[THEATER REVIEW] ‘Daddy Long Legs’ (Hale Centre Theatre)

Hey everyone! Today I got to experience another day of live theater here in Utah. I’m so blessed to live here and to be able to see shows safely and securely. I know some aren’t ready to return to the theater and I respect that. For me I am ready and willing and then some! With that energy in mind I was back to Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy: this time in their Jewel Box stage (previously I saw Les Miserables at their main theater). Today I actually got to see a show I have already reviewed on this blog. In fact, it is my 3rd time I have seen the show Daddy Long Legs. Each time it has starred my former music teacher David Smith and each time I’ve adored the show.

The first time I saw the show was at Hale Center Theater in Orem and I was delighted. You can read my thoughts here. Then last year HCTO did a Hale at Home where they streamed a live performance of this show. It’s ideal for that purpose because it only has 2 people and I believe David performed that with his wife. It was so nice to see some theater even if it was via zoom early in the pandemic.

Now today the show is at the Hale in Sandy and isn’t theater in the round but is still very delightful. David performs with actress Kelly Coombs and it tells the story of Jerusha Abbott the orphan who is given a college scholarship with the promise she writes a monthly letter to her benefactor. The only thing Jerusha knows about the man is that he has long legs from seeing his shadow once. She thereby deems him ‘Daddy Long Legs’ in her letters.

Like I said this show only has 2 actors and I’m blown away by how they are able to learn all those lines and sing all those songs. But it’s even more than that. The songs by Paul Gordon with a book by John Caird are so endearing. Evidently the show had an Off Broadway run in 2015 but they should look at it again because it is so sweet and charming. I love all the songs and the story is classic romantic comedy!

It would be a great choice to do post-pandemic because of the small cast and set expenses. This production has a 2 storied set with a circle of flooring that revolves that is even used as a creek with a canoe several times. There’s enough movement and props to be interesting without it distracting from the simple romance.

Kelly and David have great chemistry and you can see they are friends and used to working together. Not to repeat the word but they really are delightful.

Possibly because it’s not Les Mis (what is?) this show was less crowded and I saw no mask disobedience which was nice. We all enjoyed the show with no problems. I recommend it to anyone who is ready to return to the theater and is advised by their doctors it is safe to do so to check it out. You won’t regret it.

9 out of 10

Smile Worthy

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