'Hands on a Hardbody' sets March opening on Broadway

'Hands on a Hardbody' sets March opening on Broadway
A scene from the La Jolla Playhouse production of the musical "Hands on a Hardbody," featuring, from left, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Keala Settle, Hunter Foster and Keith Carradine. (Kevin Berne)

"Hands on a Hardbody," the new musical that debuted earlier this year at the La Jolla Playhouse, has set a March opening on Broadway. The folksy production, about a group of people competing to win a new truck, is set to officially open at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on March 21.

The Brooks Atkinson is currently home to another show associated with the La Jolla company -- "Peter and the Starcatcher," which recently announced that it will close in January.

"Hands" is based on the 1997 documentary film about an endurance competition in Texas to win a hardbody truck. The musical features songs by "Phish" musician Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green. The Broadway cast is to feature Keith Carradine, Hunter Foster, Mary Gordon Murray and Connie Ray -- all of whom were in the La Jolla staging.

The La Jolla production was directed by Neil Pepe and was choreographed by Benjamin Millepied. In September, organizers announced that Millepied was leaving the musical due to scheduling, and would be replaced by Sergio Trujillo. Pepe will return as director.

"Hands" was commissioned by the La Jolla Playhouse, where it debuted in May. The book of the musical is by award-winning playwright Doug Wright.