La Jolla Playhouse reveals three of the shows in its new season


La Jolla Playhouse has announced three productions for its 2012-2013 season:

• The world-premiere musical “Hands on a Hardbody,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife), Amanda Green (Bring It On: The Musical) and Trey Anastasio of the band Phish, with direction by Neil Pepe (Speed-the-Plow) and choreography by Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan), April 27-June 10, 2012 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.

• “An Iliad,” a one-man adaptation of Homer’s classic tale, reworked by Lisa Peterson (Surf Report, Be Aggressive) and Denis O’Hare (Take Me Out), from a translation by Robert Fagles, directed by Lisa Peterson, June 19–July 15, 2012 in the Mandell Weiss Forum.

• David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Glengarry Glen Ross,” directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, Feb. 2–March 3, 2013 in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre.

“We are ecstatic to launch our new season with a project we’ve shepherded through the commission, reading and workshop phases and now to a full production on our stage,” said Ashley of “Hands on a Hardbody.”

“This thrilling new piece offers a trenchant slice of Americana that explores the most exuberant and most troubling aspects of our competitive spirit.”

The plot begins when an auto dealership in Longview, Texas launches an endurance contest and 10 economically strapped strangers embark on a journey that puts their hearts, minds and bodies to the test. The contestant who keeps at least one hand on a brand-new hardbody truck the longest gets to drive it off the lot.

What initially seems like a mere publicity stunt soon becomes a soul-baring battle of wills. Only one can win, but for all involved, the truck holds the key to their own private American dream.

Based on the documentary film of the same name, “Hands on a Hardbody” features a rock, folk and country score.

In “An Iliad,” a poet appears from the back of the theatre to re-tell Homer’s epic about the 10-year siege of Troy, with Greeks and Trojans locked in a brutal combat, culminating in the heroic and ferocious final battle between Achilles and Hector.

But this storyteller points at something more. In this eye-opening version, the audience is on the front lines of every major war in history, reliving a futile struggle that has replayed itself over thousands of years and millions of lives.

“Glengarry Glen Ross” is Mamet’s scorching play about a group of desperate salesmen in a Chicago real estate office. When a contest is announced to earn the new sales leads, the men resort to manipulation, bribery and even theft to keep their jobs. The Darwinian struggle that ensues is a stinging indictment of a culture that rewards the strong, punishes the weak and values success above all else.