Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Ford's Musical, 110 in the Shade Opens March 11th

Ben Crawford, Tracy Lynn Olivera and Kevin McAllister (r) (Photo: Scott Suchman)

From our friends at Ford's Theatre...

Ford's Theatre 2015-16 Season Continues with Classical Musical 110 in the Shade

Opens March 11 (through May 14, 2016)

The Ford’s Theatre 2015-16 season continues with the musical 110 in the Shade, directed and choreographed by Tony-Award nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge, March 11 - May 14, 2016.

This American musical about confidence and courtship is based on N. Richard Nash’s play, The Rainmaker, and features a lively score from the creators of The Fantasticks. Local favorite Tracy Lynn Olivera stars as Lizzie, with Kevin McAllister as File and Ben Crawford as the irresistible conman Starbuck.

In sweltering 1950s Texas, headstrong and eternally single Lizzie Curry dreams of a romantic life with someone who is her equal. When a charming stranger named Starbuck swaggers into town, he vows to end the region’s drought and awakens Lizzie to the promise she holds within.

“I’ve always wanted to work with Marcia Milgrom Dodge and I’m so excited that we now have the perfect project for her,” said Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault. “I think the music of 110 in the Shade is stunning, and the musical’s themes of finding your own voice and your own way will resonate with everyone.”

“I didn’t know this show before Paul presented it to me, and I have been excited to discover it,” said director and choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge. “I love how there is a formidable woman at the center of the story, and how the score evokes a genuine, sweeping Americana sound. At times the music is majestic like Aaron Copland, and then turns to heartfelt melodies like Lizzie’s song Simple Little Things. The show makes two points about dreams: we can’t live entirely in them, but we can’t live a hopeful life without them. 110 in the Shade is a hopeful story, and we need that now.”

110 in the Shade is made possible by Lead Sponsor Altria; and Sponsor Raytheon Company. Media Partner WUSA provides promotional support during the run. The Ford’s Theatre 2015-16 Season Sponsors are The Home Depot and Chevron.

110 in the Shade is recommended for ages 12 and older. The performance runs two hours and 30 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.

Marcia Milgrom Dodge makes her Ford’s Theatre debut with 110 in the Shade. Dodge’s most recent D.C.-area work includes this fall’s The Secret Garden at Center Stage, and the 2009 Kennedy Center run of Ragtime. Ragtime went on to Broadway, receiving Tony, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations; and a successful national tour. Her other regional theatre credits include choreography and stage direction for Cincinnati Playhouse, Glimmerglass, St. Louis Rep, Goodman, Goodspeed, Huntington and La Jolla, among others. She has directed internationally for productions with Oman’s Royal Opera House, in Denmark and the United Kingdom.

Tracy Lynn Olivera returns to Ford’s Theatre to play Lizzie Curry. Olivera’s Ford’s credits include Freedom’s Song: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War; Hello, Dolly!; Liberty Smith; Meet John Doe; and Shenandoah. Olivera appeared in Marcia Milgrom Dodge’s production of Ragtime at the Kennedy Center and on Broadway. She also was featured locally in productions for Arena Stage (Fiddler on the Roof), Signature (The Fix, Gypsy, Company, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Les Misérables, Merrily We Roll Along), Shakespeare Theatre Company (Candide; also at Goodman) and Imagination Stage (A Year with Frog and Toad), among others.

Ben Crawford makes his Ford’s Theatre and Washington, D.C., debut as Starbuck. Crawford’s Broadway credits include Shrek the Musical (Shrek), On the Twentieth Century (Bruce Granit/Max Jacobs understudy), Big Fish (Don Price, Edward Bloom understudy), Les Misérables (Javert/Valjean understudy), Merrily We Roll Along, and others. His regional theatre credits include productions of Chasing Rainbows, Next to Normal, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Carousel and others. Crawford also is featured on soundtracks including On the Twentieth Century, Big Fish, Merrily We Roll Along, 35MM and Frozen.

Kevin McAllister returns to Ford’s Theatre to play File. McAllister’s Ford’s credits include Freedom’s Song: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, Violet, Parade and others. McAllister also appeared in Five Guys Named Moe for Arena Stage and Cleveland Playhouse, and in productions for the Kennedy Center (James and the Giant Peach, The Phantom Tollbooth), Olney and Toby’s Dinner Theatre.

The cast of 110 in the Shade also includes Alex Alferov, Christopher Bloch, Maria Egler, Jade Jones, Gregory Maheu, Happy McPartlin, Ines Nassara, Bridget Riley, Chris Sizemore, Stephen Gregory Smith, Stephawn Stephens and Michael Yeshion, with swings Michael Bunce and Kristen Garaffo.

Scenic Designer Michael Schweikardt (Ford’s debut) transports audiences to the musical’s arid town with a low-hanging sun and an imposing water tower and windmill which serve as unwavering reminders of the rural town’s battle with drought. Costume Designer Wade Laboissonniere (Ford’s Freedom’s Song: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War; The Widow Lincoln; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Hello, Dolly!; others) dresses the townspeople in western ranching wear, with the women in shapely full skirts with nipped waists. The outsider Starbuck is dressed in modern 1950s trends fitting of a suave traveling man.

The production team also includes Music Director Jay Crowder, Lighting Design by Matthew Richards, Sound Design by David Budries, Hair and Make-Up Design by Anne Nesmith, Dialects and Voice Direction by Leigh Wilson Smiley, Production Stage Manager Craig A. Horness and Assistant Stage Manager Taryn Friend.

There are audio-described performances of 110 in the Shade on April 19, 2016 at 7:30 PM and Saturday April 30, 2016 at 2 PM. A sign-interpreted performance is April 28, 2016 at 7:30 PM. A captioned performance is scheduled for May 7, 2016 at 2 PM.

110 in the Shade Meet and Mingle:
March 19 and April 30
Following the performance of 110 in the Shade at Ford’s Theatre, talk theatre with fellow audience members and members of 110 in the Shade cast at Bistro D’Oc, located across the street from Ford’s Theatre. Event is free. Cash bar available. Performance tickets sold separately at

110 in the Shade Under 35 Night:
April 20 at 7:30 PM
Patrons younger than 35 can purchase discounted tickets to 110 in the Shade, then stay afterwards for a complimentary glass of beer or wine. Hang out with like-minded young arts fans, meet new people and see Ford’s Theatre in a brand new light. Tickets may be purchased in advance at or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787. Use promo code UNDER35. You must show ID at the Box Office once arriving at the theatre. Limit of six per person.