FOLA to screen “Daddy Long Legs” musical

Daddy Long Legs
“Daddy Long Legs.” Photo provided

LUDLOW, Vt. – The Off Broadway musical, “Daddy Long Legs,” will be streamed by FOLA Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Frank Heald Auditorium in Ludlow Town Hall.

Based on the Jean Webster’s 1912 epistolary novel, and the basis for the 1955 movie starring Fred Astaire, FOLA will screen the 2015 Off Broadway production of the musical. It is another literary adaption by John Caird and Paul Gordon, who also produced a Broadway production of “Jane Eyre.” “Daddy Long Legs” echoes Bronte’s classic novel and its complicated relationship with young Jane and the dark Mr. Rochester.

Set in turn of the century New England, “Daddy Long Legs” tells the story of the “oldest orphan in the John Grier Home,” Jerusha Abbot, and her epistolary relationship with her kindly and anonymous benefactor, known only as John Smith. He agrees to pay her way through college on the condition that Jerusha write him a letter every month about her life and learnings at college but never know his identity.

At college, she meets the well-to-do Jervis Pendleton, young relative of one of her classmates, who talks to her of literature and travel. After she graduates from college and becomes a publisher author, Jervis proposes to Jerusha, but she declines as she can’t bring herself to tell him of her true origins and fears how his family might react if they knew. In the aftermath, Jerusha writes a letter to John Smith in which she reveals that she loves Jervis and asks for a meeting with her mysterious benefactor. He agrees to meet. And the meeting will change Jerusha’s life forever.

A small, intimate production by two wonderful Broadway performers, it showcases the coming of age of a young woman and her complicated, but heartwarming, love story.

The musical is free and open to everyone and runs about two hours; donations are appreciated. For information, call 802-228-3238 or visit www.fola.us.

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