I didn’t know much about the play “Hands on a Hardbody” before, but after watching the play I left becoming a big fan! This play was so much fun to watch! The title definitely made me raise my eyebrows ….until I read the description of the play.
The story, inspired by the acclaimed 1997 cult-hit documentary of the same name, depicts the real-life gritty struggles of ten contestants at a Longview, Texas Nissan dealership as they laugh, cry, and stand for days under the grueling sun touching the truck—and they stand there…and stand there…until one by one, people get tired and drop away, and one person is left standing. That person gets to keep the truck. An endurance/sleep deprivation contest, this new musical is a peek into the lives of everyday, ordinary Americans, struggling to survive against the backdrop of a broken and beaten working middle class.
The characters in this play each reminded me of people that I’ve met in real life. I loved that the play gave you insight to why the contestants were trying to win the truck. You also got to see a vulnerable side of each character which revealed how we can often make snap judgements about people before really getting to know their heart or their hurt.
Featuring a catchy combination of rhythm and blues, rockabilly, gospel, rock and roll, and country songs, one by one the quirky characters share what winning would mean to them. There’s J.D., who lost his oil-rig job and just got out of the hospital, and Jesus, whose only hope for veterinary school is to win and resell the truck. Also vying for the American Dream are an Iraq war veteran, an ex-cheerleader, a crafty previous winner full of advice for his rivals, a run-down mother of six, and a desperate chocolate bar addict.
Hands on a Hardbody was such a refreshing play to watch. The set was simple with just a Nissan pickup truck but the storyline and characters stay with you long after the play is over. Make sure that you don’t miss out on this one!
You can catch a performance of Hands on a Hardbody September 2-21, 2014.
Performances run Tuesday through Sunday.
Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 pm
Friday and Saturday, 8:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 pm
and Sunday, 7:00 pm.
A complete calendar of performances is available online at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.
Ticket prices range from $28 to $44 for adults
Student tickets are $25
and Children are $18
For the 2014-2015 season, ETC continues its popular $15 student and half-price rush tickets for all performances, which are available two hours prior to show time and may be purchased by phone or in person at the box office.
Military, Educator, Public Radio Perks Card, ArtsWave FunCard, AAA, Senior, and Enjoy the Arts discounts available; tickets and seating are subject to availability.
Disclosure: I was given tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.