Singing and Dancing on Broadway (But Don’t Let Go of the Truck)

« previous episode | next episode »

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The musical 'Hands on a Hardbody' at Broadway’s Brooks  Atkinson Theatre. The musical 'Hands on a Hardbody' at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre. (Chad Batka)

Hands on a Hardbody is the decidedly catchy title of a musical with a particular catch in its plot: A group of people are in a contest to win a new truck. The competition is simple enough. The contestants stand around truck with one hand on it and the last person to let go of the truck is the winner.

This new musical is based on a 1997 documentary film about a contest that took place at a Nissan dealership in Longview, Texas. The show features a score by Trey Anastasio of the jam band Phish, and Amanda Green, and a book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright.

And while the premise of the contest — and the show — is simple enough, the catch isn’t as much in the competition as it is in the conventions of the Broadway musical: namely, how much dancing can you do while standing with one hand on a truck?

New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood explains how that challenge is handled and some other ways in which the show is unconventional. “Hands on a Hardbody” is now playing at the Brooks Atkinson Theater.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.