By Kenneth Jones
08 Apr 2011
The musical about an endurance contest to win a hardbody truck is written by librettist Doug Wright (a Pulitzer Prize winner for I Am My Own Wife), composer-lyricist Amanda Green (High Fidelity) and composer Trey Anastasio of the band Phish.
Neil Pepe (Speed-the-Plow) directs, and Benjamin Millipied ("Black Swan") choreographs.
Hands on a Hardbody, according to La Jolla Playhouse in California, "is a musical based on the documentary film of the same name, about a truck competition in rural East Texas. In the contest, hardscrabble contestants are invited to a local car dealership, to place their hands on a new Nissan truck. The contestant who can stand the longest without removing his or her hand from the vehicle gets to drive it off the lot. What initially seems like a mere publicity stunt soon becomes a bare-knuckle, soul-baring test of wills."
A full production of the show may be in LJP's future, but that has not yet been announced.
LJP's 2011-12 season is highlighted by three world premieres, including A Dram of Drummhicit, a new play by Arthur Kopit and Anton Dudley, directed by Playhouse artistic director and Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley; Milk Like Sugar, a co-commissioned work by Kirsten Greenidge, directed by Rebecca Taichman; and the new musical Finding Neverland, based on the Academy Award-nominated film, with book by Allan Knee, music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie and directed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford. More information on the Playhouse's 2011-12 season can be found at www.LaJollaPlayhouse.org.