The real-life inspirations for the characters in the new Broadway musical Hands on a Hardbody took the stage of the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Thursday, March 21 when the show, written by Trey Anastasio, Amanda Green, and Doug Wright, celebrated its opening night. An emotional curtain call transpired as cast members Keith Carradine, Allison Case, Hunter Foster, Jacob Ming-Trent, Mary Gordon Murray, Connie Ray, and Keala Settle greeted J.D. Drew, Kelli Mangrum Mestas, Benny Perkins, Ronald McCowan, Virginia Drew, Jan Maynard, and Norma Valverde, all of whom were featured in the S.R. Bindler's acclaimed 1997 documentary on which the show is based.

Directed by Neil Pepe, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo and musical direction by Carmel Dean, Hands on a Hardbody tells the story of a group of down-on-their-luck Texans whose hearts, minds, and bodies are tested in an endurance contest to win a new truck. The cast also features Jay Armstrong Johnson, David Larsen, Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone, Jim Newman, Jon Rua, Dale Soules, Scott Wakefield, William Youmans, Kristoffer Cusick, Rayanne Gonzales, David Jennings, Janet Krupin, Corey Mach, Happy McPartlin, Chelsea Packard, and Bart Shatto.

Guests at the opening included Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, and Mike Gordon of the band Phish, Tony Award winners Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), and Joe DiPietro (Memphis), as well as Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope), Jennifer Cody (Urinetown), Stephanie J. Block (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Sebastian Arcelus (Elf), Taylor Louderman (Bring It On), Lindsay Mendez (Dogfight), Susan Blackwell (Now. Here. This.), and Saturday Night Live players Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong.

Click here for more information and tickets to Hands on a Hardbody.