Penn State Centre Stage presents Tony Award-nominated '110 in the Shade'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Centre Stage will present the critically acclaimed musical "110 in the Shade" Feb. 16-27 in 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 the 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 directed by Lily Ling and choreography by Austin Eyer, the Centre Stage production will feature an exciting cast comprised of current School of Theatre students and members of the community.

When it opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre 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 modest run of 330 performances, it was greeted with extremely positive response from the critics, nominated for four Tony Awards, and left behind for many the memory of a compelling, tuneful and beloved musical.

“I grew up on '110 in the Shade,' as my father played Noah in the original Broadway production in 1963,” said Richard Roland, director and candidate for the master of fine arts in musical theatre at Penn State. “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.”

The show previews at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 and 18, followed by performances at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27, and 2 p.m. on Feb. 20 and 27. Evenings: $25; Preview/Matinee: $18; Penn State students (with valid Penn State ID): $12. An opening night dinner will be held on Feb. 19 at the Nittany Lion Inn and costs $45. A cash bar will be available at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. in the Faculty Staff Club. The cost of the dinner does not include a show ticket but does include transportation to and from the show.

For additional show information, visit www.theatre.psu.edu. Tickets are available at the Penn State Downtown Ticket Center, Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center, or by calling 814-863-0255 or 800-ARTS-TIX. Generous student and group sales discounts are available.

Last Updated February 16, 2016