Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 200- Musical, Daddy Long Legs-Secret of Happiness and Lemieux Family Center Event at O’Rielly

March 9 to April 9 at  O'Rielly

Pittsburgh Public Theater  held an event to support  The Children's Home of Pittsburgh and the Lemieux Family Center before the second night of the musical "Daddy Long Legs" at the O'Rielly Theater. This organization which offers adoption services, a pediatric  hospital and a day care for medically fragile children, seemed like the perfect charity to combine with this play. Daddy Long Legs is about an orphaned girl (Judy), who goes to college because a generous anonymous trustee (Jervis) finances her studies. This musical is really about Judy's educational, social, and personal growth, and her  secret to happiness.

The play is an Off-Broadway musical   that premiered in 2015 which is based on the Jean Webster's 1912 novel.  In the play, Judy’s  education is financed by an anonymous benefactor (Jervis) only if she  writes  him a monthly letter and she is not to expect a reply. He believes that letter- writing  will strengthen  her skills as an author.  She gives her benefactor the pen name, “Daddy Long Legs” because she only knows that he is tall, and because she takes issue with his choice of the alias neutral name, John Smith. This character has a lot of spunk and according to Jervis, she is “a girl with some brains and wit.”

Danielle Bowen (Judy) and Allen Snyder (Jervis ) at O'Rielly

This musical stays energized by two characters  (Judy and Jervis) who ping pong beautifully sung melodies, often harmonizing together, even though they are  not singing to each other but about each other. This play is similar to a  modern opera with 14 songs in the first act and 11 in the second. The fantastic singing is engaging as Judy transforms through her education and Jervis becomes more involved in her life than she realizes ( listen to  music here).   

Through the letters Judy’s optimism, gratefulness, struggles, and personal growth is  revealed. Judy sings “Things I Didn't Know" which illustrates her pre- educational  isolation as a life long resident of the girls asylum and  "Like Other Girls"  reveals her  longing to fit in and have a  family history. She remains positive  sharing  "The Secret of Happiness"  which is: “ learning how to glide, just enjoying the ride, not to mourn the past, not to run so fast, not to be afraid, not to fear the future but living in the now, the time it takes to blink is how.”

Event at O 'Rielly  before show for Lemieux  Family Center
  Judy  and Jarvis eventually fall in love through the process of change just like in the movie/play “My Fair Lady.”  The way I see it, Judy  found her happiness independent of their declaration of love by becoming  her personal best, which is the subject of this blog no matter what journey you are on.

(Daddy Long Legs runs until April 9th at the O'Reilly Theather. Learn more about the Lemieux  Family center and their  event “Shake Your Booties on Bourbon Street on March 25th )                      
Spiritual Reflection

Give me happiness, O Lord, for my life depends on you. (Psalm 86:4)

 Other Sources
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Music of (Daddy Long Legs)
Highlights (off- Broadway) Daddy Long Legs
Daddy Long Legs Novel (Free download)
Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center
Shake your Booties Event