Chris Bryant, Cami Glauser, Alphaeus Green, Jr., Sarah Elizabeth King & Adam Racque in
A Year with Frog and Toad. Photo courtesy of Stage One.

A Year with Frog and Toad

Based on the works by Arnold Lobel
Book and Music by Willie Reale and Rob Reale
Directed by Jamie Lynn Sutton Gilliam

Review by Kate Barry

Entire contents are copyright © 2015 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.

Nothing is better than a best friend: that one person who understands you and embarks on all of life’s adventures with you. A Year with Frog and Toad at Stage One Family Theatre is a delightful tale about a pair of amphibious best friends who see each other through the four seasons. Absolutely engaging for all ages, this musical reminds us all what it means to be a friend and how important they are.

Chris Bryant plays Toad and Alphaeus Green Jr. is his best friend and neighbor, Frog. Bryant plays Toad’s worrisome nature with comedic energy as he bustles about his kitchen baking cookies and fears what others may say about how he looks in a bathing suit. Toad may have an anxious nature but Bryant’s performance steers clear from histrionics, resulting in a character that is clever and neurotic. If Toad is the nervous type, Green is the calm presence of the duo as Frog. With a baritone as gentle as his demeanor, Green’s steadiness creates a balance for the friendship. Like any best friends, the moments shared between Bryant and Green rely on their chemistry and this Frog and Toad share some pretty unique experiences sledding down snowy hills, raking each other’s yards, and watching seeds grow.

Cami Glauser, Sarah Elizabeth King and Adam Racque, who appear as birds, moles, squirrels, mice and other kinds of animals, round out the rest of the cast. At the beginning and end of the show, Glauser, King and Racque bring lovely harmonies in the title song, “A Year with Frog and Toad.” Racque is especially entertaining as the slow moving Snail in the fast pace ditty “The Letter.” Glauser and King are peppy and fun as the gossiping Mouse and Turtle in “Getta loada Toad.”

What makes this production extra entertaining is clever costume design by Allison Anderson. Using inspiration from the early 20th century, each costume is stylish, functional, and perfectly translates the personality of the animal on stage. What is even better, the children, the intended audience, completely understand the concept as well. And as I noticed the children around me grow more and more excited by each character appearing on stage, it was clear that this show about friendship was hitting its mark.

A Year with Frog and Toad

December 12 & 19 @ 2pm and 7pm

Stage One Family Theater
Kentucky Center for the Arts
501 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Kate BarryKate Barry earned her Bachelors in English with a Theater minor from Bellarmine University in 2008. She has worked with many different companies around town including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theater, Louisville Repertory Company, Walden Theater, Finnigan Productions and you have probably purchased tickets from her at that little performing arts center on Main Street as well. In 2012, her short play “PlayList” won festival favorite in the Finnigan Festival of Funky Fresh Fun. She has written for Leo Weekly and as well. Thanks for reading!