La Jolla Playhouse will present a reading of its commissioned musical Hands on a Hardbody, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner and 2011 Playhouse Gala Honoree Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife), Amanda Green (High Fidelity) and Trey Anastasio of the popular band Phish. Directed by Neil Pepe (Speed-the-Plow) and choreographed by Benjamin Millipied (BLACK SWAN), the Hands on a Hardbody reading will take place in New York on April 8th and 9th (by invitation).
The cast for the reading includes Nick Blaemire as "Greg Wilhote," Keith Carradine as "JD Drew," Alison Case as "Kelli Mangrum," Jarrod Emick as "Mike Ferris," Manuel Herrera as "Jesus Pena," Leah Hocking as "Virginia Drew," James Iglehart as "Ronald McCowan," Brian d'Arcy James as "Benny Perkins," David Larsen as "Chris Alvaro," Connie Ray as "Cindy Barnes," Kate Rockwell as "Heather Stovall," Keala Settle as "Norma Valverde," Dale Soules as "Janis Curtis," Scott Wakefield as "Frank Nugent" and William Youmans as "Don Curtis/Dr. Stokes."
Hands on a Hardbody is a musical based on the documentary film of the same name, about a truck competition in rural East Texas. In the contest, hardscrabble contestants are invited to a local car dealership, to place their hands on a new Nissan truck. The contestant who can stand the longest without removing his or her hand from the vehicle gets to drive it off the lot. What initially seems like a mere publicity stunt soon becomes a bare-knuckle, soul-baring test of wills.
This exciting reading is part of La Jolla Playhouse's ongoing commitment to fostering artist relationships and the development of new work. The Playhouse seeks to nurture playwrights, directors, designers and performers who are impacted by, and who, in turn, impact our culture. By offering these artists resources and opportunities, such as commissions, readings, workshops and residencies, as well as our signature Page To Stage Play Development Program, we can ensure The Playhouse will be the place to look to see the future of American theatre.
The Playhouse's 2011/12 season is highlighted by three world premieres, including A Dram of Drummhicit, a new play by Arthur Kopit and Anton Dudley, directed by Playhouse Artistic Director and Tony Award nominee Christopher Ashley; Milk Like Sugar, a co-commissioned work by Kirsten Greenidge, directed by Rebecca Taichman; and the new musical Finding Neverland, based on the Academy Award-nominated film, with book by Allan Knee, music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie and directed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford. More information on The Playhouse's 2011/12 season can be found at www.LaJollaPlayhouse.org.