The show has music by composer Martin and lyrics by Martin and Timothy Gray, and is based on the novel, "Daddy Longlegs," about an orphan and her secret benefactor. The musical played 594 performances (or 1,002, depending on your source) in London, making it the biggest stage hit from the writer who gave the world "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "The Boy Next Door" and "The Trolley Song." Martin is 89 and lives in California. Gray lives in Florida.
The New Orleans-set libretto is by Eric Maschwitz and Jean Webster based on Webster's novel. Gray and Martin would also pen the musical version of Blithe Spirit, called High Spirits. Martin's other projects (he is a writer of music and lyrics) include Meet Me in St. Louis, Best Foot Forward, Look, Ma! I'm Dancin'! (which was heard at Musicals Tonight!) and Make a Wish.
The Musicals Tonight! cast includes Vanessa Lemonides as Judy, Valerie Hill, Julian Reboledo (as Jervis, the benefactor who loves Judy), Adrienne Pisoni, Dana Zihlman, Thursday Farrar, Nicholas Dalton, Adam MacDonald, Casey Blonde, Alice Cannon, Jeffrey Correia, Jenny Gelwick, Kris Moon, Wayne Pretlow, Holly O'Brien and Sandy Rosa.
Thomas Mills directs. James Stenborg is musical director.
Songs in the score include "Daddy Longlegs," "Go and Get Your Old Banjo," "Love From Judy," "My True Love," "Ain't Gonna Marry," "Dum Dum Dum," "Goin' Back to School," "Here We Are," "I Never Dream When I Sleep," "It's Better Rich," "It's Great to be an Orphan," "Kind to Animals," "Mardi Gras," "A Touch of Voodoo" and "What Do I See in You?" Performances (7:30 PM Tuesday with matinees 2:30 PM Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) play the Mainstage of the 14th Street YWCA, 344 E. 14th St. between First and Second Avenues. Tickets are $19. For information, call (212) 868-4444 or Musicals Tonight! at (212) 362 5620.
Next up for Musicals Tonight! is the North American premiere of The Gershwins' Primrose.