Thursday August 2, 2018
HERSHEY, Pa., August 2, 2018 – Hershey Area Playhouse is pleased to present Daddy Long Legs. Daddy Long Legs is a stage musical with a book by John Caird, and music and lyrics by Paul Gordon. It is based on the 1912 novel of the same name by Jean Webster. It is 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 who agrees to send her to college, who she dubs "Daddy Long Legs" after seeing 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.
Directed by Michael Ritter and starring Valerie Schrader as Jerusha Abbott and Travis Zimmerman as Jervis Pendleton, Daddy Long Legs is making its area debut at Hershey Area Playhouse. Audience members who enjoyed The Secret Garden or plays and novels such as Little Women and Jane Eyre are going to love Daddy Long Legs. The overarching messages in the show are about forgiveness, the definition of charity, and appreciating the simple, every day moments in life, while also including a lot of other little messages. Daddy Long Legs author, Jean Webster, was a big advocate of women’s suffrage, women in higher education, and helping the poor; something that comes out a lot in Jerusha’s lines thanks to the brilliant adaptation by John Caird.
“We are really excited to share Paul Gordon’s wonderful score. He’s done a number of period pieces, the most well-known is Jane Eyre, but they aren’t done very often in our area. We hope that Daddy Long Legs might inspire people to see, and theatres to do, other Paul Gordon pieces like Sense and Sensibility or Emma,” Schrader said.
When asked about the joys and challenges of this two-person musical, Schrader had this to say. “There are lots of challenges, though. Probably the biggest challenge is the sheer amount of lines, lyrics, and music there is to memorize. I basically have to do the first three songs and first eight pages of the script completely solo, because Jerusha has to set up the story before Jervis comes in. There are so many reprises that I might sing the same melody four different times, each time with different lyrics,” she said. “However, one of the benefits is that anytime you have a small cast, it makes for a very collaborative creative process. The major benefit to this particular show is that my scene partner is also my best friend, it’s definitely an advantage that we already trust each other.”
Experience this amazing two-person musical August 9-11, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.00. Tickets are available by visiting www.HersheyAreaPlayhouse.com or by calling the Playhouse's box office at 717-533-8525.
Hershey Area Playhouse (www.HersheyAreaPlayhouse.com) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing residents of the community with an opportunity to participate in the creation and production of a theatrical experience. Since its inception in 1999, Hershey Area Playhouse has staged dozens of productions at numerous venues around the Hershey area. In April 2007, the Playhouse opened its new permanent home, Hershey Area Playhouse at Country Meadows.