Now Playing Onstage in St. Louis - Week of 5/25/2014

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Now Playing Onstage in St. Louis - Week of 5/25/2014 HANDS ON A HARDBODY
New Line Theatre
5/29-6/21/2014
New Line closes its 23rd season with the regional premiere, straight from Broadway, of HANDS ON A HARDBODY, the thrilling, powerfully emotional new musical featuring a country-rock-pop score by Trey Anastasio (frontman for the rock band Phish) and Amanda Green (High Fidelity, Bring It On), and a script by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Doug Wright. After the opening night performance on Friday, May 30, we invite the entire audience to join us for an after-party, to meet the actors and musicians. The New Line cast includes Todd Schaefer (JD Drew), Jeffrey M. Wright (Benny Perkins), Rey Arceno (Jesus Pea), Mike Dowdy (Mike Ferris), Cindy Duggan (Janis Curtis), Zachary Allen Farmer (Frank Nugent), Ryan Foizey (Greg Wilhote), Alison Helmer (Virginia Drew), Marshall Jennings (Ronald McCowan), Taylor Pietz (Heather Stovall), Anna Skidis (Norma Valverde), Margeau Baue Steinau (Cindy Barnes), Luke Steingruby (Chris Alvaro), Keith Thompson (Don Curtis), and Marcy Wiegert (Kelli Mangrum). The show will be directed by Scott Miller, with scenic design by Rob Lippert, lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl, and costume design by Sarah Porter and Marcy Wiegert. This unique new musical is based on the acclaimed 1997 documentary of the same name, about an annual contest at a Texas truck dealership, where ten hard-luck Texans compete for a new hardbody truck. A new lease on life is so close each of them can touch it, and now for once, their fate is in their hands. Under a scorching sun, over the next 144 hours they will laugh, cry and push their bodies and minds to the limits, as they fight to keep at least one hand on a brand new truck. The contestant with the most nerve and endurance will drive away with the American Dream. Featuring a catchy combination of blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and country songs, Hands on a Hardbody is a peek into the lives of everyday, ordinary Americans, struggling to survive against the backdrop of a broken and beaten American middle class and working class. The New York Times said, "The score ranges from gospel to blues to country to slightly rougher-edged rock. None of it sounds like traditional show music: think Mumford and Sons, not Rodgers and Hammerstein." The New York Times also said, "You can hear the sound of America singing in Hands on a Hardbody, the daring new musical. . . With a bravado to match the gumption of its characters, this new show drives onto the Broadway lot without the high-gloss blandishments that adorn most big musicals. Instead it concentrates its energies on giving voice to a story of average people fighting to hold onto hope in the face of fierce economic headwinds and bad breaks, not to mention buckling knees." The Times went on, "This scrappy, sincere new musical brings a fresh, handmade feeling to Broadway, which mostly traffics in the machine tooled. Burrowing into the troubled hearts of its characters, it draws a clear-eyed portrait of an America that's a far cry from the fantasyland of most commercial musicals." The Wall Street Journal called the show "completely, satisfyingly right!" New York Magazine said, "Hands down, it's musical theatre heaven!"
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Now Playing Onstage in St. Louis - Week of 5/25/2014 HANDS ON A HARDBODY
New Line Theatre
5/29-6/21/2014
A new lease on life is so close for ten hard-luck Texans, and now their fate is in their own hands. Under a scorching sun, over the next 144 hours they will laugh, cry and push their bodies and minds to the limits, as they fight to keep at least one hand on a brand new truck. The contestant with the most nerve and endurance will drive away with the American Dream. Fresh from Broadway, this unique new country-rock musical is based on a true story.
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