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HANDS ON A HARDBODY - Unique Play Rolls Onto Broadway

by Rich and Laura Lynch

We've all got our hands on a truck. And, we've all got a lot of baggage we could throw in the back.

Hands On A Hardbody Rolls Into Broadway Engagment

That's the summary version of the message and moral provided by the new musical HARDS ON A HARDBODY now playing on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. caught an opening week matinee performance on March 27, 2013 of the show which stars ten hopeful contestants and one Nissan pick-up truck.

HANDS ON A HARDBODY is based on the 1997 documentary of 10 Texans looking for a new lease on life. They each wanted to win a truck and were willing to stand in the sun for days with the hope of being the last one with their hands on it. The cast includes a list of Broadway veterans and awarding winning teams for costumes, sets and sound.

This play marks the Broadway debut of Trey Anastasio of Phish fame who wrote and scored the production with lyrics provided by Great White Way veteran Amanda Green.

The Brooks Atkinson Theater is an ornate venue. The stage was simple with signs to indicate we were at a car dealership. The brand new red truck was center stage as the contestants came out singing the funky "Human Drama Kind of Thing" and "If I Had This Truck" to explain their reasons for wanting the new Nissan.

For all of them trucks are a part of being a "Texan" but more importantly it represents an opportunity to get their lives back on track. They share a can-do American attitude that despite bad times, things will get better and that shiny red truck is the key to their brighter futures.

Much of the dialogue and music is about the American spirit and the current shape of the country. As the time passes, the ten shared their stories which touched upon what many folks are truly facing be it health issues, racism, unemployment, or lives that have just run out of gas. Although HANDS ON A HARDBODY handles heavy topics they are countered by comedy and mostly up-tempo songs that blend country with rock along with the gospel inspired "Joy of the Lord".

The dance numbers were creative as the contestants continued to hold onto the truck as they maneuvered around each other. The vehicle also shifted throughout the show adding to the affect of movement. In one instant the truck becomes an instrument as the contestants tapped tempos on it and beeped the horn in a turbo charged drum solo.

It's amazing how much got packed into one mid-size truck. The combined weight of the greed, misery, desperation and lost love faced by many of the competing individuals didn't stand in the way of their determined pursuit of the American dream. And, even though only one came away the winner - others found hope, redemption and respect on that dusty Texas lot.

Despite its quirky and unusual subject matter HANDS ON A HARDBODY was a fun show that will grab hold of your imagination and teach you to not let go of your dreams - at least not without a fight.

Related Links: For more information on HANDS ON A HARDBODY and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - | Brooks Atkinson Theater

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