"Another Hot Day": McDonald, Cullum and Kazee Heat Broadway to 110 in the Shade

News   "Another Hot Day": McDonald, Cullum and Kazee Heat Broadway to 110 in the Shade Tony Award winners Audra McDonald and John Cullum star with Steve Kazee in 110 in the Shade as the Broadway revival officially opens May 9 at Broadway's Studio 54.

Audra McDonald stars in 110 in the Shade.
Audra McDonald stars in 110 in the Shade. Photo by Joan Marcus

Lonny Price (A Class Act, "Master Harold"...and the boys) directs the Harvey Schmidt, Tom Jones and N. Richard Nash musical for the Roundabout Theatre Company. The show began previews April 13 for a limited run through July 15. (The musical closes the 2006-2007 Broadway season as the last entry.)

110 in the Shade is a musical take on Nash's play The Rainmaker by the team that created The Fantasticks. Set in 1936's Texas panhandle, "the mercurial Starbuck (Kazee) promises rain for a drought-stricken town and passion for the stalwart but resigned Lizzie (McDonald)," as production notes reveal. Cullum plays the role of patriarch H. C. Curry.

The cast also features Broadway newcomers Chris Butler (Yellowman - L.A. Ovation Award) and Carla Duren (Hairspray Las Vegas) as well as Christopher Innvar (Les Misérables) and Bobby Steggert (Master Harold…and the boys).

The ensemble also includes Elisa Van Duyne, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Valisia Lekae Little, Darius Nichols, Mamie Parris, Devin Richards, Michael Scott, Will Swenson, Matt Wall and Betsy Wolfe.

Broadway veteran Cullum — recently seen in Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas — was last seen at the Roundabout in Arthur Miller's All My Sons. He earned Tony Awards for his turns in On the Twentieth Century and Shenandoah. He last appeared on Broadway in Urinetown and has previously played in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Camelot, 1776, Doubles, Old Money, The Boys in Autumn, The Trip Back Down, Man of La Mancha and Show Boat. McDonald has appeared on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun, Ragtime, Master Class and Carousel to Tony-winning success. Other Broadway credits for the actress-singer include Henry IV, Marie Christine and The Secret Garden.

Kazee recently appeared on Broadway as Sir Lancelot in Monty Python's Spamalot and served as understudy on Seascape. He also appeared Off-Broadway in As You Like It in 2005.

Dan Knechtges provides choreography. Paul Gemignani serves as musical director. Orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick. Dance music is arranged by David Krane. Stephen Gabis serves as dialect coach. Rick Sordelet handles fight direction. Peter Hanson is production stage manager.

The design team features Santo Loquasto (sets and costumes), Christopher Akerlind (lighting), Dan Moses Schreier (sound) and Tom Watson (hair and wig).

The musical made its Broadway premiere Oct. 24, 1963, at the Broadhurst Theatre starring Robert Horton, Stephen Douglass, Inga Swenson and Will Geer under the direction of Joseph Anthony — the latter three were Tony Award-nominated for their work, as were co-creators Schmidt and Jones. (Take a look back at the original 1963 Playbill in the Playbill Archives feature.) The Roundabout revived the musical's source material, The Rainmaker, in 1999 starring Woody Harrelson and Jayne Atkinson.

The song list includes "Another Hot Day,” "Lizzie's Comin' Home," "Love, Don't Turn Away," "Poker Polka," "The Hungry Men," "The Rain Song," "You're Not Fooling Me," "Cinderella," "Raunchy," "A Man and a Woman," "Old Maid," "Evenin' Star," "Everything Beautiful," "Melisande," "Simple Little Things," "Little Red Hat," "Is It Really Me?," "Wonderful Music" and "The Rain Song (Reprise).”

Tickets are on sale at the Studio 54 Box Office, 254 West 54th Street, by phone at (212) 719-1300 or online at roundabouttheatre.org.

Audra McDonald and John Cullum in the Roundabout revival of <i>110 in the Shade</i>.
Audra McDonald and John Cullum in the Roundabout revival of 110 in the Shade. Photo by Joan Marcus