Inspired by true events and based on S.R. Bindler and Kevin Morris’ acclaimed 1997 documentary of the same name, the musical features a book by Doug Wright (Pulitzer Prize winner, I Am My Own Wife), lyrics by Amanda Green (Bring It On: The Musical), and music by Trey Anastasio (Phish) and Amanda Green. Directed by Neil Pepe (Broadway’s Speed-The-Plow) with musical staging by Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan), the world premiere production of HANDS ON A HARDBODY opened Saturday, May 12 at La Jolla Playhouse and will play there through Sunday, June 17. Theater, dates, casting, and ticket information for the Broadway production will be announced shortly.
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.
HANDS ON A HARDBODY was commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse (Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director & Michael S. Rosenberg, Managing Director).
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
DOUG WRIGHT (Book)won the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for I Am My Own Wife in 2004. The play was developed at the Playhouse as the institution’s inaugural PageTo Stage workshop production. He received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his book forthe Broadway musical Grey Gardens. He also authored the book for the stage incarnation ofDisney’s beloved film The Little Mermaid. In 2009, he adapted and directed August Strindberg’s Creditors for La Jolla Playhouse in a production that was named Best Play of the Year by the San Diego Critics Circle. His stage work has been seen internationally in countries from Japan to Romania. Mr. Wright won an Obie Award for his play Quills. He went on to write the screenplay adaptation, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and received the Writer’s Guild of America’s Paul Selvin Award. The film garnered three Academy Award nominations and was named Best Picture by the National Board of Review. Other notable film work includes production rewrites on major releases at Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Foxand The Weinstein Company. For director Rob Marshall, he penned the television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic, which received seven Emmy Awards. Mr. Wright currentlyserves on the boards of the New York Theater Workshop, Yaddo and the Dramatists Guild. Heis a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and of the Writer’s Guild ofAmerica.
TREY ANASTASIO (Music).Composer/guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio is a founding member of Phish. One of the most successful and innovative rock bands of the last 30 years, Phish has built a career on uncompromising musicianship and spectacular live performances. Anastasio – who also tours regularly with Trey Anastasio Band – has received GRAMMY® nominations for his recordings with Phish and for his solo work. He has collaborated with such artists as Dave Matthews, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Toots and the Maytals, B.B. King and The Roots, and – as part of the trio Oysterhead – Les Claypool (Primus) and Stewart Copeland (The Police). Named by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Anastasio has performed his original compositions with numerous symphonies, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The New York Times hailed Anastasio’s Carnegie Hall performance with the New York Philharmonic as “that rarest of rarities, a classical-rock hybrid that might please partisans from both constituencies.” He is currently at work on a new solo album, which will be released this fall.
AMANDA GREEN (Music and Lyrics) co-wrote the lyrics for Bring It On: The Musical which will open on Broadway this July at The St. James Theater following its successful National tour. She wrote the lyrics for High Fidelity on Broadway. Tapped by Arthur Laurents, she wrote additional lyrics for the revival of Hallelujah Baby (Arena Stage, directed by Mr. Laurents). She co-starred/wrote the lyrics for For the Love of Tiffany: A Wifetime Original Musical (NY Fringe Festival). Winner of The Jonathan Larson Award and Abe Ohlman Award for Excellence in Songwriting, she has written episodes of The Wonder Pets for Nick, Jr. and comic essays for Playboy Magazine. In addition to Hands on a Hardbody, Ms. Green and Trey Anastasio have penned songs, a few of which he performs with his bands Phish and TAB. Ms. Green performs her songs everywhere from Birdland to The Bluebird Café in Nashville. Her revue, Put a Little Love in Your Mouth! The Songs of Amanda Green, sold out at Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theater and Joe’s Pub.
NEIL PEPE (Director)directed the acclaimed Broadway revival of Speed-the-Plow starring Raul Esparza, Jeremy Piven and Elisabeth Moss, as well as the recent Broadway production of David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre, starring Patrick Stewart and T.R. Knight. Since 1992, he has been the Artistic Director of the award-winning Atlantic Theater Company, which has produced more than 125 plays, establishing itself as one of the premiere Off-Broadway theater companies. Off-Broadway, he recently directed the world premiere of Happy Hour by Ethan Coen, continuing their collaboration after Offices and Almost an Evening. In the fall, he directed the world premiere of Adam Rapp’s Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling at the Atlantic. Other recent shows include the revival of Frank Gilroy’s The Subject Was Roses at Center Theatre Group, starring Martin Sheen, Frances Conroy and Brian Geraghty; David Mamet’s Keep Your Pantheon and School; Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song, his third collaboration with the playwright following the American premieres of The Night Heron and Mojo; David Pittu’s What’s That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling and its transfer to New World Stages; David Mamet’s Romance and its run at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles; Howard Korder’s Sea of Tranquility; The Beginning of August by Tom Donaghy, starring Mary Steenburgen at South Coast Repertory and Atlantic; Harold Pinter’s Celebration and The Room; and the revival of David Mamet’s American Buffalo starring William H. Macy, Phillip Baker Hall and Mark Webber, which had its initial run at the Donmar Warehouse in London before moving to New York.
BENJAMIN MILLEPIED (Musical Staging). Born in Bordeaux, France, Benjamin Millepied began his dance training at the age of eight with his mother Catherine Millepied, a modern dancer. He studied classical ballet at the Conservatoire National de Lyon and later at the School of American Ballet --the official school of the New York City Ballet, becoming principal dancer at the company in 2001. A sought-after dancer and choreographer with an extensive repertoire that includes featured and premiere roles in works by Balanchine, Robbins, Wheeldon, Martins, and Ratmansky, among others, Millepied has directed the Morris Center Dance Workshop and has held the post of Choreographer-in-Residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, in New York. Millepied's works have been commissioned, premiered, and presented in collaboration with the Grand Théâtre de Genève; Paris Opera Ballet; Metropolitan Opera; New York City Ballet; Joyce Theatre New York; Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, and many others. For a full list of works, please visit www.benjaminmillepied.com. In 2010, Millepied choreographed and starred in Darren Aronofsky’s feature film “Black Swan”. In the same year he was made Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. The 2012-13 season will inaugurate the newly-conceived L.A. Dance Project -- an art collective that aims to establish new models for creative collaboration with the goal of reaching out to broader audiences. Millepied's upcoming projects include choreography for a world premiere for the New York City Ballet; the musical "Hands on a Hardbody" for La Jolla Playhouse; and an animated feature for Quad Productions. Benjamin Millepied is the face of Yves Saint Laurent’s new fragrance “l’homme libre”.