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Support Local Theater at The Henegar


This is the final weekend for "Hands on a HardBody," the current musical theater production at The Henegar in downtown Melbourne. This isn't your average "musical." The star of this show is a Nissan "Hardbody" pickup truck that ten Texans compete to win in a radio station contest. In the scorching Texas heat, the keys to the new truck go to the person who can keep a hand on the "Hardbody" the longest. Fighting heat and exhaustion, the true character of each contestant is revealed.

This Broadway musical was adapted from a documentary of the real life radio station contest in Longview, Texas. While the truck is the star of the show and always center stage, it's the characters' stories that stay with you after you leave the theater. This show will make you think about a range of themes and issues: race, religion, wealth, corporate greed, even war. These issues might be more relevant today than when this production opened on Broadway in 2013. One example of the nuance in this show: did the contestants who "lost" really "win" in the end? Is the Nissan dealership that sponsored the contest the biggest "loser"? There are a lot of layers and it's all centered around a red pickup truck.

Full disclosure- my sister Christine Manning Brandt has one of the main roles in the production. She says this show is different and more challenging than many in which she has performed.

Final showtimes are tonight, Friday 5/19 and tomorrow, Saturday 5/20 at 8:00 pm and Sunday 5/21 at 2:00. Buy tickets at

Photo credit Dana Niemeier Photography

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