To director Mark Steighner, "110 in the Shade" is one of the "most unjustly neglected musicals in theater history."
Local audiences will have the chance to judge for themselves starting Friday at Hood River Valley High School's Bowe Theater.
The HRV drama department has teamed up for "a moving and evocative piece of theater," Steighner said. "Shade" was written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. It is based on the play and film "The Rainmaker" by Richard Nash, the show which followed on the heels of the team's previous successes, "I Do, I Do," and "The Fantasticks."
The story takes place in a fictional Texas town in the midst of a drought. In the midst rides Starbuck, a self-professed rainmaker, who promises to bring rain in 24 hours. The central character is Lizzy Curry, a bright and articulate young woman who is searching for a companion as strong and secure as she is. Her life, along with that of her father and brothers, is changed by the rainmaker into something somewhat unexpected.
"The story is multi-layered and incredibly rich," Steighner said. "It is a simple tale but can be interpreted in many different ways. It has the power of myth, in fact, and suggests a folk tale or fable."
The cast of 30 actors inclues many familar faces to the HRV stage, and several newcomers. Jessica Bryan plays Lizzy, and her father is portrayed by her actual father, John Bryan, who has worked in CAST musicals and performed in "Shade" in New York City.
Also featured are Rudy Schuepbach and Kent Arbon as Lizzy's brothers, Russell Marquez as File, the Sheriff, and Hans Severinsen as Starbuck.
The production runs Nov. 30, Dec 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 and 15 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for seniors. Tickets are available at the door; groups of seven or more will receive $1 off per ticket.