110 In The Shade


N. Richard Nash, Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones explore depression-era love and hope in this musical adaptation of Nash’s stage play, The Rainmaker. In the tiny town of Three Point, in the hot and drought-stricken American southwest, traveling con man Bill Starbuck promises the local farmers he can conjure some much-needed rain. Spinster Lizzie Curry, whose advances are rebuffed by Sheriff File, blossoms as she pursues a romantic relationship with the charismatic stranger. Numbers include “Love, Don’t Turn Away,” “Little Red Hat,” “Simple Little Things,” “Everything Beautiful Happens At Night” and “Wonderful Music.”

Music samples courtesy of Jay Records and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • It’s the Fourth of July, 1936, and the small southwestern town of Three Point is experiencing a blistering heat wave (“Another Hot Day”). Lizzy Curry, a cheerful, fiercely intelligent thirty-ish spinster, regretfully accepts that no man outside her family has ever loved her or found her beautiful. But her rancher father, HC, and brothers urge her to pursue a romance with Sheriff File by dressing up and bringing a tasty lunch to the town picnic. Lizzy reluctantly agrees (“Love, Don’t Turn Away”).

    Sheriff File is resistant to the Curry brothers’ plan (“Poker Polka”), and refuses to join “The Hungry Men” at the picnic. Lizzie, stung by File’s rejection, is heartbroken. Suddenly, a stranger named Bill Starbuck arrives in town, claiming he can bring an end to the town’s drought for a payment of $100 (“The Rain Song”). HC, intrigued by Starbuck’s charm, gives him the money. Lizzie, however, is scornful, and she and Starbuck butt heads (“You’re Not Foolin’ Me”). Lizzie playfully imagines herself living a different sort of life (“Raunchy”). File does show up at the picnic, and he shares some painful truths with Lizzie (“A Man and A Woman”). Her attempts at flirtation drive him away, though, and she’s left alone to contemplate her future as an “Old Maid.”

    Evening sets upon the picnic (“Everything Beautiful Happens At Night”) and Lizzie is inexplicably drawn to the quiet of Starbuck’s camp. Alone with Lizzie, Starbuck urges her to dream beyond her small town (“Melisande”), but she defends her desire for “Simple Little Things.” Starbuck encourages Lizzie to see her own beauty, and the lights fade as they embrace.

    Back at the picnic, Lizzie’s brother Jimmy boasts of his own romantic exploits (“Little Red Hat”). File enters, seeking a fugitive con man, whom he strongly suspects is Starbuck. HC, understanding that Lizzie needs to make a connection with a man, refuses to reveal their whereabouts. Meanwhile, Starbuck confesses to Lizzie that he’s never actually conjured any rain, and she privately wonders whether it’s best to live somewhere in between dreams and real life (“Is It Really Me?”)

    Lizzie and Starbuck return to the picnic, and File makes a plea for Lizzie’s affections (“Wonderful Music”). Lizzie must make a choice, and with newfound self-assurance, she chooses a quiet life with Sheriff File. Starbuck drives off into the distance, and suddenly the heavens open, bathing the townspeople in glorious, nourishing rain (“Finale: The Rain Song”).

  • 110 IN THE SHADE
    By N. Richard Nash
    Music by Harvey Schmidt       Lyrics by Tom Jones
    Based on a Play 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

    Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    110 IN THE SHADE
    is presented by arrangement with
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • 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.)

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book for Director
    23     Prompt Books for Cast
    30     Chorus-Vocal Parts


    Lizzie Curry At first glance, she seems a woman who can cope with all the aspects of life. She has the world of materiality under control; she is a good housekeeper; pots and pans, needles and thread – when she touches them, they serve. She knows well where she fits in the family – she is daughter, sister, mother, child – and she enjoys the manifold elements of her position. She has a sure ownership of her own morality, for the tenets of right and wrong are friendly to her – and she is comfortably forthright in living by them. A strong and integral woman in every life function – except one. Here she is, thirty-ish, and no man outside the family has loved her or found her beautiful. And yet, ironically, it is this one un-fulfilled part of Lizzie that is the most potentially beautiful facet of the woman – this yearning for romance – this courageous searching for it in the desert of her existence… And if some day a man should find her, he will find a ready woman, willing to give herself with the totality of her rich being.

    H. C. Curry Lizzie’s father. He is in his late fifties, powerfully set, capable, a good man to take store in. But he’s not all prosaic efficiency – there’s a dream in him.

    Noah Curry Lizzie’s older brother. He is somewhat like his father, without H.C.’s imagination. As a matter of fact, he has little imagination at all and would appear to be self-righteous and rigidly opinionated were it not for his basic decency and his warm yearning to be kind.

    Jimmy Curry Lizzie’s younger brother. In his early twenties but big and broad-shouldered, he looks older than his years until he opens his mouth; then he’s a child. He’s not sure that he’s very bright and this is his great cross. He is filled with inchoate longing.

    Bill Starbuck A big man, lithe, agile – a loud braggart, a gentle dreamer. He carries a short hickory stick – it is his weapon, his pointer, his magic wand, his pride of manhood.

    File…………. The sheriff. He is a lean man, reticent, intelligent, in his
    late thirties. He smiles wryly at the world and at himself. Perhaps he is a little bitter; if so, his bitterness is leavened by a mischievous humor.

    Snookie Updegraff She is perhaps seventeen, and pretty and pretty, and pretty, and pretty, and pretty. Which is to say she is pretty.

    Townspeople of Three Point

    Toby the middle aged stationmaster
    Mrs. Jessen fat and middle-aged and good natured
    Phil Mackey about nineteen
    Tommy a boy of eight
    Belinda a spectacled girl of nine
    Geshy Toops a man in his thirties
    Gil Demby a boy in his teens
    Olive Barrow a pretty girl
    Wally Skacks, 3rd a boy in his late teens
    Maurine Toops a girl in her twenties
    Bo Dollivon a boy in his twenties
    Mr. Curtis a minister
    Wally Skacks an old man

    Other townspeople to dance and sing – of all ages and descriptions, not necessarily – please! – not necessarily all good looking. Real people.

  • 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.

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