Shows D

DADDY LONG LEGS By John Caird, music and lyrics by Paul Gordon, Based on the classic novel by Jean Webster Rubicon Theater Company in Ventura, CA TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park St. James Theatre, London - 7th November, 2012 - 8th December, 2012 (Season) SYNOPSIS Set in the early 1900s in New England, Daddy Long Legs is the vivid account of a young orphan as she blossoms into a beautiful, intelligent and vivacious woman. An anonymous benefactor gives Jerusha Abbott an opportunity to attend college, requiring that she write to him monthly, even though he will not respond. Her letters to him paint a moving portrait of her former life in the orphanage, and the development of her mind and spirit. STORY Act One In an orphanage called the John Grier Home, Jerusha Abbott calls the first Monday of every month a perfectly awful day due to orphanage’s trustees’ monthly visit and how she bears the load of the preparations. After the visit, Mrs. Lippett, the home’s matron, calls for Jerusha in her office. On her way there, she glimpses one of the Trustee’s long, spindly, and spidery shadow cast by the headlights of his awaiting car (The Oldest Orphan in the John Grier Home). Mrs. Lippett hands her a letter from the Trustee she just saw leaving the home. Impressed by her amusing satirical essays about life at the orphanage, he devised a nine-point plan for her further education. The Trustee will be sending her to a local college with all expenses paid, with the intention that she educate herself to become a writer. The only condition is that Jerusha must write to him reporting her progress and impressions of the college, and that he will remain anonymous, only to be addressed as Mr. Smith. Her letters will never be answered, nor take the slightest attention to them (Who Is This Man?). Jerusha arrives at the college, and begins to pen her first letter. She complains regarding her benefactor’s alias: Why couldn’t you have picked out a name with a little personality? After musing over what she’ll call her mysterious benefactor, she finally decides on Daddy Long Legs due to his tall figure and she imagining him to be old and gray (Mr. Girl Hater). In his study in Manhattan, young philanthropist Jervis Pendleton, Jerusha’s benefactor, is amused and puzzled over her first letter (She Thinks I’m Old). Jerusha writes about her lessons from her freshman year classes (Freshman Year Studies), and describes her anxiety over trying to fit in with the other girls at her college due to her upbringing in an orphanage (Like Other Girls). She then writes about her embarrassment at her lack of education and her excitement about learning (Things I Didn’t Know). During the Christmas vacation, Jerusha stays behind in the college to catch up on her reading, and sends her love to Daddy Long Legs in her loneliness. The shy and awkward Jervis finds her affection-filled letters disconcerting (What Does She Mean By Love?). Jerusha flunks two of her first exams and is mortified. She becomes ill and writes angrily to Daddy Long Legs, accusing him of not caring for her and simply supporting her merely out of charity. Moved by this, Jervis sends her a bouquet of flowers, and Jerusha is penitent (I’m A Beast). Enthralled by her letters, Jervis arranges to meet his young beneficiary, under the pretence that he is meeting his niece Julia, who happens to be Jerusha’s least favorite friend (When Shall We Meet?). After meeting Jervis, Jerusha is immediately drawn to him: He’s a real human being, not a Pendleton after all ... he looked at me as