Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Daddy Long Legs @ The Davenport Theatre

Looking to resuscitate long lost feelings of love? Step into the Davenport Theatre, transformed into an intimate parlor, and a postcard will fall out of your program and attached will be a matching pen. After you write a postcard, to your true love of course, it will be stamped and mailed for you at the box office, then the show will begin.

And just like all the great, timeless love stories, Daddy Long Legs begins with a letter.

Megan McGinnis brilliantly portrays Jerusha Abbott, the oldest orphan girl at the John Grier Home. One day, she receives a letter from a cryptic man who came into the orphanage, who she described as tall and lanky like a Daddy Long Legs (get it?). In this letter, he states that he will send her to college but in return, she must write him once a month. Jerusha channels these letters into a personal diary, accounting + itemizing every thing that happens to her at school. Daddy Long Legs, played by Paul Alexander Nolan, begins to fall in love with her and throughout the play, tried to muster the confidence to expose his true identity- her roommate’s uncle. And as you can imagine, his identity is exposed at long last and they are to be wed, as all great, timeless love stories end.

Nolan’s performance is ever so notable because his role is so reactionary to all of Jerusha’s letters. We always know how he is feeling when he is silent, upstage at his desk. And McGinnis? Well, she really WAS Jerusha Abbott. The tears and truth to her each and every letter is reason alone to pick up a ticket.

John Caird’s staging was so simplistically charming- huge trunks all over the downstage playing area that transformed into a bed, a mountain, and storage area for lots and lots of books and letters. You used your imagination just as Jerusha did to muse about what her Daddy Long Legs looked like. 

If you are in search of a charming evening, look no further than the Davenport Theatre and this production of Daddy Long Legs. Not only is it endearing and syrupy sweet, it is a lovely break from the modern world of texts and tweets and may inspire you to write a letter of your own. 

Review By: Brittany Goodwin
Photos By: Jeremy Daniel

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