Tony nominee Keith Carradine, Hunter Foster and more have joined the cast of the previously announced world premiere musical Hands on a Hardbody at La Jolla Playhouse. The musical begins performances April 27 and runs through June 17, with opening night set for May 12. The show features a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife) and a score by Amanda Green (High Fidelity) and Trey Anastasio of Phish. The production is directed by Atlantic Theater Company’s Neil Pepe and choreographed by Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan).
The cast features Carradine (The Will Rogers Follies) as JD Drew, Allison Case (Hair) as Kelli Mangrum, Tony winner Jarrod Emick (Damn Yankees, Ring of Fire) as Mike Ferris, Foster (Urinetown) as Benny Perkins, Jay Armstrong Johnson (Catch Me If You Can) as Greg Wilhote, David Larsen (Good Vibrations) as Chris Alvaro, Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone (Legally Blonde national tour) as Heather Stovall, Mary Gordon Murray (Little Me) as Virginia Drew, Connie Ray (Next Fall) as Cindy Barnes, Jon Rua (In the Heights) as Jesus Peňa, Keala Settle (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) as Norma Valverde, Dale Soules (Grey Gardens) as Janis Curtis, Jacob Ming Trent (On the Levee) as Ronald McGowan, Scott Wakefield (It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues) as Frank Nugent and William Youmans as Don Curtis/Dr. Stokes.
Based on the documentary film Hands on a Hard Body from S. R. Bindler, the show centers on an auto dealership in Longview, Texas that launches an endurance contest. Ten economically strapped strangers embark on a journey that puts their hearts, minds and bodies to the test, and 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.
The creative team includes music director Zachary Dietz, scenic designer Christine Jones, costume designer Susan Hilferty, lighting designer Kevin Adams, sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy and Playhouse Resident dramaturg Shirley Fishman.