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Penn State Centre Stage Presents '110 in the Shade'

by on February 24, 2016 6:00 AM
University Park, PA

Penn State Centre Stage presents the critically acclaimed musical "110 in the Shade" through Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Playhouse Theatre on the University Park campus.

With music by Harvey Schmidt, lyrics by Tom Jones and book by N. Richard Nash, "110 in the Shade" tells story of Lizzie Curry, who — despite her wit, intelligence and homemaking skills — is on the verge of becoming an old maid, until a charismatic rainmaker named Bill Starbuck enters town and changes her world forever.

Directed by Richard Roland, with music direction by Lily Ling and choreography by Austin Eyer, the Centre Stage production features a cast comprised of current School of Theatre students and members of the community.

When it opened on Broadway on Oct. 24, 1963, "110 in the Shade" came with an impressive pedigree. N. Richard Nash based the book for the musical on his original play and screenplay for the 1956 film "The Rainmaker," which had teamed Burt Lancaster as Starbuck, a con man pretending he can make rain, with Katharine Hepburn as Lizzie, a spinster and wise gal who inevitably falls for him. The show’s songs were created by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, following the enormous success of their off-Broadway hit, "The Fantasticks."

Though the original production of "110 in the Shade" inexplicably closed after a run of 330 performances, it was greeted with positive response from critics and nominated for four Tony Awards.

I grew up on '110 in the Shade,' as my father played Noah in the original Broadway production in 1963,” said director Roland. “I played the album endlessly, as it was full of some of the most gorgeous music ever written for the stage. And, the story of '110 in the Shade' is truly as meaningful and important as the music.

I never had a chance to appear in the show when I was still performing, so I knew I had to direct it someday. Thanks to the opportunities afforded to me at Penn State, I am thrilled to be able to share this compelling story and beautiful music with the community.”



This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.
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