Broadway Show A Year With Frog & Toad
New at the Cort Theater,
A Year With Frog and Toad is a charming musical based on the books
by the late Arnold Lobel. It’s a series of episodes about best
friends, Frog and Toad, enjoying all kinds of things together,
planting flower seeds, going swimming, baking (and eating) cookies,
sledding, and celebrating. (Valuable lessons in friendship here.)
For each activity, there is a descriptive song by Willie Reale,
backed by a live band. The delightful score by Robert Reale covers
most popular musical styles. Grown-ups will enjoy the witty lyrics.
The gentle show,
originally produced by the Children’s Theater of Minneapolis,
was a hit at New York’s New Victory Theater last winter. In all
respects, the sweet simple, 90-minute musical communicates with
a specific new audience for Broadway — kids ages four to seven,
and makes a perfect introduction to theater for this set. At this
reviewer’s recent visit, tots, perched on boosters or cuddled
against adults and clutching well-worn teddy bears were thoroughly
into the on-stage amphibians’ antics.
The cast is terrific.
Frog is tall, slender Jay Goede, (Angels in America), calm, serious,
and affectionate. Mark Linn-Baker (TV’s Perfect Strangers and
Broadway’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) is
Toad, short, stout and a bit world-wary. He hates to be seen in
a bathing suit, can’t fly a kite and doesn’t get any mail. A small,
energetic supporting cast expertly plays birds, moles, and other
creatures of the forest. Watching Toad get ready to sled down
a hill especially delighted the preview audience.
designed by Adrianne Lobel (daughter of Arnold) and directed by
David Petrarca, sweetly recall the late Lobel’s beloved books.
Martin Pakledinaz’s costumes and Daniel Pelzig’s choreography
summon up the animals without being literal, allowing room for
kids to use their imaginations. For instance, Frog always wears
green socks with a dapper suite and the birds wear chic feather-accented
suits, jutting their necks when they walk, but do not have wings.
Grownups paying for this entertainment will find their money well
Call 212-239-6200; Groups 1-800-BROADWAY; for a Teachers Guide,
go to www.frogandtoadonbroadway.com).
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