LOGAN – When it debuts in late May, the local production of Daddy Long Legs will be something of a departure for the Cache Theatre Company.

Previous CTC offerings have usually been large-cast musicals like Spamalot, Legally Blonde and Matilda. But this time out the theater troupe will break that tradition by staging a two-person musical.

“We are producing the 2015 musical adaptation of the book Daddy Long Legs,” director Tanner Jackman explains. “The most notable difference between the (original) play and the musical is that there are only two people in the show.”

The roots of the seldom-performed Daddy Long Legs stretch back more than a century to a novel of the same name penned by Jean Webster in 1912.

Two years later, Webster adapted her epistolary novel in a non-musical stage play.

In 1955, Hollywood again adapted Webster’s tale, this time converting it into a dance vehicle for Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron with music and lyrics by famed composer Johnny Mercer.

The more recent two-person stage adaptation was developed by John Card and composer Paul Gordon starting in 2009. Since its premiere in 2015, Daddy Long Legs has been performed off-Broadway, in London’s West End theatre district and Tokyo, as well as at regional theaters through the United States.

Set in turn-of-the-century New England, 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 experiences with life outside the orphanage.

While the correspondence between those two characters might seem to be a dubious premise for a musical, Jackman insists that Daddy Long Legs works splendidly.

“There are soaring melodies and beautiful harmonies as the cast tells the story of Jerusha,” the director says. “The cast only being two people really brings you into the show. It makes you be more enticed by them performing.”

With the vast talent pool of Cache Valley to choose from, Jackson wisely decided to spread the wealth of Daddy Long Legs as widely as possible.

Morgan Horsburgh and Rachel Fillingim will share the role of Jerusha on alternating nights during the production, while Mead Hansen and Alec Finley will trade off in the role of Jervis.

The upcoming production of Daddy Long Legs is also benefiting from the recent alliance of CTC, Music Theatre West and the Four Seasons Theatre Company in terms of back-stage talent.

Jackman says that Jen Bohman is serving as music director, Celeste Baillio is designing costumes and Clara Baillio is building the play’s set.

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

Daddy Long Legs will be presented from Friday, May 31 through Saturday, June 8 at Lion Heart Hall.



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