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TUTS Releases Official Statement; Cancels Remaining HANDS ON A HARDBODY Shows


TUTS Undergound, an exciting new venture from Theatre Under the Stars, is currently presenting Houston audiences with the Texas Premiere of HANDS ON A HARDBODY. According to a recent blog by Howard Sherman, the production varies greatly from the show that ran on Broadway just last year, as director Bruce Lumpkin made significant changes to the show without first consulting the authors.

Since this morning, the Dramatists Guild released a statement that was sent directly to Lumpkin that reads: "Those theaters engage in the practice of rewriting shows they present without authorial approval, in direct violation of the theater's contractual obligations and industry standards. The Dramatists Guild of America, a national association representing the interests of over 7000 playwrights, composers and lyricists worldwide, vehemently and unequivocally objects to such illegal practices."

And as of this afternoon, the licenser Samuel French Inc. wrote a cease and desist letter to Theatre Under The Stars, which reads: "As a result of your breach of contract, Samuel French hereby revokes Theatre Under The Stars' license to produce Hands on a Hardbody. Accordingly, demand is made that you immediately cease and desist from the advertising, promotion, presentation and performance of any production of Hands on a Hardbody, cancel all remaining performances and confirm your compliance with this demand in writing to the undersigned no later than close of business today, Friday, June 20, 2014." Click here to read the full piece.

Now, TUTS has responded with an official statement that reads: "TUTS has found itself in a last minute contractual dispute that prevents the continued performances of HANDS ON A HARDBODY. We regret this unexpected occurrence and we thank you for your support of TUTS and our Underground series."

As BroadwayWorld reported earlier today, Howard Sherman wrote that the show's creator Amanda Green, who was invited to opening night, commented: "They started the opening number and I noticed that some people were singing solos other than what we'd assigned. As we neared the middle of the opening number, I thought, 'what happened to the middle section?'" She continued: "I thought, 'so we did put this number second after all' before realizing that we hadn't done that. I kept waiting for 'If I Had A Truck' and it didn't come."

When Lumpkin was asked about his changes to the show, he responded: "I didn't change lyrics, I didn't change songs, I didn't change dialogue. I only changed their order. I thought that perhaps maybe I could put together a different order thinking that perhaps if they don't like it I'll put it back. There was no new vision for the show. It was just a matter of the order of the songs in the show. I knew there was a possibility they wouldn't like it. I was totally upfront."

Based on the 1997 documentary Hands on a Hard Body, this Texas-centric Broadway musical features music by Trey Anastasio of Phish and Amanda Green, lyrics by Amanda Green, and a book by Doug Wright.

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