Daddy Long Legs
Closed 2h 0m
Daddy Long Legs
86

Daddy Long Legs NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(366 Reviews)
Positive
95%
Mixed
4%
Negative
1%
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.

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Member Reviews (366)

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80
Absorbing, Enchanting, Uneven, Engaging, Dated

See it if you enjoy intimate theater. The story is goofy (even creepy) but you can't help but root for the inevitable outcome. Strong performances.

Don't see it if you resist being charmed. Also, some of the songs are weak (including the opening number). A pleasant, but not thrilling, couple of hours.

75
Enchanting, Great acting, Romantic, Absorbing, Great singing

See it if you like sweet romantic stories, beautiful music and sweetly old-fashioned.

Don't see it if small production, two actor plays. Old fashioned themes.

Critic Reviews (47)

The New York Times
September 29th, 2015

"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"
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Time Out New York
September 28th, 2015

"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."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
September 28th, 2015

"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."
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Theatermania
September 28th, 2015

"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."
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Lighting & Sound America
September 29th, 2015

"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."
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Talkin' Broadway
September 28th, 2015

"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.'"
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Theater Pizzazz
October 2nd, 2015

"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."
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CurtainUp
October 3rd, 2015

"'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."
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Front Row Center
December 7th, 2015

“'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."
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Broadway Blog
September 29th, 2015

"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."
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C
November 17th, 2015

"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."
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DC Theatre Scene
September 28th, 2015

"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."
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Times Square Chronicles
September 29th, 2015

"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."
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The Huffington Post
September 29th, 2015

"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."
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T
September 30th, 2015

"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."
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Broadway & Me
December 5th, 2015

"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."
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New York Theatre Guide
October 9th, 2015

"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?"
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As Her World Turns
January 7th, 2016

"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."
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Motherhood Later
September 29th, 2015

"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."
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Z
September 29th, 2015

"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."
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ThisbroadSway
September 26th, 2015

"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."
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E
September 29th, 2015

"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."
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TheaterScene.com
October 8th, 2015

"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."
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Variety
October 18th, 2009
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."
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Los Angeles Times
October 19th, 2009
For a previous production

"'Daddy Long Legs' has two things going for it: a completely winning performance by its lead and the kind of rags-to-riches Cinderella saga that never fails to draw. Other than that, it’s pretty much your standard sentimental melodrama, with an easy-listening score that could make Andrew Lloyd Webber seem like Bach."
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Exeunt Magazine
October 31st, 2012
For a previous production

"There’s a lot to like about this show. But if this production’s source material is good value, its strict adherence to it is one of its main drawbacks. An epistolary novel is not the easiest fit for a theatrical piece, and there’s a lack of imagination on display here."
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The Guardian (UK)
November 7th, 2012
For a previous production

"As a musical, it has many negative virtues: no flimflam, no scenic excess...The show brims with positive qualities, of which the best is its preservation of Webster's instinctive feminism...Not for the first time, a chamber-musical proves far more fun than many a big, blowsy spectacle."
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The Arts Desk
November 8th, 2012
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."
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The Telegraph (UK)
November 14th, 2012
For a previous production

"The relationship that slowly develops between the grateful, goody-two-shoes girl and the shadowy, rich youth who allows her to believe he’s a far older male, sent the wrong kind of shivers down my spine. There’s not just an age-gap problem but a glaring era-gap too. Serving material that inevitably comes across as quite static, director John Caird – who also contributes the book – and composer/lyricist Paul Gordon do their utmost to lull you into a state of happy complicity."
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The London Evening Standard
November 8th, 2012
For a previous production

"It’s a neat idea, to turn Jean Webster’s 1912 young women’s classic into a tuneful two-hander, but the reliance on letters makes for an inherently static piece. The trouble is that the show takes few interesting detours en route; a failed math exam is about as high as the drama gets. Modern sensibilities will find Jerusha’s patron slightly creepy, especially the “Daddy” name she gives him. Yet that’s not the right slant to take and the creative team guides us carefully away from such thoughts."
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What's On Stage (UK)
November 8th, 2012
For a previous production

"Although John Caird's sensitive book and Paul Gordon's deft music and lyrics accurately reflect the period feel and decorum of Jean Webster's 1912 epistolary novel, the show never really flies...the show itself, exerts a sort of insidious, slow-burning sweetness without ever delivering a knock-out punch."
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Around The Town Chicago
September 26th, 2010
For a previous production

"This is an outstanding showcase for the two talented actors, but I for one found the story to be just a little long and while the music was beautiful, it was also very repetitious. Perhaps, the writers might want to consider making this a 90-100 minute show instead of the 2 plus hours."
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Chicago Reader
September 27th, 2010
For a previous production

"This musical is sweet, charming, and just a wee bit dull, with an overlong first act, songs that lack dynamic variety, and a clear predilection for skating over the class issues it sets up. Still, when I consider what a miserable can of worms would be opened up by a more realistic treatment, I figure a little smooth skating may not be a bad idea."
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S
January 26th, 2010
For a previous production

"'Daddy Long Legs' has two very attractive qualities. One is its source, the 1912 novel. The other is Megan McGinnis, who perfectly embodies Webster's heroine. Then there's the material and the music. About the best that can be said for them is that they don't detract greatly from the musicalized romance novel with a feminist twist."
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Windy City Media Group
October 6th, 2010
For a previous production

"The problem in adapting Webster's epistolary tale is that a score representing two characters talking to themselves leaves little room for variety. That said, those seeking the American counterpart to L.M. Montgomery's Anne Shirley will find plenty to satisfy them in this production."
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Daily Herald
September 29th, 2010
For a previous production

""Daddy Long Legs" combines a coming-of-age tale with a romance between a pair of unlikely soul mates. But at its core, this show is an homage to erudition...its a moving show with exquisite arrangements by Gordon and Brad Haak who make dissonance delightful...'Daddy Long Legs' richly deserves its growing exposure. Like its heroine, it is most assuredly on course."
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Ladue News
October 16th, 2012
For a previous production

"This is a gentle story, even if it delves into such lively topics a century ago as socialism and women’s rights. As it doesn’t really deviate in style or tone throughout, it gets a bit wearisome in the second act. Still, the performances of its two skilled players are consistently fine and even surprisingly humorous."
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BlogCritics.org
November 5th, 2009
For a previous production

"There are two major problems. The book never tells us why Jerusha is chosen, so we never get fully involved. The second problem is the music. I liked each song individually, but they all sound alike. This is all a shame when it is obvious that so much love has gone into this project, and the performers are both captivating."
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Chicago Critic
September 26th, 2010
For a previous production

"If this review were limited to just one word, that word would be charming! 'Daddy Long Legs' is so brimming with charm that it doesn’t matter that there are no memorable songs, that the voices are not outstanding, and that the plot is sentimental – so let’s get these caveats out the way immediately."
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British Theatre Guide
November 8th, 2012
For a previous production

"This is a sweet musical that makes a refreshing change from the hugely engineered Broadway beasts, and it’s easy to see why it been a great success in its previous 16-city visits in the USA. This is not taxing and doesn’t push to the emotional extremes but its charm hooks you in and leaves the audience willing the story on."
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The Charlebois-Post Canada
March 22nd, 2013
For a previous production

"All in all, this was an excellent production which was enjoyed even by a self-professed hater of musicals."
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Chicago Theater Beat
October 3rd, 2010
For a previous production

"No matter how endearing, what makes for good narrative in a book becomes rather dull on stage. That might not matter so much if the music were more interesting, but as it is, the play needs more life and more people in it...For all its modernisms in terms of cast and staging, 'Daddy Long Legs' seems overly old-fashioned and simple."
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A Younger Theatre
November 10th, 2012
For a previous production

"'Daddy Long Legs' is quietly humorous and definitely has an endearing storyline, yet it feels as though lead performer McGinnis makes the show what it is. Without her it would become all too clear that 'Daddy Long Legs' is a safe musical that needs to extend its reach."
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Joyce's Choices
February 18th, 2012
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."
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YourObserver.com
February 10th, 2014
For a previous production

"This sweet story is served up with deft directing, clever staging and winning performances...But there are times the heavy machinery clunks. And Webster’s young-adult source material occasionally groans under the weight of the adaptation."
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SanJose.com
January 24th, 2010
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. "
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Time Out London
November 9th, 2012
For a previous production

"You don't need to be Freud to suspect this of being an incestuous father fantasy. But all that Oedipal stuff is sugar coated with a quasi-Pygmalion narrative. The wholesome letters from the young woman become the basis for duets that converge in a politely restrained climax. The music and lyrics are correspondingly saccharine...for this leathery old hack, it's all too sweetly wholesome."
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