A lonely orphan, a mysterious benefactor, a nine-point plan.
Broadway Rose Theatre Company is now streaming its onstage production of the two-person musical Daddy Long Legs. The program is available for streaming through October 25 and stars real-life couple and NEWLYWEDS (!!!) Malia Tippets and Joe Theissen.
Based on Jean Webster’s 1912 novel, which inspired the 1955 movie starring Fred Astaire, Daddy Long Legs is a heartwarming Cinderella story filled with lovely songs, romance, and even a bit of early 20th Century social commentary. With music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and book by John Caird, this charming tale centers on the witty and tenacious orphan, Jerusha Abbott (Tippets) who longs to be a writer.
When a mysterious benefactor known only as Mr. Smith (Theissen) but actually the rich philanthropist Jervis Pendleton, offers to fund her college education, his only requirement is that Jerusha write him monthly letters outlining her progress in school. Having only had a slight glimpse of his tall silhouette, she gives him the name “Daddy Long Legs”. Because Jerusha is a natural writer, these letters become more than mere duty correspondence!
Jerusha pictures her benefactor as old and bald, which Jervis finds amusing early on. But as the years pass and she matures into an independent young woman, her life experiences challenge both parties as they come to understand their need for connection and the profound impact they have on one another. And yet, he remains shy and elusive.
Thanks to the two performers being a couple, Broadway Rose was able to safely rehearse the musical production, record it, and stream it online. “This charming love story has been on our list for years, and is a wonderful fit for the present circumstances,” says Artistic Direct Sharon Maroney. “We are grateful that technology and the generous support of our donors enable us to offer you a fresh and intimate performance in the comfort of your home. We hope you will enjoy an evening of entertainment and thank you for supporting us during this extraordinary time.”
Daddy Long Legs is directed by Sharon Maroney with music direction from Jeffrey Childs on piano and featuring Amy Roesler on viola. The creative team includes Sean O’Skea, set designer; Vanessa Elsner, costume supervisor; Phil McBeth, lighting designer; Liz Carlson and Jeff Duncan, prop designers; Brian Karl Moen, sound designer; Mark Daniels, videographer; and Jeff Duncan, production stage manager.
There is much to love in this musical, with its clever dialog, likable characters, and the family-friendly charm of an old-fashioned love story set in a different era, not to mention the thrill of watching a staged production after all these months!
Tickets are $25 for a 48-hour rental; $5 tickets are available for Oregon Trail Card holders through the Arts for All program. When you purchase your tickets, Broadway Rose even includes step-by-step instructions for linking your computer to your television for larger screen viewing. For tickets visit www.broadwayrose.org or call 503.620.5262.