110 Degrees In The Shade

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Studio 54 Theater

254 West 54th Street

2 Hours 30 Minutes With One 15 Minute Intermission

May 9, 2007 (Limited Engagement: July 15, 2007)

Broadway Musical

History :: Now Playing :: Schedule :: Reviews

Studio 54 Schedule

Wed and Sat 2pm

Tue - Sat 8pm

The musical based on the book by N. Richard Nash. Tom Jones takes the credit for extraordinary lyrics and the melodious music is composed by Harvey Schmidt. The musical is inspired by N. Richard Nash’s play The Rainmaker. The show focuses on a spinster named Lizzie Curry who stays in a ranch in the southwest part of America. The story revolves around her relationship with the local sheriff who is a divorcee. He is very skeptical about relationships and does not want to get hurt again. Another major character in the play was Bill Starbuck who is a conman posing as if he can bring rain and relieve the drought-stricken area. 110 degrees in the Shade sticks to the original theme. Only the indoor scenes were shifted outdoors to account for the ensemble numbers and dances.

After the success of The Fantasticks, 110 degrees in the Shade was the first for Broadway for the composing team. Many of the lyrics were sourced from the original play. There were many musical sequences in the play, but as the time began to stretch, the numbers were gradually trimmed. Hal Holbrook was also dropped from playing the arrogant Starbuck as the producers were not impressed with his performance. Robert Horton replaced him. The production was directed by Joseph Anthony and choreographed by Agnes De Mille. The impressive starcast included Inga Swenson as Lizzie, and Stephen Douglass as File, with Will Geer, Lesley Ann Warren, and Gretchen Cryer as supporting cast.

The History Of 110 Degrees In The Shade

The show opened on October 24, 1963 at the Broadhurst Theatre. It was on for a rocking 330 performances. Schmidt and Jones were nominated for the Tony Awards for Best Composer and Lyricist. Swenson was nominated for the Best Actress in a Musical category. Geer was nominated as Best Featured Actor in a Musical, and Anthony was nominated for his direction prowess. The West End production, that was directed by Emile Littler, opened on February 8, 1967 at the Palace Theatre. There it ran for around 101 performances.

In the year 1992, there was a New York City Opera production of the same. It was directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Susan Stroman. The play starred Karen Ziemba as Lizzie. The musical score was more appreciated there as the opera company orchestra was noticeably bigger than the usual Broadway pit orchestra.

A 1999 Discovering Lost Musicals Charitable Trust concert was held at the Fortune Theatre in London. The play was directed by Ian Marshall Fisher. It starred Louise Gold as Lizzie. For this production they only used a single piano and the entire cast was unmiked. A 1997 2-CD studio recording released by Jay Records stars Ziemba, Walter Charles, Ron Raines, Kristin Chenoweth, and Schmidt and Jones. A Broadway restoration, presented by the Roundabout Theater Company is playing at Studio 54 from May 9, 2007. It is directed by Lonny Price. The star cast includes Audra McDonald and John Cullum.

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