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Daddy Long Legs
a Musical
by John Caird (book) and Paul Gordon (songs)

COMPANY : The Legacy Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The Legacy Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 5333

SHOWING : September 07, 2018 - Unknown



Based on the classic novel, which inspired the 1955 movie starring Fred Astaire, "Daddy Long Legs" is a beloved tale in the spirit of Jane Austen, The Brontë Sisters and “Downton Abbey.” "Daddy Long Legs" features music and lyrics by Tony Award-nominated composer/lyricist, Paul Gordon ("Jane Eyre"), and Tony-winning librettist/director, John Caird ("Les Misérables"), and is a “rags-to-riches” tale of newfound love.

Director Mark Smith
Projection Designer Brad Bergeron
Jervis Pendleton Chase Peacock
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Epistolary Satisfaction
by playgoer
Monday, September 10, 2018
Don’t go expecting a dance-filled, Broadway extravaganza. Don’t go expecting any dancing or scene changes at all. "Daddy Long Legs" is played on a unit set, with just two actors and a three-piece band.

The set, though, is lovely. Phil Male’s design places a long, straight staircase up center, leading to a series of platforms that portray Jervis Pendleton’s offices up left and a platform above the band stage right that functions as a hilltop. Four tall, paneled screens are placed at different levels across the stage, featuring lovely projections by Bradley Bergeron that set the scene from time to time. The downstage area contains a variety of vintage trunks that are filled with costumes and properties designed by David Farley (provided from the New York off-Broadway production) and that help set the time period of 1908-1912. Atop the stage a series of sheets of paper are strung, suggesting the structure of the show, which consists primarily of letters from the orphan Jerusha Abbott to an unknown benefactor who is paying for her college education.

Travis Eason’s lighting design illuminates various portions of the stage as action moves from one suggested location to another. Spotlighted areas don’t always mesh with the actors’ exact locations, but that isn’t much of a distraction. The initial lighting, which places Jervis Pendleton (Chase Peacock) in silhouetted darkness, seems odd at first, but helps reinforce that Jerusha Abbott (Kaitlyn Sage) has no idea of the identity of her benefactor.

The three-piece band consists of piano (Joanna Li), acoustic guitar (Randy Underwood), and cello (Katie Truex), which gives a clue as to the tenor of the score, which might be described as accessible art songs with subtle pop/folk influences. There’s not a lot of dialogue, with songs blending into the action seamlessly. Music director Jodi Cotton has honed the musicality to a professional polish, and everything sounds great under Jason Polhemus’ sound design.

Direction is by Mark Smith, with credit to recently deceased Sara Morgan. For a two-person show, there’s a lot of action, with rearrangement of the trunks on the stage floor providing visual variety and with movement up and down the staircase adding additional variety. It’s a beautifully flowing production.

With only two cast members, the success of the show depends on the individual excellence of the performers and on their onstage chemistry. Here, the Legacy Theatre has two ideally cast pros. Ms. Sage has an energetic innocence with an underlying sage wisdom that contrasts with Mr. Peacock’s peacock-like preening and upper-class bearing, at least until Jerusha’s unbridled exuberance for life melts the heart of Jervis Pendleton and relaxes the starchiness of his upbringing. These are two wondrous, wonderfully meshing performances, with unparalleled voices and acting skills.

"Daddy Long Legs" is best known these days from the Fred Astaire/Leslie Caron movie musical, but this musical stage version seems far closer in spirit to the original Jean Webster novel. It’s a charming, romantic, entirely delightful show being given an excellent production by the Legacy Theatre. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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