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Broadway audiences just didn’t embrace the story of a Texas competition to win a pickup truck. Hands on a Hardbody, the musical co-written by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio is set to close early.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the show ran for just 28 previews and 28 regular performances before the producers made the announcement Monday. The production was performed at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on March 21. The final show is scheduled for Saturday.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Hands on a Hardbody grossed $240,040 last week, far below the possible $1,071,968 it should have earned. EW notes that it was also failing to recoup its operating costs.
The play was praised by the New York Times, particularly Anastasio and lyricist Amanda Green’s music. Charles Isherwood wrote, “Employing a variety of instruments not usually found in an orchestra pit in these precincts, including the dobro, various acoustic guitars and even a couple of mandolins, the composers and the musical director, Carmel Dean, bring an authentic and appealing roots-rock vibe to the show.”
The book for Hand on a Hardbody, based on a little-known documentary on the subject, was written by Doug Wright.
Here’s Anastasio’s CBS Sunday Morning interview about the production: