Musical to open at Atkinson in spring
Incoming Broadway tuner “Hands on a Hardbody” has locked in its Broadway slot, booking the Brooks Atkinson Theater for a March opening.Entire cast of the musical’s world preem, staged at the La Jolla Playhouse earlier this year, will transfer with the show to the Rialto, with an ensemble including Keith Carradine, Hunter Foster, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Allison Case and Keala Settle, among others. Carradine was last on the Main Stem in a 2006 stint in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Design team — including Christine Jones (sets), Susan Hilferty (costumes), Kevin Adams (lights) and Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound) — also will reprise duties they initially performed in La Jolla. Based on the 1997 documentary about a Texas endurance contest with a new truck as the prize, “Hands” has a book by Doug Wright (“Grey Gardens”) and music by Trey Anastasio, the Phish frontman in his first legit outing, and Amanda Green, who also pens the lyrics. Neil Pepe (“Speed-the-Plow”) directs, with Sergio Trujillo (“Jersey Boys”) recently announced as choreographer, stepping in for Benjamin Millepied, who departed the project following its initial production. “Hands on a Hardbody” joins a spring slate on the Rialto that also includes new musicals “Cinderella,” “Kinky Boots,” “Diner” and “Matilda.” Broadway Across America (John Gore, Thomas B. McGrath, Beth Williams), Barbara Whitman, Latitude Link, Dede Harris, Sharon Karmazin and Howard and Janet Kagan produce. “Hands on a Hardbody” begins previews Feb. 23 ahead of a March 21 opening at the Brooks Atkinson.