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Arts and humanities reflect the tender emotions and feelings a human society has, and its best manifestation can be witnessed at a classic musical performance, like A Year with Frog and Toad. Written by maestros, and performed to perfection by artists who know the soul of their job, this musical is sure to touch your inner self!
Based on children’s stories, A Year with Frog and Toad is penned by Robert and Willie Reale. Robert also provided the music for the play while Willie was mainly responsible for lyrics and the book. The story revolves around a perky frog and worrywart toad, and narrates their adventures and journeys during the course of a year, along with their friends and other companions. The story is focused for audience aged between 3 to 10 years, making the musical a pioneer for bringing children’s theatre performances to the Broadway.
Arnold Lobel was the author of the Frog and Toad stories, and his daughter Adrianne Lobel decided to produce a musical based on what her father wrote. Her husband, Mark Linn-Baker also helped her out with the project, and being a professional actor, also performed the role of Toad in the musical when it played at the Broadway. It was mainly a set of five actors who performed the musical at most of the presentations.
During original Broadway production, Jay Goede played Frog, Mark Linn-Baker played Toad, characters of Squirrel, Turtle, Bird, Mole and Mother Frog were played by Danielle Ferland, those of Young Frog, Mole, Squirrel, Mouse and Bird were played by Jennifer Gambatese, while Frank Vlastnik played as Lizard, Snail, Bird, Mole and Father Frog.
The storyline starts with the hibernation period of frog and toad, while their friends including birds and others are celebrating the long awaited arrival of the spring season. The toad also wakes up, and plants a garden while wishing for his plants to grow up faster. He also writes a letter to Toad who is feeling sad on not being sent any mails. Snail delivers him the mail, and the two go out to swim at a pool. The toad is shy and doesn’t want anyone to see him in his bathing suit, and tries to hide under water. Still, all the animals get to know about him and come to see him in his swimming suit and he cannot avoid them, feeling embarrassed.
The subsequent story narrates about how the two amphibians embark on a journey together, and face the dangerous enemies together. The story is a beautiful narration of the incidents that the writer’s mind imagines when he sees the two friends from a pond living together for a whole year, and takes the viewer on a journey that is both beautiful and intriguing at the same time.
Owing to the great popularity the show had after its Broadway premiere, it was awarded with many awards and nominations, including many nominations at a stage as high as Tony Awards. It was nominated for Tony Award 2003 for the Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical. The musical has also been performed at many venues apart from Broadway, including its 2002 production at Minneapolis, 2002 off Broadway production and a National Tour in 2007.
The popularity and commercial success of the musical can be judged by the fact that it’s off Broadway ticket was sold at $30 price, which jumped to a 3 times higher price of $ 90 when the show premiered at Cort Theatre in Broadway. The show ran successfully for over 73 performances at the Broadway before closing on June 15, 2003. For anyone who wishes to watch how classy a children’s theater can be, A Year with Frog and Toad tickets provide a novel opportunity to witness it!
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