110 in the Shade
|110 in the Shade, the musical
adaptation of Richard Nash's "The Rainmaker," opened on
Broadway at the Broadhurst Theater on October 24, 1963 to excellent
reviews. John Chapman in the Daily News exclaimed,
"Broadway's musical comedy drought is over! A top notch new
musical." And Martin Gottfried of Women's Wear Daily said,
"This is the kind of show that grabs you at the overture and
kicks you right up to the ceiling where you hang around until the
final curtain. It's the season's first good musical and it's
terrific." Cue followed with "To adequately describe
this musical get out your Roget and read every synonym for
'wonderful'. Then turn to 'magic' and check all the synonyms for that
one. You have begun to capture the quality of this enchanted night in
the theater." The reviews for the stars of the show, Robert
Horton, Inga Swenson, and Stephen Douglas, were equally top notch.
Gottfried said, "Robert Horton is making his Broadway debut as
the rainmaker Starbuck and it's a fine one." While George
Oppenheimer from Newsday saw Mr. Horton as "a perfect
choice for the rainmaker. He is virile, handsome, and an amazingly
accomplished singer." Oppenheimer also found "Stephen
Douglass is in excellent form and splendid voice." Rave reviews
also went to the leading lady, Inga Swenson. Hobe Martin in Variety
said it best when he said, "It's always a thrill to be present at
the emergence of a star-and this is one of those rare occasions."
Other members of the cast included Will Greer, Steve Roland, Scooter
Teague, and introducing the young ingénue, Lesley Ann Warren.
The train station of a drought-stricken Western town-early morning,
the beginning of Another Hot Day. In rushes Jim Curry (Scooter
Teague) expecting his sister Lizzie (Inga Swenson) on the morning
train (Lizzie's Comin' Home). He is joined by older brother
Noah (Steve Roland) and father H.C. (Will Greer). Lizzie arrives and
confesses that "the trip didn't work." She met lots of
eligible men, but....Her menfolk decide to try another plan; they'll
invite Sheriff File (Stephen Douglass), the town's most eligible
bachelor to the annual picnic. Lizzie imagines how it might be if it
all worked out (Love, Don't Turn Away).
|In File's office, the Curry men sing Poker
Polka trying to lure the sheriff to the picnic. He refuses.
Meanwhile, at the park, Lizzie, expecting File, joins in the picnic
preparations (Hungry Men). Discovering the truth, she is angry
and hurt. Out of nowhere, the fabulous Starbuck (Robert Horton)
suddenly appears, announcing that he is a Rainmaker! (Rain Song)
The picnic pavilion. The townspeople dance and celebrate (Everything
Beautiful Happens at Night). Lizzie goes to Starbuck's wagon. He
tries to persuade her to adopt a marvelous name and a dream to go with
it (Melisande). No, she explains, her dreams are all of Simple
Little Things. Starbuck tries to convince her that she is pretty:
someday she'll see it in the eyes of the man who loves her. Starbuck
|Elsewhere, Jimmy and his girlfriend Snookie
(Leslie Ann Warren) explain in song and dance just how he, Jimmy, won
her favors (Little Red Hat).
|Meanwhile, Lizzie, in the arms of Starbuck,
sings Is it Really Me? Starbuck confesses that he is a con man
and a fake-he has never made rain in his life. Just when he has
decided to stay with Lizzie and try living in the real world, File
appears with a warrant for Starbuck's arrest. But File is persuaded by
all to let Starbuck get away. Starbuck begs Lizzie to flee with him.
File, realizing at last that he loves her, asks her to stay with him (Wonderful
Music). Lizzie decides to stay with File. Suddenly, miracle of
miracles, the rains come! The long drought is over (Finale).
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