Daddy Long Legs

1st March 2010

Rubicon Theatre, Ventura

Music and Lyrics by Paul Gordon

Book by John Caird

Based on the Classic Novel by Jean Webster

Click here to go to the Daddy Long Legs website.

A World Premiere musical by Tony and Olivier Award-Winner John Caird and Tony nominee Paul Gordon. Set in the early 1900s, this exquisitely moving story is the vivid account of a young orphan girl as she blossoms into a beautiful, intelligent and vivacious woman. A trustee of the John Grier Orphanage offers a proper education to the 18-year-old Jerusha. The benefactor’s only requirements are that Jerusha never know his identity, and that she write him monthly (though he will not respond). She sees him once in shadows and invents a nickname for her mysterious patron—Daddy Long Legs. Her letters to him paint a moving portrait of her lonely life in the orphanage, and the development of her mind and spirit. This new two-person musical boasts memorable melodies and lyrics and an imaginative libretto by an internationally renowned artistic team. Sets and costumes are by Olivier Award-winner David Farley, who recently received rave reviews for his inventive West End and Broadway designs for Sunday in the Park with George. The original source material is by Jean Webster, the grand-niece of Mark Twain.

Daddy Long Legs played throughout March 2010 at Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park.

Press quotes

A wholesome tuner in tune with the times, bolstered by winsome melodies from Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre). ...McGinnis proves magical in this star-making role....charming material. Spirited score ...Jerusha's insights of a century ago remain keen and winning. An impressive library unit set and lived-in costumes by David Farley.

— Variety

An exquisite gem of a musical. It’s hard to think of another musical so absolutely right for ages eight to eighty. In the inspired hands of composer-lyricist Paul Gordon and writer-director John Caird, the Rubicon Theatre’s production of Daddy Long Legs proves to be one of the most enthralling, entertaining and moving love stories I’ve seen on the American musical theater stage. The Tony-nominated composer of Broadway’s Jane Eyre creates melodies that are tuneful without being saccharine and complex without being inaccessible. His lyrics are charming, clever and touching…
One of the best new scores of the year. It’s also one that audiences are likely to leave the theatre humming. Rubicon hits a double bull’s-eye, a World Premiere musical sure to have a long life ahead of it. I have fallen in love with Daddy Long Legs. Trust me. You will too.

— LA Stage Scene

Daddy Long Legs is letter perfect! Rubicon’s World-Premiere Musical glows with life-affirming spirit. The new musical Daddy Long Legs is a winner. The stars are aligned for the success of the world-premiere musical Daddy Long Legs. McGinniss, who moves gracefully from song to conversation and back again with ample energy and wit, is an endearing Jerusha. Adelman brings a fine, well-modulated singing voice and just-right acting skills to the part. Everything about Daddy Long Legs exudes experience and class. There is grit in the girl, and ultimately a deeper understanding and broadening perspective in the man.

— Ventura County Star

…another excellently staged show just opened at the Rubicon. You'll love this world premiere show! The girls in the audience will love Rubicon’s Daddy Long Legs. They’ll laugh and they’ll cry, and so will some of the boys, and the singing is marvellous.  

— Vida

…made for Caird and Gordon to bring to the stage, and they do it impeccably. Paul Gordon's lyrics here are everything lyrics ought to be: - poetic, expositional, and revelatory of character. The music itself - played by a six-person band, mirrors the emotions, often feeling warm, optimistic and comforting. Megan McGinnis has a lovely clear voice, which she partners with a crooked smile that lights up the room, creating a spirited young woman. Caird's direction deftly handles a two-person musical in which the characters seldom interact…With its sparkling female protagonist, its mysterious wealthy gentleman, and its love story based on intellectual attraction, and its emotional betrayal, Daddy Long Legs is a great big "chick musical" softball just hanging there over the plate - and Gordon and Caird hit it right out of the park.
— Talkin’ Broadway

Daddy Long Legs is a sweet sounding chamber piece, a love story and wish fulfilment opus that throws in strategic dashes of female empowerment. In ever hopeful and dewy eyed Megan McGinnis, Caird and Gordon have found an ideal actress. Possessed of a lovely high alto voice, McGinnis charms the britches off not just her Daddy Long Legs but anyone within earshot. Fortunate indeed are those who are on the receiving end of our heroine's words. As any Cinderella will tell you, there's always room for a fairy tale.
— Curtain Up

Sponsored by Sandra and Jordan Laby—San Buenaventura Foundation for the Arts and Barbara Meister—Barber Automotive Group
Co-Sponsored by Elise and Bill Kearney and Shelley and Rick Bayer

Production photographs — Jeanne Tanner

Creative team

DirectorJohn Caird
Set & costume designDavid Farley
Paul TobenLighting Designer
Laura BergquistMusical Director


Jerusha AbbottMegan McGinnis
Jervis PendletonRobert Adelman Hancock

Alternate casts

Daddy Long Legs has proved so successful in the US that we have had to use more than one cast
The part of Jerusha has been played by both Christy Altomare and Ephie Aardema and Jervis has been played by Kevin Earley.