New York | 2h 0m | Already closed

Daddy Long Legs

From 47 critic and 365 member reviews
Members say: Delightful, Romantic, Enchanting, Great acting, Clever

About the show

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. More…

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.”

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


"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


"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

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

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


"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

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

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

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

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


"'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

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


"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

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

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

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

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


"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

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

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

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

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

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

Joyce's Choices

for a previous production "I just had one of the loveliest theatrical experiences of my life! You must see the utterly charming, sweetly engaging, beautifully staged and sung new musical...'Daddy Long Legs' may be “old-fashioned” on the outside– but its sensibility is modern. It has much to say about identity and authenticity, especially as it pertains to women. I left the theater feeling still, and calm, and light. In this day and age, that’s nothing short of a miracle." Full Review


for a previous production "This may be TheatreWorks’ masterpiece. A musical that redefines musicals, a period piece that is relentlessly forward-looking in its staging and orchestration, this is a revolutionary piece of theater, both in content and form. " Full Review

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great singing, Great acting

See it if You love literary musicals, you love an intimate theatrical experience

Don't see it if You prefer campy or traditional musicals

Epic, Great singing, Romantic

See it if you want to experience how just two voices and couple of musical instrument can be such rich in emotion.

Don't see it if You are looking for gorgeous and luxurious Broadway.

Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever, Exquisite

See it if you enjoy small theatres with a wonderful storyline and great singing!

Don't see it if you don't believe in love.

Clever, Funny, Great writing, Resonant, Romantic

See it if You want to give a show you have no idea about a go. Writing is fantastic; music is memorable; acting is tops; story is intimate. Go see it.

Don't see it if I have nothing bad to say about this musical.

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy a good old-fashioned love story presented in a simple yet heartfelt manner

Don't see it if You are expecting a large Broadway theater with a lot of spectacle.

Enchanting, Masterful, Intelligent, Resonant, Great singing

See it if Meg and Adam are gorgeous together! Beautifull written, beautifull sung, beautifully designed. The songs will stay deep inside of you.

Don't see it if Go, just go, buy a ticket and go....and then thank me later!

Enchanting, Exquisite, Great writing, Romantic, 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

Delightful, Enchanting, Funny, Romantic, Initimate

See it if you want to see an intimate little gem with wonderful, charming music and lovely singing & acting, and a beautiful and sweet story

Don't see it if you want something splashy and big

Charming, Enchanting, Delightful, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if You love a beautiful story, happily ever after, and simple yet effective staging. If you love enchanting melodies, this show is perfect!

Don't see it if You're into big production values, a huge cast, and flashy numbers. This show is small, but powerful.

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.

Absorbing, Delightful, Romantic, Original, Entertaining

See it if You like romantic stories and wonderful theater

Don't see it if You need a big budget to keep your attention

Absorbing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Masterful

See it if You want to be apart of one magical musical of love and hope and pain and joy and then....... Happiness Then go Run to the Davenport

Don't see it if Can't think of any reason not too

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite, Entertaining

See it if Romantic and charming

Don't see it if If you don't like old fashioned musicals or shows with just two characters

Enchanting, Exquisite, Must see, Refreshing, Masterful

See it if Loved loved loved it. Great acting, cute story, nice music and singing. Also the theatre seats 149 and is a relic of the past.

Don't see it if You enjoy more contemporary theatre, and dont like something that takes place In 1910.. ALTHOUGH I LOVED IT and I prefer contemporary shows

Delightful, Enchanting, Great staging, Refreshing, Romantic

See it if You enjoy intimate, charming productions. This show is full of heart and love!

Don't see it if You only like big lavish shows. This show will not be for anyone expecting loud and "in your face"staging.

Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Great staging, Romantic

See it if you've seen the live stream and want to experience it in person.

Don't see it if you're not fond of romance.

Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Original, Refreshing

See it if You want to smile and feel good and be entertained at the same time. I had seen the live streaming of this but it's more enchanting live!!!

Don't see it if You don't want to feel good and walk out with a smile on your face and a good feeling in your heart

Clever, Delightful, Refreshing, Original, Must see

See it if You want to fall in love with the characters in this clever love story. Small venue, feel good show!

Don't see it if You cry easily. It's that wonderful!

Clever, Funny, Intelligent

See it if you like shows for smart people!

Don't see it if no reason not to see this show!

Beautiful, Enchanting, Romantic

See it if You are in the mood for a beautiful love story

Don't see it if You have no heart

Delightful, Original, Romantic, Absorbing, Refreshing

See it if you like romantic stories, classic songwriting, low-key musicals, shows based on books, period pieces, supporting smaller theaters.

Don't see it if you only like big casts and flashy show-stopping numbers.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever

See it if You like musical love stories with a twist. Very entertaining without getting too serious.

Don't see it if You don't like shows with a limited cast. There are only 2. If you want large production numbers with singing and dancing?

Clever, Entertaining, Delightful, Enchanting, Romantic

See it if you are a romantic and like Jane Austin

Don't see it if you like your shows to develop very quickly

Delightful, Great music, Funny, Romantic, Inspiring

See it if you like an intimate show with an endearing story and beautiful music

Don't see it if you only like big splashy shows.

Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Romantic

See it if you like a well-told, well-sung and well-written musical romance with some comedy thrown in. It's simple, but lovely.

Don't see it if you have an aversion to simple stories.

Cast & Creatives (17)