A Festival Recommendation

Hands On A Hard Body

When an auto dealership in Longview, TX launches an endurance contest, ten economically-strapped strangers embark on a journey that puts their hearts, minds and bodies to the test. The contestant that keeps at least one hand on a brand-new hardbody truck the longest gets to drive it off the lot. Only one can win, but for all involved, that truck holds the key to their own private American dream. Featuring a brilliant rock, folk and country score from Amanda Green (High Fidelity) and Trey Anastasio (leader of the improvisational jam band Phish), extraordinary dance numbers from Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan) and a masterful story from Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife, Grey Gardens), this world premiere musical is bound to become an American classic.

Hands On A Hard Body

April 27 – June 17
LaJolla Playhouse — Mandell Weiss Theatre

Book by Doug Wright
Lyrics by Amanda Green
Music by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green
Based on the documentary film by S. R. Bindler and Kevin Morris
Musical Staging by Benjamin Millepied
Directed by Neil Pepe

Hands on a Hardbody is a fun ride.

The quirky musical at the La Jolla Playhouse about contestants trying to win a pickup could use a tuneup, but its folksy, low-key approach is seductive.

By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
May 15, 2012

"Hands on a Hardbody," the new musical based on S.R. Bindler's 1997 documentary film about a nutty endurance contest at a Texas auto dealership, pulls off something most pundits would have considered impossible today: This is a Red State musical that Blue State audiences won't hate themselves for enjoying.

The full LA Times review is here.