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Daddy Long Legs

Members say: Delightful, Romantic, Enchanting, Great acting, Clever
85
Critics
66
47 reviews
Members
86
362 reviews
 

Based on the 1912 novel of the same name by Jean Webster, 'Daddy Long Legs' is about Jerusha Abbott, the oldest orphan in the John Grier Home and the mysterious benefactor who sends her to college to be a writer.

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Required to write him a letter once a month, Jerusha is never to know the benefactor’s identity—so she invents one for him: Daddy Long Legs. She grows more and more fond of this elusive and kindly gentleman as their correspondence continues. Jervis Pendleton is the well-do-do uncle of one of Jerusha’s roommates who introduces her to a world of literature, travel and adventure. Through her correspondence with Daddy Long Legs and her growing intimacy with Jervis, Jerusha’s letters chronicle her emergence as a delightfully independent “New American Woman.”

 

Cast & Creatives (17)


Reviews (409)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
66
Avg Score

55
Theatermania

"The physical distance our lovers are required to maintain is one of the show's biggest hurdles, for which Caird finds creative solutions...The greatest impediment to their epistolary chemistry is the plot's crawling pace. Each letter nudges their relationship along, but rather than building layers of tension, the musical proves too slight to hold up under the burden of its two hefty acts." Full Review

30
New York Magazine / Vulture

"For several reasons, all amply demonstrated in the two-actor version of 'Daddy Long Legs' that opened Off Broadway tonight, the epistolary form is absolutely deadly for a musical — especially one with 27 numbers that is all but sung-through. In this configuration, a libretto cannot keep a secret; we know the identity of the benefactor from the start. (Hint: He is the guy onstage.) And where there is no surprise, there can only be interminable waiting." Full Review

70
The Huffington Post

"McGinnis soon charms us, sweeping us along on her adventures as a college girl-turned-writer…Nolan is as sweetly sympathetic here they help make the most of 'Daddy Long Legs'…The new show is staged effectively…But the letter-by-letter format inevitably leads to too many similar sections, and the authors are mighty lucky to have McGinnis center-stage. With McGinnis and Nolan playing the romance, 'Daddy Long Legs' has charm to spare." Full Review

75
The New York Times

"A sweet, beautifully sung and only occasionally unsettling musical adaptation...Mr. Gordon’s music and lyrics have a charm and ease, though the songs can blur into one another in ways that are sometimes purposeful and sometimes not. Mr. Caird’s book is appealing and his direction more or less nimble. Seen through modern eyes, the story does have its creepy undertones, though Mr. Caird’s direction avoids the merest hint of sexual suggestion, which does a lot to de-sleaze the relationship" Full Review

55
Time Out New York

"It's engaging enough in the first act, but by the second half, the will-they-or-won't-they tension gets buried under too many reprises and a syrupy pace and tone. Save for diehard romantics, this may be one musical audiences will want to write off." Full Review

45
Theater Life

"Off-Broadway's 'Daddy Long Legs' is an unimaginative miniature employing almost every cliche, musically and dramatically...The story may have been charming in 1912, but it lacks tension and surprise today...Fortunately, Megan McGinnis and Paul Alexander Nolan endow the two roles with wit and rich voice, making this postcard-sized show bearable for an overlong two acts." Full Review

60
DC Theatre Scene

"In a program note for 'Daddy Long Legs,' director John Caird wonders why the 1912 novel on which the musical is based isn’t considered a great American classic. I wonder the opposite – why its problematic premise has inspired a 16-character Broadway play, at least seven movies and now a two-character Off-Broadway musical...None of 'Daddy Long Legs' would work as well without the two performers who constitute the entire cast." Full Review

80
Lighting & Sound America

"The authors may sometimes have overindulged a bit; the leisurely first act is a little too meticulous about making, and remaking, its points...Still, everyone involved eloquently explores the contours of this strange relationship, in which intimacy and distance share an embrace, and they provide it with a most satisfying resolution. 'Daddy Long Legs,' for all its occasional air of old lace, proves to be a lovely little thing, and with a surprising amount of gumption, to boot." Full Review

65
Front Row Center

“'Daddy Long Legs' is chomping at the bit to have the training wheels removed so it can take off for a big adventure...As it stands, the book here is over written and slightly repetitive...What I wouldn’t give for a couple of sub-plots to thicken the plot. The music it self has great variety. At times these performers make the entire caboodle transcendent. We just don’t need ALL of it." Full Review

60
Broadway Blog

"A sweet but too-frequently static, two-actor chamber musical adaptation of Jean Webster’s still-read 1912 epistolary novel...The contrived situation is interesting up to a certain point, after which it becomes a matter of diminishing returns as you wait impatiently for the inevitable resolution...Gordon’s score, while pleasantly melodic and listenable, too often acts as generic underpinning to narrative lyrics, making one song sound like any other." Full Review

40
Talkin' Broadway

"There's little here that seems to crave this form of storytelling. Caird's staging of it all isn't bad, but it's necessarily restricted; he keeps us from being bored, but just barely, and doesn't take us much further than that. Over nearly two and a half hours of play time, that's not enough...This 'Daddy Long Legs' has some real virtues, but it may as well be marked 'return to sender.'" Full Review

90
Times Square Chronicles

"Caird’s book and Gordon’s songs are especially effective, making us care, even though we know the outcome. 'Daddy Long Legs' is a moving show, with exquisite arrangements by Gordon and Brad Haak who make pains of the soul vocal in the musical underscoring...Go experience this romantic musical that will touch your heart and remind you of simpler times." Full Review

65
CitiTour

"Blessed with a glorious voice, a glowing smile that can quickly turn upside down, and a rare combination of strength and vulnerability, McGinnis practically commands our love and respect..A show that should be a 90-minute heart-tugger instead of a 2 ½-hour tuner that occasionally tests the patience of the mind and the tuchas...Paul Gordon can write wonderful songs...But many of them are filled with little more than minutiae." Full Review

75
Broadway & Me

"There's a sweet old-fashioned quality about this two-hander...Like so many in his generation of composers, Gordon has created a score that is heavily influenced by Stephen Sondheim. The melodies aren't as complex and the lyrics aren't are as clever as Sondheim's but the songs are pleasant and they're beautifully sung." Full Review

75
Theater Pizzazz

"A feel-good two character musical that does a really fine job of transporting its audience to a gentler time and place. It’s a fairytale of kindness and spirit that ends as a sweet love story...'Daddy Long Legs' is a satisfying change of pace reminding us of times when theater didn’t have to tax the brain or push the envelope." Full Review

75
CurtainUp

"'Daddy Long Legs' is beautifully cast...The singers' voices blend smoothly, and the vocal arrangements yield some felicitous surprises...It runs a trifle long in the final scenes, but only a trifle. There's so much that's engaging about the show." Full Review

65
New York Theatre Guide

"A pleasant, sweet evening, this 'Daddy Long Legs,' but painted on a very limited palette. And after this, can we just categorically state, epistolary musicals aren’t a very good idea?" Full Review

25
As Her World Turns

"I really did not like the show itself... The whole time the teenage girl thinks that her benefactor is very old when he’s really only a few years her senior. But that doesn’t make it any less creepy. I hate that this is a story in which the male figure has all the power and the female figure is in a subservient position. I found the music forgettable (it all sounds so similar, like the same few songs are on repeat) and that was a bummer." Full Review

80
Motherhood Later

"The casting is spot on...McGinnis delivers a layered, emotional portrayal of a feisty young woman strong in her convictions and aspirations, yet frustrated by a relationship she does not fully understand...Nolan is the perfect, straight match to her spunk. His is a highly controlled, yet impassioned performance...It proves to be a satisfying and emotionally engaging theatrical work." Full Review

80
ZEALnyc

"There is no hard drama here, and it is not missed. Instead, the story flows well as a simple coming-of-age story that also blossoms into love. The trials of life, learning who you are as a person and ultimately what you want to become, are enough to carry the story eloquently, especially with the duo of McGinnis and Nolan. And most importantly, it reminds us all that in this fast-paced world there is nothing quite like real human love or true connections." Full Review

85
ThisbroadSway

"In addition to their impeccable acting, both McGuinness and Nolan have strong and beautiful voices that bring this melodious and inspired score to life...This is a delightful musical that will warm your heart on a chilly fall evening." Full Review

80
Entertainment Hour Blog

"If you are in search of a charming evening, look no further than this production of 'Daddy Long Legs.' Not only is it endearing and syrupy sweet, it is a lovely break from the modern world of texts and tweets and may inspire you to write a letter of your own." Full Review

90
TheaterScene.com

"The story revolves around her, and in spite of the fact that she’s onstage nearly all the time, we never get bored with her. This is star quality...This production of 'Daddy Long Legs' is a theater experience to savor, and if the heavens are in alignment, a good chance to see two extraordinary performers who may well be destined for stardom." Full Review

35
The Arts Desk

for a previous production "Confession: I’m a sucker for a romantic reunion. When lost-presumed-dead twins Sebastian and Viola rediscover one another alive at the end of 'Twelfth Night,' you’ll find me in tears. All of which makes me more than well-matched for the musical-theatre version of the romance 'Daddy Long Legs.' Dear Reader, I remained dry-eyed." Full Review

80
Variety

for a previous production "Librettist-helmer John Caird has reclaimed Jean Webster’s 1912 bestseller for a wholesome tuner in tune with the times, bolstered by winsome melodies from Paul Gordon. Assessment of show’s full potential must await redress of a serious casting imbalance in the Rubicon Theater premiere, but the signs are positive." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
86
Avg Score

98
Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting

See it if An amazing talented duo perform a well written show with a great score. Truly a fine piece of off-broadway.

Don't see it if you have no emotions and feelings

94
Enchanting, Romantic, Great singing

See it if you love Paul Gordon's music and a classic story. This is one of my favorite shows of the season!

Don't see it if you want flashy sets or a darker story. It's a small 2-person musical.

84
Delightful, Exquisite, Great acting, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if If you like a really entertaining and heartfelt night at the theatre with beautiful music and performances.

Don't see it if If you want a large show with heavy dance numbers.

75
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Dated, Great staging

See it if you want to see a beautiful library set and a cliched story of a feminist trapped in sexist times but forging "her own way" kind of.

Don't see it if you are looking for a progressive production where the ultimate story isn't boy gets girl, especially when boy has been an asshole.

100
Enchanting, Exquisite, Romantic, Great writing, Great singing

See it if You enjoy romantic, lyrically beautiful musical comedy with a feminist theme and happy ending

Don't see it if You think a woman's place is only in the kitchen or the bedroom, are tone deaf or do not enjoy musicals

79
Two hander with great harmonies but plodding book

See it if You like unique voices that meld gorgeously. Excellent use of small stage and props. I sent 4 others. 2 actors 2 roles= more than 2

Don't see it if You mind a heavy, plodding plot, telegraphing every scene. You dont like two handers.

90
Delightful, Enchanting, Romantic, Great singing, Sweet

See it if you like old fashioned, simple storytelling.

Don't see it if you are cynical about romance or looking for something edgy.

90
Original, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You like to be pleasantly surprised, and aren't a snob who only sees "big" musicals. This was a small delight.

Don't see it if You're looking for something to change your life. This was a small romantic show done well.

83
Enchanting, Great acting, Must see, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if you're in the mood for something purely charming.

Don't see it if you're angry at life and find no joy in the little things.

90
Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting, Romantic

See it if You like a good smart romantic story. Beautifully acted and staged.

Don't see it if You have to be dragged to a "chick flick" by your girl friend and hate every minute of it.

80
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Great staging

See it if You enjoy intimate plays in intimate settings with intimate performances. Beautiful use of a small stage, wonderfully well sung and acted.

Don't see it if You need your musicals with jazz hands and back-up dancers. Not all the songs are spot on, but the two actors are phenomenal and intimate.

81
Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Romantic, Great singing

See it if like an intimate musical, set in the late victorian era

Don't see it if you want a big production

85
Funny, Original, Delightful, Refreshing, Romantic

See it if you enjoy old-fashioned romantic stories, especially if they are inevitably headed for a happy ending.

Don't see it if you DON'T like old fashioned romantic stories!

89
Clever, Delightful, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if you want a lovely 2 person musical with a glorious score and absolutely charming performers - will carry you away to another time

Don't see it if you can't get into an old-fashioned story, don't like fantasy and romance

88
Enchanting, Romantic, Charming, Great singing, Old fashioned

See it if I was charmed by this romantic musical about an orphan and her secret benefactor; it depicts her growth of independence & his growth of love

Don't see it if Takes place in 1911 and is a small, 2 person play. Mostly sung, it's lovely and will capture your heart. It's old fashioned in a good way.

82
Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite, Resonant, Romantic

See it if you'd like to experience a surprisingly charming, witty, and deeply emotional two character musical with an intimate feel

Don't see it if mega musicals are more your thing

90
Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if a sweet love story told completely through letters with great costumes gentle humor and poetic language is what you want to see.

Don't see it if You're looking for a highly dramatic plot with lots of action and frantic voices screaming the dialogue. You want a contemporary love story.

85
Delightful, Romantic, Wistful, Enjoyable two-hander

See it if You like story that involves letters, you want a pleasant evening, you're a little old-fashioned, you like cozy plots, nice singing, acting.

Don't see it if You want something profound, don't like stories that aren't modern day, want a lot of action, don't like musicals with singing but no dance.

85
Great writing, Charming, Great singing

See it if Like literature brought to live. Charming performances by both actors. Great set. Beautiful music. Lovely story.

Don't see it if like fast moving shows its a slow boil. You keep waiting for what happens at the end, when it happens it's wonderful. Music sounds similar

92
Clever, Delightful, Intelligent, Romantic, Great singing

See it if you like good stories, good musicals, romantic plays, lovely evening in theater

Don't see it if you want big splashy musicals...this is not it.

90
Delightful, Enchanting, Refreshing, Romantic, Great singing

See it if you want to see a simple, romantic story with great costumes and amazing voices. Very charming and engaging. A lovely, intimate piece.

Don't see it if if you wan a big blockbuster that blasts you out of your seat.

88
Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if Love period pieces -- this is a winner

Don't see it if you are not a fan of Jane Austin like stories

87
Delightful, Romantic, Charming, Sweet, Intimate

See it if If you enjoy sentimental and intimate love stories. Charming and well sung.

Don't see it if You want glitzy, show stopping numbers.

100
Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Must see, Romantic

See it if An achingly beautiful love story - terrifically acted and written with a lovely score and a story that will leave you w/ tears in your eyes

Don't see it if No reason NOT to see it. GO to this one.

90
Original, Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Romantic

See it if you're looking for a delightful evening's entertainment. This 2-person musical (!) caught me by surprise. Excellent.

Don't see it if you hate musicals