Hands on a Hardbody, the musical adaptation of a 1997 documentary of the same name featuring a score from Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, will open on Broadway during the 2012-13 season, the New York Times reports.
The show, which tells the story of a group of Texans trying to win a truck in a competition to see who can keep their hand on the truck the longest, is currently making its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. Information regarding dates, casting and a theater location for the Broadway run will be announced at a later date.
Anastasio composed the music alongside Amanda Green, who also wrote the lyrics, while the book was penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright with choreography from Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan).
In an interview with Rolling Stone last October, Anastasio talked about his experience working on Hands on a Hardbody, including the challenges he faced: “I suggested rewriting [a] song, but Doug disagreed. He explained that in this case, he didn’t think that the issue was the song. He felt that the character needed a few more lines of dialogue to set the song up, so that the audience understood the intent behind the song before they heard it. He changed the actor’s lines, we ran it again and it was stunning. This was a complete revelation to me. In the past, I’ve habitually led with the music.”
Anastasio also spoke about the differences in songwriting technique needed for the musical: “These songs are, by their very nature, far more direct emotionally than many songs that I’ve written or co-written in the past. Writing for singers other than myself, or another band member, has been incredibly liberating.”
Anastasio also talked about his family’s tradition of seeing Broadway shows. His grandmother would take his mother to shows throughout the Forties and Fifties, and when Anastasio and his sister were growing up, their mother would take them to Broadway as well.
“Even before moving to the city from Vermont permanently seven years ago,” Anastasio continued, “my wife Sue and I made a point to continue the tradition. We take our daughters and my nephew to Broadway shows regularly. It makes me so happy that they love the theater today.”