Last week I was invited to see a preview of the new musical by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio (and the brilliant Doug Wright with the book), Hands on a Hardbody. The story is based on the true events that took place in a small down-on-their-luck town in Texas and the ten Texans who try to win a brand new pick-up truck. Whoever takes their hand off the truck last wins all.

The music is, as expected, very country, but also lovely to listen to. The staging, by Sergio Trejullio, around the beautiful center piece (a true-to-lifesized truck) flowed with ease.

The best part, in my opinion, was the cast. Filled with seasoned actors, like Allison Case, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Hunter Foster, and Davis Larsen, it was a true treat to watch them all perform onstage together. 

Neil Pepe also did an excellent job directing this new musical and made sure everything flowed seamlessly as the car turned. Though part of me wonders what it would be like to see this piece in the Circle in the Square Theatre, or any space that’s in the round. 

In any case, Hands on a Hardbody is a new musical that is full of life and hope, much like their main characters. 

Thank you to Serino Coyne for inviting me to see the show!

Last night, Birdland hosted “Amanda Green & Friends” – an evening with Ms. Green and her music sung by some of her friends. I’ve been a fan of Green’s since High Fidelity – one of my favorite scores ever. 

Currently Green is working on “Hands on a Hardbody” with Phish’s Trey Anastasio. The genre of music isn’t so much my style (it’s semi-country) but it was really neat to see Anastasio sing (and play!) his own song as the finale. Above from left to right is the fabulous Jen Colella, Jay Armstrong, Amanda Green, and Trey Anastasio.

Check out my YouTube channel for a few videos shot on my iPhone.