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 “Evenin’ Star.” This intimate show requires a cast of just 13 and an orchestra of 10.
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 Starbuck privately does a bit of soul-searching (“Evenin’ Star”). 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
Book by N. Richard Nash
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Lyrics by Tom Jones
Orchestration by Jonathan Tunick
Based on the play, “The Rainmaker” by N. Richard Nash
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
Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to https://tamswitmark.com/ on all websites on which you promote the play.
1 Percussion (1 player):
Trap Dum Set: Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Tom-Toms (2), High-Hat & Cymbal
Temple Blocks (2)
1 Solo Violin
1 Solo Viola
1 Solo Cello
1 Solo Bass
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.
Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).
2 Piano/Conductor Scores
20 Libretto/Vocal Books
Optional Additional Materials
1 Full Score (Partitur) in 2 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]
H.C. Curry (a Southwestern rancher)
Lizzie Curry (his daughter)
Noah Curry (his oldest son)
Jimmy Curry (his youngest son)
File (the local sheriff)
Starbuck (a rainmaker)
Snookie Updegraff (Jimmy’s girlfriend)
George Curtis (a farmer-ministerin his early fifties)
Hanna Curtis (his wife)
Joe Copeland (a rancher in his thirties)
Beverly Copeland (his wife)
Phil Mackey (about nineteen)
Sammie-Sue Miller (a teenage girl)
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. This version of the show opened at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, in 2002.
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress.
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