too long

Soon you'll be pleading

For this song to stop repeating

But it just goes on

For the longest time.

You still might think this is a catchy tune

But you'll find it annoying very soon

It's repetitious

You'll wonder will it ever finish

But that won't happen

For the longest time."

VIRGINIA: Boy, I like your fake doo-wop even better than your fake rock!

BILLY: Hey, let's go back to my place!

VIRGINIA: Billy, I'm not that kind of girl. Can't you tell by my name? "Virginia. ... virgin." Granted, it's not subtle....

BILLY: I'm not going with a girl who won't put out!

VIRGINIA: I thought you liked me just the way I am.

BILLY: You believed that! Next thing, you'll believe I'm really Italian!

(To the tune of "Only the Good Die Young")

"Come on Virginia don't make me stop

You got a cherry I'm dying to pop.

So give in to pressure or you will be shunned

'Cause only the good die young."

VIRGINIA: I just realized: Your lyrics sound like they're saying something, but they're actually just stupid. What does that mean: Only the good die young?

BILLY: This!


BILLY: Whoops!

(To the tune of "You May Be Right")

"Friday night I banged your mother

Saturday I stabbed your brother

Sunday came I robbed the liquor store

I was only having fun

But now I'm on the run

And I have to hide at your place for a while

You may be right

I might be dangerous

But it just might be a psychopath

You're looking for

Those knots are tight

You won't escape me

I might be sick

For all I know

But I might be right."

MAN: Everyone! Keep away from the lunatic at the piano! He's totally drunk!

BILLY: See you guys later! I'm gonna drive home!


Billy stumbles out of the bar. The patrons are happy the Piano Man has made them forget about life for a while. Now if they could only forget about him.

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