‘Daddy Long Legs’ phenomenon: Revival of the Cebuano theatre scene?

‘Daddy Long Legs’ phenomenon: Revival of the Cebuano theatre scene?

Dear Reader, have you heard of the new musical coming to Cebu?

Creating a buzz all over social media earlier this year was the “Daddy Long Legs” musical, featuring an all-Cebuano cast, that was staged in Cebu last February 2023.

Since the start of the year, many Facebook users commented on the posts of the “Daddy Long Legs Cebu” Facebook page — expressing their interest in the show. The reception was so active, in fact, that about a week before opening night, a notice was posted that tickets were almost sold out — if not already. The news caused many followers who hadn’t secured their tickets yet to express their disappointment.

There were even users from outside of Cebu clamoring for the production to be brought to Metro Manila or a re-staging of the musical.

Cebu has not seen a similar level of reception for a local theatrical production since the start of the pandemic. With this, many have expressed their excitement about the revival of Cebu’s theater scene.

There’s just something about the “Daddy Long Legs” musical... But what is it?

Is it the storyline?

It seems that the story of “Daddy Long Legs” is one of the crowd-favorite storylines of all time. It began as a 1912 epistolary novel by Jean Webster, who tells a timeless tale of love and growing up in the form of letters addressed by the main character, Jerusha “Judy” Abbott, to her mysterious benefactor — a certain “Daddy Long Legs.” The plot has long charmed those who grew up either reading the book, watching the movie adaptation or following the animated series.

For those who just can’t get enough, the prospect of a musical version has probably piqued their interest—putting the “Daddy Long Legs” musical at the top of their must-see list of local theater productions this year.

The production has even garnered a number of first-time theater viewers, who asked about what to expect and what rules there were to follow at the show — posing hopeful prospects for the growth of the theater community.

Is it the team?

Three major producers (Vaudeville Theatre Company, Studio Evision and Fo Guang Shan) have collaborated with the Cebu City Government through the Office of the Vice Mayor to bring the stunning international musical to the Cebuano stage.

Cebu-renowned director, Penny Ong, known for highlighting local talent through her original and fresh takes on international musicals is the mind behind the artistic direction of the production, so it’s no surprise that Cebuano theater aficionados and enthusiasts had clamored to watch the production.

The show must go on

Due to public demand, the production team is happy to announce that Vaudeville Theatre Company is bringing the show back this June.

Lucky are those who did not get to catch it because now’s another chance to watch “Daddy Long Legs!”

Since opening ticket orders, the production team has announced that quite a number of the patrons buying tickets are repeat buyers. Those who had already watched the show in February came back to buy more tickets and watch the show again, some even purchasing more tickets for their friends and family.

Take it however way you want, but perhaps this goes to show that watching it once will only leave you wanting more. The songs are addictive and the story is absolutely enchanting as the leading lady Jerusha captivates the audience with her charming character and refreshing perspective.

The most amazing part of the musical is that the whole production only has two characters—two actors who perform for two acts in a full musical with a two-hour duration. And yet, not once is there a boring moment. Some audience members of the first run even mentioned that they were so invested in the story, they felt like there were so many characters on stage when in fact, there were only two.

So, if you haven’t watched “Daddy Long Legs” yet, this is definitely a must-see for 2023 live performances.

“Daddy Long Legs” will run from June 2 to 4 and June 9 to 11 at the Guang Ming Institute of Performing Arts, V. Rama Ave., Cebu City. For ticket reservations and inquiries, check out the “Daddy Long Legs Cebu” Facebook page where the Ticket Order Form is posted.

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