Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hands On A Hard Body to Shutter

Filed under: Performing Arts — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 02:28


The amazing new musical Hands on a Hard Body is going to unfortunately call it quits April 13, 2013 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. Unable to garner a solid following, the show, originally produced at the La Jolla Theater, had a financially rough preview period and was unable to raise its average ticket price to more than about $32. Last week, the show earned a little more than $240,000 playing in front of a house at a little less than 60% capacity. The musical follows the true story of a 1997 contest at a Texas Nissan dealer that tested the tenacity of a group of people vying to win a free Nissan truck. He or she who was able to keep his or her hands on the truck the longest, won it. Each character has their own number (sometimes sung in duets or even ensemble numbers) that tells the heartwarming reason why winning the truck is such an essential feat to their life. The music is by Trey Anastasio, the frontman of the alternative rock group Phish, and features a score by Amanda Green and musical staging by Sergio Trujillo (MEMPHISThe Jersey Boys). I was able to see the show during its preview period back in March and my partner and I were thoroughly impressed. The simple staging, which might disappoint some expecting the “razzle dazzle” of a big Broadway musical, actually made the show incredibly intimate; and the musical score and choreography, often involving the truck itself, soared and ROCKED its way into our hearts as we felt empathy and excitement for each one of the contestants. It truly was a unique and incredible addition to the American musical theater that will probably live on through touring and regional productions. But very sadly, the show will only have run for 28 preview performances and 28 regular performances on Broadway, which is a mighty less number than this incredible musical deserved. To obtain tickets for Hands On A Hard Body, which closes this Saturday, visit the show’s Web Site @ http://handsonahardbody.com. Take a look below at some highlights from the show, including exclusive interviews with Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green:

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