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Review: DADDY LONG LEGS at Broadway Rose

A sweet, romantic, uncomplicated musical starring real-life couple Malia Tippets and Joe Theissen

Review: DADDY LONG LEGS at Broadway Rose I didn't realize until I was watching Broadway Rose's new streaming production of the musical DADDY LONG LEGS how much I'd been needing a show that would whisk me away to another world, provide some laughs, and ask nothing of me in return. This sweet, romantic, uncomplicated musical starring real-life couple Malia Tippets and Joe Theissen (who, by the way, got married on the set -- congratulations!!!) did exactly that.

Set in the early 1900s, DADDY LONG LEGS, which ran Off-Broadway in 2015, is a period musical about Jerusha Abbott, "the oldest orphan at the John Grier Home," who gets the opportunity to go to college thanks to a mysterious benefactor, whom she calls "Daddy Long Legs" because the only thing she knows about him is that he's tall. As part of the arrangement, she must write to him monthly about her life and experiences at school. Also as part of the arrangement, he will never write back.

Through reading the letters, Daddy Long Legs, whose real name is Jervis Pendleton, develops a fondness for Jerusha. He arranges to meet her without her discovering he's the one who is paying for her education. Jerusha is smart, headstrong, and intent on becoming a writer. Jervis is kind and well-read, but not great at emotions. Imagine Anne Shirley meets a cross between Gilbert and Mr. Darcy. You can guess how it turns out.

For me, watching DADDY LONG LEGS felt a little bit like going somewhere for the first time, but feeling like I'd been there before. The characters were familiar, the plot stayed on the expected path, and I recognized a lot of the music, even though I'd never knowingly listened to the soundtrack. In the Before Time, I may have found it unoriginal, but right now, with the stress and uncertainty that has been 2020, it not just brought comfort, but truly sparked joy. Both performances are top-notch, and the videography rivals even the best recordings from National Theatre Live.

Musical theatre companies like Broadway Rose face an extra challenge right now since there just aren't that many two-person musicals (and are there any one-person musicals?). I applaud them for finding this little gem and making it happen.

DADDY LONG LEGS is available for rent through October 25. If you need an escape from all the things, carve out some time to enjoy it. More details and info here.




From This Author - Krista Garver


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