Matthew Friedman's classic Long Island fairy tale gets its storybook ending this weekend. The Dix Hills native left his job as an attorney to follow his dream of being a musician like his hero, Billy Joel. This weekend, he brings Joel's Tony-winning musical, "Movin' Out," to Long Island, playing the Piano Man, who, through Joel's songs, essentially narrates the story told through Twyla Tharp's choreography.
Calling from a tour stop in Pittsburgh, Friedman talks about coming home and the one thing that could make it better.
So are you looking forward to finally doing the show on Long Island?
I'm so looking forward to it. I have so many people coming - family, friends, my schools (I'm trying to arrange it so that Hofstra brings a group and my old high school brings a group), my father's hospital is coming. Everybody's coming. It's going to be a real event. And, of course, we're trying to get Billy [Joel] to show up.
You have a new son, Ansan, now, so it must be twice as difficult to be on the road.
It's really tough when he gets sick because I really want to be there to help my wife and I'm not.... But the show has been very good to me about giving me time to go home. I am a little road weary, though. From a travel standpoint, it's brutal because you never know where you are. But I am seeing a lot of the country.
What else are you working on?
If the show goes on in some capacity, I'd want to stay involved with it, especially if it goes overseas. I'm also playing in "Jersey Boys" right now, so whenever I go home from the tour, I get to play two to five shows a week with "Jersey Boys." So I am getting to play on Broadway, it's just not with "Movin' Out." ... I love being onstage. I love this group. And I love the show. Even after another year, I'm still not tired of it.
And I'm sure the energy will be even higher on Long Island.
It will be ridiculously high ... even higher if Billy shows up. It will be ridiculously high. As much as I would love for him to be there, the dancers would have heart attacks. They got to work with Twyla and see her and talk to her. She, of course, excites them and they love the opportunity to work with her. But if Billy showed up, these kids would go berserk. ... It would be amazing. We would love to show him what we can do.
WHAT "Movin' Out"
WHEN|WHERE 8 p.m. Friday, and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Tilles Center, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville
INFO $45-$75; 516-299- 3100, tillescenter.org