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.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • 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.

  • 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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