An event that was once the talk of East Texas is now on New York City's Broadway. The Broadway musical is all about the Hands on a Hard Body contest that called Longview home for over a decade. The Broadway production is based on the quirky contest.
"Crazy, who'd have thought Longview Texas on Broadway," says Patterson Nissan general sales manager Ray Cox, who helped organize the contest for several years.
For years the strange but wildly popular landmark event put Longview on the map, and even got international press.
"I was here at the peak. It was crazy when I saw all these people show up, it was like the carnival was in town there was people everywhere, it was like a cult following; it was nuts," Cox says.
At the height of its popularity the contest brought thousands of visitors to Longview, but even those connected with it never expected it would go as far as Broadway.
Jan Maynard was the driving force behind the contest for years. She's a production consultant in New York for the opening.
"I got a call about 9 months ago and they said they wanted to turn it into a musical and we would like your input. It just came out of the blue, and all of the pieces just fell into place," Maynard says.
Inspired by the contest, the Broadway version focuses on the humor, the hopes and the determination of ten contestants.
"Honestly I just thought it was a bunch of crazy rednecks trying to win a truck. I hope they see how much fun it was to put on this contest and how much fun the participants had. Never in our wildest dreams did we think it would make it to Broadway," says Cox.
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