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In the musical "110 in the Shade," con man Bill Starbuck visits a drought-stricken southwestern U.S. town in the 1930s, telling residents that for $100 he can make it rain.
Along with misguided hope, the charismatic Starbuck brings something more real. As he gets to know Lizzy Curry, he helps her develop the confidence and self-worth that, like raindrops, have the power to transform her life.
"110 in the Shade" will be performed Friday and Saturday, April 4-5, and Thursday through Saturday, April 10-12, at Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts in Menomonie by University of Wisconsin-Stout's University Theatre.
All performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and are available online or at the service center in the Memorial Student Center, 715-232-1431.
UW-Stout is using the Mabel Tainter because historic Harvey Hall Theatre, although recently renovated, is closed for renovations to the rest of Harvey Hall.
" '110 in the Shade' is a very intimate piece that will be served well by the historic Mabel Tainter Theater," said University Theatre Director Paul Calenberg, who is directing and choreographing the musical.
"I first encountered '110 in the Shade' in New York when it was revived in 2007, and I absolutely fell in love with the piece," said Calenberg. "It is a lush, beautiful score and a very moving story."
"110 in the Shade," first performed on Broadway in 1963, is based on the book and play "The Rainmaker" by N. Richard Nash. Lyrics are by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, who wrote the music for the popular musicals "I Do, I Do" and "The Fantasticks."
The student cast includes Meghan Olson as Lizzy Curry and Ben Greenlee as Bill Starbuck. Olson, of Rosemount, Minn., is an early childhood education major. Greenlee, of Lena, is majoring in hotel, restaurant and tourism management.
Other members of the cast and crew are:
Lighting and scene design are by Assistant Professor Beth Janetski.
The music director for "110 in the Shade" is UW-Eau Claire student Miles Plant, who recently was assistant music director and orchestra conductor for UW-Eau Claire's production of "A Man of No Importance," which Calenberg choreographed.
The final performances, April 11-12, are part of Family Weekend at UW-Stout.
The Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, which houses the historic Victorian theater, is at 205 Main St. E., one block from campus.