Hands on a Hardbody: Crazy Texas Car Contest Musical

Hands on a Hardbody: Crazy Texas Car Contest Musical

A DOCUMENTARY about a bizarre Texas competition to win a pickup truck has been given new life as a musical, playing at Limelight Theatre in WA during June / July 2024.

Directed by David Nelson and Jane Anderson, Hands on a Hardbody tells the story of an annual endurance contest where the last person standing with their hands on the vehicle wins it.

The musical is based on the documentary with each character getting a chance to share their story through song.

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino refers to Hands on a Hardbody as one of his go-to movie recommendations.

“The documentary shows the people involved in the competition and explores what winning a car would mean to them,” Jane said.

“Most of the contestants were poor, out of work and struggling in some way.”

David said the main appeal of the musical was the fact it was inspired by true events.

“The show is based on real people and a real situation with themes that are relatable to everyone,” he said.

“The music used is country rock, which is both unusual and appealing for a musical.”

Both involved in theatre for more than 30 years, David and Jane have directed several musicals together including Kinky Boots, The Wedding Singer, The SpongeBob Musical and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

Jane said Hands on a Hardbody appealed because she loved ensemble shows.

“It means all the cast get a chance to shine,” she said. “While each person comes to the competition with their own reasons in this story, there is a camaraderie between the contestants.

“They share an often-gruelling task of standing in the heat and going without sleep for up to four days.

“The people are real and the songs are inspirational, sad and silly, meaning the show will take you on a real rollercoaster of emotions.”

One of the main challenges, according to David, is the car.

“We need to create movement within a show that must have the characters with their hands on the car,” he said.

“And we need to create a car that is described in the synopsis as a character, not just a prop.”

Hands on a Hardbody plays at 7.30pm June 27, 28, 29, July 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 with a 2pm matinee July 7. Tickets are $37, $32 concession – book at TAZTix.com.au/limelight or call TAZTix on 9255 3336.

Limelight Theatre is on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.

Images (from top): Eliza Sear-Rigg, left, Christian Dichiera, Althea Gordon and Terri Mullings; Lukas Perez is appearing in Hands on a Hardbody as Norma Valverde, a devout Christian who spends hours listening to religious music; Car salesman Mike Ferris (Ben Mullings, left) and DJ Frank Nugent (Jacob Anderson) have a car to give away in the Hands on a Hardbody musical; Breeahn Carter plays restaurant hostess Heather, trying to win a car; and Kelli (Brittany Isaia, left) and Greg (Joshua Hollander) form a bond in the musical Hands on a Hardbody.

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