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Carradine, Foster, Case, Emick & More to Star in Premiere of HANDS ON A HARDBODY at La Jolla

La Jolla Playhouse has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming production of the world-premiere, commissioned musical Hands on a Hardbody, book by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife, Creditors), lyrics by Amanda Green (High Fidelity), music by Trey Anastasio (lead singer of the popular band Phish) and Amanda Green, with direction by Neil Pepe (Speed-the-Plow) and musical staging by Benjamin Millepied (BLACK SWAN). The production will run April 27 – June 17, 2012 (press opening: Saturday, May 12 at 8:00 pm) in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.

The cast features Tony Award nominee Keith Carradine (Nashville, Broadway's The Will Rogers Follies) as "JD Drew," Allison Case (Hair revival on Broadway) as "Kelli Mangrum," Tony Award winner Jarrod Emick (Broadway's Ring of Fire) as "Mike Ferris," Hunter Foster (Playhouse's Little Miss Sunshine; Broadway's Urinetown) as "Benny Perkins," Jay Armstrong Johnson (Broadway's Catch Me If You Can) as "Greg Wilhote," David Larsen (Broadway's Good Vibrations) as "Chris Alvaro," Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone (Legally Blonde national tour) as "Heather Stovall," Mary GorDon Murray (Broadway's Little Me) as "Virginia Drew," Connie Ray (author/performer, Smoke on the Mountain, Broadway's Next Fall) as "Cindy Barnes," Jon Rua (Broadway's In the Heights) as "Jesus Pe?a," Keala Settle (Broadway's Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) as "Norma Valverde," Dale Soules (Grey Gardens) as "Janis Curtis," Jacob Ming Trent (Lincoln Center Theatre's On the Levee) as "Ronald McGowan," Scott Wakefield (Broadway's It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues) as "Frank Nugent" and William Youmans (Playhouse's Dracula, Twelfth Night) as "Don Curtis/Dr. Stokes."

The creative team includes: Doug Wright, book; Amanda Green, music and lyrics; Trey Anastasio, music; Neil Pepe, direction; Benjamin Millepied, musical staging; Zachary Dietz (In the Heights), music direction; Christine Jones (Spring Awakening), scenic design; Susan Hilferty (more than a dozen Playhouse productions, including Creditors and Two Rooms; Broadway's Wicked), costume design; Tony Award winner Kevin Adams (American Idiot), lighting design; Steve Canyon Kennedy (Jersey Boys), sound design; and Playhouse Resident Dramaturg Shirley Fishman, dramaturgy.

When an auto dealership in Longview, TX launches an endurance contest, ten economically-strapped strangers embark on a journey that puts their hearts, minds and bodies to the test. The contestant who keeps at least one hand on a brand-new hardbody truck the longest gets to drive it off the lot. What initially seems like a mere publicity stunt soon becomes a soul-baring battle of wills. Only one can win, but for all involved, the truck holds the key to their own private American dream. Based on the documentary film of the same name, Hands on a Hardbody features a brilliant rock, folk and country score from Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio, along with a masterful story by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright.


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