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'Hands on a Hardbody' to close on Broadway

After just 28 regular shows and 28 previews, Hands on a Hardbody is closing on Broadway, the show’s producers announced Monday. The musical, scored by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on March 21 and will play its last performance on April 13. The show is based on the 1997 documentary film of the same name, which followed the stories of people competing to win a Nissan pickup truck at a car dealership in Texas.

While the week after its debut ticket sales climbed 52 percent, last week’s box office total for Hands on a Hardbody was just $321,043 — just 30 percent of the show’s potential earnings and reportedly below its weekly operating costs.

This Week on Stage: 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' and 'Hands on a Hardbody' hit Broadway

The Broadway theater season is heading for the home stretch, with more than a dozen shows slated to open before the late-April deadline for this year’s Tony Awards. This week, the curtain officially rose on two adaptations of big-screen dramas (click on the links below to read our full reviews):

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Emilia Clarke, the Khaleesi from HBO’s Game of Thrones, could have used some dragons in Richard Greenberg’s stage adaptation of the familiar tale, which I dub “a meandering misfire lacking the charm and oomph of either Capote’s 1958 novella or the 1961 movie.” While it’s hard to live up to the legacy of Audrey Hepburn’s signature role, “it’s telling that the supporting player who makes the strongest impression is Vito Vincent, who plays Holly’s adoptive feline companion, Cat.” EW grade: C–

Hands on a Hardbody This new musical, featuring a score by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio with Amanda Green, is based on an unlikely source: a 1997 documentary about people in Texas trying to win a Nissan truck by being the last person to keep their hand on it. But, as Clark Collis writes, “the pair’s excursions into country, blues, and a clutch of other genres rarely rise above the generic.” EW grade: B–

Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier

Read more:
Phish frontman Trey Anastasio on his new Broadway show ‘Hands on a Hardbody’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Broadway box office: ‘Motown’ musical joins Million Dollar Club in its first week
Listen to a song from new ‘Big Fish’ musical — EXCLUSIVE

EW Stage Hub

'Hands on a Hard Body' moving to Broadway

The new musical Hands on a Hard Body is making the move to Broadway for the 2012-2013 season after its current run at California’s La Jolla Playhouse, the show’s producers announced Tuesday. The show, based on the quirky 1997 documentary of the same name by S.R. Bindler and Kevin Morris, follows the contestants of a car dealership contest, in which the competitors must keep at least one hand on the body of a truck for as long as possible. The last person standing drives the car away. The musical was scored by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio with lyrics by Amanda Green (Bring It On: The Musical), and premiered May 12 at the La Jolla Playhouse, which commissioned the work. Hands on a Hardbody is directed by Neil Pepe (Speed the Plow) and features staging by Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan) and book by Doug Wright, who won the Pulitzer Prize for I am My Own Wife.

The Broadway theater, cast, and opening dates have not yet been announced. The La Jolla staging featured Keith Carradine, Hunter Foster, and Allison Case.

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