When "Daddy Long Legs" opens its world premiere engagement at the Laguna Playhouse next week, it will arrive with an impressive array of blood lines.
The author of the original novel was Jean Webster — Mark Twain's great niece. The playwright who brings it to the stage and will direct, John Caird, numbers "Les Miserables" among his musical theater credits.
The composer, Paul Gordon, was Tony-nominated for his score of "Jane Eyre." And the story also inspired a 1955 movie musical with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron.
That story, set in the early 1900s, focuses on a young orphan girl named Jerusha as she blossoms into a woman. A trustee of the John Grier Orphanage offers Jerusha a proper education — with a few stipulations.
The benefactor's only requirements are that Jerusha never know his identity and that she write him monthly (though he will not respond). She sees him once in the shadows and invents a nickname for her mysterious patron — Daddy Long Legs.