110 In The Shade


In the hot and drought-stricken American southwest, spinster Lizzie Curry’s advances are rebuffed by File, the divorced sheriff. Charismatic, travelling con man Bill Starbuck restores Lizzie’s self-confidence, all the while promising the local farmers he can provide them some much-needed rain. *Music samples courtesy of Jay Records and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

110 In The Shade Quote Request & Licensing


Lizzy Curry is a cheerful, thirtyish spinster, resigned to the fact that no man outside her family has ever loved her or found her beautiful. Her father, H. C. Curry, a rancher, and brothers Noah and Jimmy, are fiercely loyal and desperately determined to get her a husband.

A trip to Sweatriver, a nearby town in the parched Western country, hasn’t worked. Lizzie’s sharp tongue has driven off the boys. H. C. and the brothers try to persuade File, the sheriff and a matrimonial catch, to come to the picnic that day and take lunch with them. The cagey File senses a trap, and tells them bluntly he doesn’t want to get married. Resentful, Jim takes a swing at him and is knocked down in return.

At the picnic, Jim blurts out that Lizzie talks too seriously to men and should be smart and giggle and flirt. Bill Starbuck, an itinerant con man, comes up with his wagon and says he is a rainmaker and can bring rain to end the long drought which is killing cattle. Lizzie is scornful, but H. C. is taken in by Bill’s persuasive charm and gives Starbuck $100 to bring rain. Bill puts Pa and the boys to performing mumbo-jumbo to help, and Lizzie charges the con man is making a fool of them. When File comes by to apologize, Lizzie tries flirting with him, but he bluntly tells her not to be ridiculous. She’s humiliated and Noah tells her cruelly she might as well face being an old maid.

Then Starbuck works his magic on Lizzie. He persuades her to think of herself as a real woman—and every real woman is pretty! Beauty is inside you, and when you see love in a man’s eyes, you’ll be beautiful. He kisses her. At last she has confidence and glows. File is looking for a fugitive con man, and strongly suspects Starbuck is the man. But the Currys are grateful for what Starbuck has done for Lizzie and persuades File to let Starbuck go. Now File also senses beauty in Lizzie, and she has to choose between him and Starbuck. As the con man drives off, the rain falls. The fine songs include Love, Don’t Turn Away, The Little Red Hat, Is it Really Me, The Rain Song and Everything Beautiful Happens At Night.


Book by N. Richard Nash
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics by Tom Jones
Based on the play, “The Rainmaker” by N. Richard Nash
Original Direction by Joseph Anthony
Dances and musical numbers originally staged by Agnes de Mille
Produced for the Broadway stage by David Merrick


Full Orchestration:

2 Violin
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass

1 Flute & Piccolo
1 Oboe & English Horn
1 Reed I: Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet & Soprano Saxophone
1 Reed II: Flute (or Clarinet) & Clarinet
1 Reed III: Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Bassoon & Baritone Saxophone

1 Horn I & II
1 Trumpet I & II (Tpt. I in Bb & D; Tpt. II in Bb)
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone

2 Percussion I & II:

Timpani (2 drums)
Snare Drum
Bass Drum
Tom Tom
Large Suspended Cymbal
Hi-Hat Cymbals
Wood Block
Small Sleigh Bells

1 Harp
1 Guitar & Banjo

Piano (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.)

Rehearsal Materials

1       Piano Conductor’s Score
1       Prompt Book – For the Director
19     Prompt Books - For the Cast
33     Chorus-Vocal Parts
1       Prompt Books- For the Principal Characters

Brief History

110 IN THE SHADE played for 330 performances on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre starring Robert Horton, Inga Swenson and Stephen Douglass. In London’s West End, it played for 101 performances at the Palace Theatre starring Ivor Emmanuel and Joel Warfield. It was revived in 1992 by the New York City Opera, and most recently on Broadway in 2007 at Studio 54, starring Audra McDonald, John Cullum and Steve Kazee.

AWARDS (2006-07)

The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress.