January 21, 2019: The Keegan Theatre continues its 22nd season with the announcement of the cast and creative team for the regional premiere of the musical HANDS ON A HARDBODY. Inspired by the true events of the acclaimed 1997 documentary of the same name, HANDS ON A HARDBODY features a catchy combination of blues, rhythm & blues, and country songs co-written by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio of the band Phish. Keegan’s production is co-directed by Elena Velasco and Mark A. Rhea with music direction by Jake Null and choreography by Elena Velasco. The show runs March 9 through April 6, 2019 at The Andrew Keegan Theatre in Washington, DC, with the press opening slated for Tuesday, March 12 at 8:00 p.m.
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 cast features Andres Alejandro Ponce (Jesús), Beatrice Owens (Kelli), Caroline Dubberly (Heather), Chris Gillespie (Frank), Duane Richards II (Chris), Gary DuBreuil (Don), John Loughney (Benny), Josh Sticklin (Mike), Kari Ginsburg (Cindy), Katie McManus (Virginia), Maggie Leigh Walker (Swing), Oscar Ceville (Swing), Patrick M. Doneghy (JD), Ramon Danie Rodriguez (Greg), Selena Clyne-Galindo (Swing), Shayla Lowe (Norma), Valerie Adams Rigsbee (Janis), and Willie Garner (Ronald).
“As an artist who’s driven to authentically represent the world we live in, I’m excited to be collaborating with Mark A. Rhea and this stellar cast to embrace an America for everyone through HANDS ON A HARDBODY,” says co-director and choreographer Elena Velasco. “HANDS ON A HARDBODY was distinguished by its creators as an ‘American musical,’ but what does it mean to be ‘American?’ The diverse cast of our production at Keegan represents the America we see around us, and we believe that in drawing from their unique individual histories, these artists will enrich the musical and deepen the collective understanding of the American story. HANDS showcases the intersections of diverse identities and offers a reminder that the American dream should be in reach for all.”
The creative team also includes Matthew J. Keenan (Set Designer), Jason Arnold (Lighting Designer), Alison Samantha Johnson (Costume Designer), Gordon Nimmo-Smith (Sound Designer), Cindy Landrum Jacobs (Properties and Set Dressing Designer), and Alexis J. Hartwick (Stage Manager).
This is Keegan Theatre’s 22nd season performing in Washington, DC.