FILE – This file theater image released by The Hartman Group shows the cast during a performance of “Hands on a Hard Body,” at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York and featuring songs co-written by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio. Producers said Monday, April 8, 2013 that “Hands on a Hardbody,” based on a 1997 documentary, will close Saturday after playing less than 60 total performances. (AP Photo/The Hartman Group, Chad Batka, File)
NEW YORK (AP) — The new Broadway musical about a group of [auth] people hoping to win a truck is driving into the sunset following disastrous box office sales.
Producers said Monday that “Hands on a Hardbody,” based on a 1997 documentary, will close Saturday after playing just 56 total performances, the fastest new musical to close this season.
The show has a book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Doug Wright and songs by Phish lead singer Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green. It’s about an endurance contest at a Texas car dealership offering a free pickup to whoever can keep their hands on it the longest.
The musical, which opened to relatively good reviews on March 21 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, pulled in only $240,040 for the week ending Sunday, or 22 percent of its potential of $1,071,968. The highest amount it ever grossed over an eight-show week was $321,043. Last week, the theater was less than 60 percent full.
The 15-character cast led by Keith Carradine includes the nervous owners of the truck dealership and 10 down-on-their-luck guys and gals for whom the $22,000 truck represents a new chance. The red Nissan truck itself weighs 1,400 pounds and rests on 16 casters in the center of the stage.
The closing of the show will be a likely blow to the creators’ chances of snagging a Tony Award nomination, which are not revealed until the end of the month. The musical’s 28 preview and 28 regular performances narrowly beat “Scandalous” for the title of fastest-closing new musical this season. “Scandalous” closed after 60 total shows.