“Hands on a Hardbody” will become the fastest-closing new musical of this Broadway season when it shuts down following an April 13 show.
At that time, the production will have played 28 previews and 28 regular performances. The official opening was March 21, resulting in mixed reviews. Ticket sales have been weak ever since.
Based on a true story, the musical chronicles 10 down and out Texans. Here’s how the show’s official website puts it:
For 10 hard-luck Texans, a new lease on life is so close they can touch it. Under a scorching sun for days on end, armed with nothing but hope, humor and ambition, they’ll fight to keep at least one hand on a brand-new truck in order to win it. In the hilarious, hard-fought contest that is “Hands on a Hardbody” only one winner can drive away with the American Dream.
The show tried to use the draw from the fact that the music for the show was written by Phish’s Trey Anastasio along with Amanda Green, but to little avail. Green also wrote the lyrics.
The draw was mainly overshadowed by other current musical including “Kinky Boots” (with music by Cyndi Lauper), “Matilda” (based on the story by Roald Dahl) and “Motown,” which features many classic hits from the title record label.
The New York Times reports that producers have not revealed how much the show cost, nor if the show would close as a total loss to its investors. However, it grossed only $240,040 from eight performances last week. That amounts to about 22 percent of it’s maximum potential amount.
The book was written by Doug Wright, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2004 play, I Am My Own Wife. The production was directed by Neil Pepe, and had originally premiered about a year ago at the La Jolla Playhouse.