HANDS ON A HARDBODY to Play Albany's Park Playhouse, 7/1-26
Park Playhouse, The Capital Region of New York's free summer theatre, has announced the title that will open their upcoming 26th Season. The outdoor theatre in Albany's Washington Park will open their summer season with the Local Premiere of the new musical Hands on a Hardbody. The musical, which played a run on Broadway in 2013, will be appearing at a regional theatre in the Northeast for the first time during it's run at Park Playhouse from July 1-26, 2014.
Hands on a Hardbody is based on the award-winning 1997 documentary of the same name, and tells the story of ten people in Longview, Texas, who enter an endurance contest to win a brand new pickup truck. The play, born of unlikely subject matter, features a book by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife), lyrics by Amanda Green and a Tony-nominated original score by Green and Grammy-nominated recording artist Trey Anastasio.
While telling the story of the Hardbody contest, the musical intimately examines the lives of its characters, each of whom has a different need for the truck in question: transportation for work, quick cash to put food on the table, a symbol of status, and so on.
Park Playhouse will welcome back several creative staff members and performers from last year's successful production of Monty Python's Spamalot. Michael LoPorto (New York's Dialogue with Three Chords) will return to direct Hands on a Hardbody, and his longtime Playhouse partner Geoffrey Doig-Marx will choreograph. Steven Earl-Edwards, himself a native of Texas, will return after being featured as Arthur in last summer's Spamalot, as well as frequent local actor Molly Rose McGrath (Spamalot, Annie Get Your Gun). Steven Raymond, who won praise in a variety of comic roles (including Prince Herbert) in Spamalot, will also appear as one of the contestants vying for the pickup. New for this year, the production will feature seating alongside the stage in premium bleachers, with a select number of patrons each night being up close to the action as on-lookers of the contest being recreated on stage.
Hands on a Hardbody will run July 1-26, with a youth production of Oliver by the company's educational wing following in August. Premium, reserved tickets for both shows will go on sale on May 1. Additional casting will be announced in April.