Opening night for the populist musical — which is inspired by the 1997 documentary film that chronicled a Texas-set example of the competition — is March 21. The show has a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife) and score by lyricist and co-composer Amanda Green (Bring It On: The Musical) and co-composer Trey Anastasio (of the pop group Phish).
Here's how the producers bill the fact-inspired new American musical: "For ten hard-luck Texans, a new lease on life is so close they can touch it. Under a scorching sun for days on end, armed with nothing but hope, humor and ambition, they'll fight to keep at least one hand on a brand new truck in order to win it. In the hilarious, hard-fought contest that is Hands On a Hardbody, only one winner can drive away with the American Dream."
The show's Tony-winning design team includes scenic designer Christine Jones (American Idiot), costume designer Susan Hilferty (Wicked), lighting designer Kevin Adams (Spring Awakening), sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy (Jersey Boys), with orchestrations by Trey Anastasio and Don Hart, and vocal arrangements/musical direction by Carmel Dean (American Idiot).
The La Jolla Playhouse production of Hands On a Hardbody is produced on Broadway by Broadway Across America – Beth Williams, Barbara Whitman/Latitude Link, Dede Harris/Sharon Karmazin, Howard & Janet Kagan, and John & Claire Caudwell, Rough Edged Souls, Joyce Primm Schweickert, Paula Black/Bruce Long, and Off The Aisle Productions/Freitag-Mishkin.
The show was commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse (Christopher Ashley, artistic director & Michael S. Rosenberg, managing director).
The Brooks Atkinson is at 256 W. 47th Street. Tickets range from $55-$155, and are available at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre box office and at Ticketmaster.com or at (877) 250-2929.
For those American dreamers who might not be able to pay top price for the show, Hands On a Hardbody has a discount "rush ticket" policy: A limited number of $32 rush tickets (price includes $2 facility fee) are available for every performance. These rush tickets, which are available to all patrons, are cash only and can be purchased at the box office only, beginning at 10 AM the day of the performance. There is a limit of two tickets per person.
For more information, visit handsonahardbody.com.