LOGAN — Going in to see a show billed as a two-person musical, regular theater-goers have learned to expect something minimalist – a bare stage with no scenery, stark lighting, no costumes, musical accompaniment by a piano at best and an altogether less-than-satisfactory theatrical experience.

Think of Waiting for Godot, with music. Only worse.

But the ongoing Cache Theatre Company production of the obscure musical Daddy Long Legs confounds those dismal expectations. This show is a fully realized stage production, with an appropriate turn-of-the–century setting, period costuming, a live three-piece band and marvelous performances.

Daddy Long Legs is utterly charming and the quality of the near-continuous singing will knock your socks off.

Under the direction of Tanner Jackman, the musical tells the story of orphan Jerusha Abbott of the John Grier Home and her mysterious benefactor, Jervis Pendleton. After anonymously agreeing to send her to college, Jerusha dubs him “Daddy Long Legs” due to his elongated shadow.

Under the conditions of her benefactor, Jerusha sends him a letter once a month, describing her new-found collegiate experiences.

While the correspondence between those two characters might seem to be a dubious premise for a musical, Daddy Long Legs works like a charm thanks to the winning talents of its cast.

On opening night, Rachel Fillingim splendidly performed the part of Jerusha with Alec Finley portraying Jervis. Throughout the run of the show, Ms. Fillingim and Finley will share those roles with Morgan Horsburgh and Mead Hansen.

Those latter two actors will have big shoes to fill, however, if they want to make the same kind of impression on the audience as Ms. Fillingim and Finley did during the debut performance of Daddy Long Legs on May 31.

With a beautiful voice and an enchanting stage presence, Ms. Fillingim had the packed audience at Lion Heart Hall eating out of the palm of her hand right from the opening notes of her plaintiff first solo.

While convincingly growing her character from a sheltered orphan to a successful author, Ms. Fillingim also skillfully mined the wordy script for every chance for a laugh from the audience, especially with a running gag about her benefactor being old and bald.

In his role, Finley had to work harder to sell his stuffed-shirt character, but Jervis is impossible to dislike while he is singing harmony in the inevitable duets with Ms. Fillingim.

Their combined talents made what could have been an awkward show into a night to remember.

Kudos also to the backstage production team of Daddy Long Legs, including Jen Bohman as music director, Celeste Baillio for costume designs and high-school student Clara Baillio for building the play’s set.

Under the direction of Melissa Hamiliton, a three-piece ensemble (piano, cello and guitar) also provided live music for the production.

I can’t imagine a better show than Daddy Long Legs to kick off the local summer theater season. You won’t want to miss this impressive production.

Daddy Long Legs will continue on Saturday, June 1 through Saturday, June 8 at Lion Heart Hall in Logan.



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