A Year with Frog and Toad, the latest children’s musical at ZACH Theatre, premiered over the weekend and Do512 Content Manager, Heidi, had the opportunity to see it with her sons. Read about this adorable show!
I really adore Arnold Lobel’s classic Frog and Toad stories. I always found those two characters so loveable and their friendship so endearing. I wasn’t familiar with the musical adaptation, but when I had read that this play was actually commissioned by Lobel’s daughter, taken to the Broadway stage and nominated for three Tony Awards, I was really excited to check out this production at ZACH Theatre.
For whatever reason, I sometimes expect children’s theatre to be of a lesser quality than that of a grown-up production. But at ZACH this is not the case. Everything about this show was top notch. The actors gave such wonderful performances, and the music was superb.The show had a jazzy, vaudville-inspired score, and the singing and dancing was just so enjoyable.
The costumes were darling and so creative. The animals were not dressed in big fluffy obvious outfits, but rather in subtle nods to their animal origins — scalloped capes for birds, a rolled-up blanket for the snail’s shell, etc. Super cute!
Each of the stories and songs in the play corresponds with one of Frog and Toad’s well-loved stories. You’ll enjoy familiar scenes of their kite-flying hijinks and their downhill sledding adventure or the time they baked cookies and couldn’t resist eating one more. (Note, this will most certainly have you craving cookies during the show! Just following this scene is a short intermission, and you’ll be able to indulge with cookies and milk sold in the lobby. You won’t be able to resist.)
Most of us can really relate to Toad’s character — his sad feelings about not getting mail, or his insecurity about looking funny in a bathing suit, or his desire for more sleep during the winter. And Frog is always there, like an older, wiser sibling to give reassurance and a sense of calm to all of Toad’s anxieties.
The entire audience was captivated, smiling and clapping the whole way through as the show took us through four season’s of Frog and Toad adventures. The show is geared towards preschool age children and up. Don’t fear that you kids will be too old for the show. Even if their reading level has surpassed the Frog and Toad book series, they will still delight in this terrific production.
A Year with Frog and Toad runs through November 29th with Saturday shows at 11 a.m and 2 p.m. and Sunday shows at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $15-20 and can be purchased online in advance or at the box office.