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Community Advocacy Organization

Peppermint Creek Theatre Company Announces Opening of Musical 'Daddy Long Legs'

Courtesy of Peppermint Creek

Lansing, MI – Peppermint Creek Theatre Company opens its next production, a musical “rags-to-riches” tale of newfound love, Daddy Long Legs, with music and lyrics by Tony Award-nominated composer/lyricist Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre) and book by Tony-winning librettist John Caird (Les Misérables), on February 9 at Bestsellers Books & Coffee Co, where performances run through February 19.

Based on the classic novel by Jean Webster (which also inspired the 1955 movie starring Fred Astaire), Daddy Long Legs is a beloved tale in the spirit of Jane Austen and the Brontë Sisters. Chad Swan-Badgero (PCTC’s founder and Artistic Director) directs. This production stars Rachel Daugherty (seen most recently in Merrily We Roll Along) and Jake Przybyla (seen last on the PCTC stage starring in I Love You Because). John Dillingham (PCTC’s All Is Calm and Bright Star) music directs.

Jerusha Abbott is the oldest orphan in the John Grier Home, until a mysterious benefactor sends her to a prestigious women’s college to be educated. Required to write him a letter once a month, she is never to know his identity — so she invents one for him: “Daddy Long Legs.”

“The story is about Jerusha’s intellectual awakening — which in turn helps Jervis, her secret benefactor, open up as a human being and changes them both forever,” says Swan-Badgero. “It’s a story of the importance of education hidden inside a love story. It’s thrilling to present a story for Lansing audiences showing how an education for this young woman opens her eyes to the limitless possibilities the world holds. The fact that the story is set in 1908, only makes it resonate more deeply for audiences in 2023.”

Daddy Long legs was developed as part of the Ann Deal/Fashion Forms Plays-in-Progress Series at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, where it had its world premiere in 2009 before going on to productions in London’s West End, off-Broadway and around the world. The New York Times wrote “To watch Jerusha awaken to love and literature is a great treat.” The UK Guardian called the musical “totally captivating… far more fun than many a big, blowsy spectacle.” And BroadwayWorld found it to be “an absolute charmer that’s perfect for date night and suitable for the whole family.” (PCTC recommends ages 10 and up.)

The creative team for the PCTC production includes lighting designer Joe Dickson, costume designer Camara Lewis, sound consultant Nathan Tykocki, stage manager Hannah Paff, and props and set designer Chad Swan-Badgero.

As Peppermint Creek searches for a permanent home for the long-term, this season they have been presenting shows across the entire region. The location for Daddy Long Legs, Bestsellers Books, holds a special significance for director Swan-Badgero.

“Aside from the natural connections of presenting a musical based on a classic book IN a bookstore, I am so excited to be at Bestsellers for two major reasons,” says Swan-Badgero.

“First, I had the good fortune to work as an employee of Bestsellers when they opened their doors 25 years ago! What a treat to see the way they have grown and impacted the Mason community in such positive and important ways. Second, I’m originally from Mason, and Peppermint Creek literally got its start there. The body of water the theatre is named for runs past my childhood home. So this production, staged in Mason, is truly a homecoming.”

Daddy Long Legs runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Feb. 9 – 12 and 16 - 19, 2023. Tickets are $20 general admission and $15 for students, seniors 65+, and veterans. This production will take place at Bestsellers Books & Coffee Co. located at 360 South Jefferson, in Mason, MI 48854. For reservations and information, visit

This production is made possible by generous support from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, the City of Lansing and Katharine & Frank Dennis.


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