Cort Theatre, (4/13/2003 - 6/15/2003)

First Preview: Apr 02, 2003
Opening Date: Apr 13, 2003
Closing Date: Jun 15, 2003
Total Previews: 15
Total Performances: 73

Category: Musical, Comedy, Fantasy, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Philip J. Smith: President; Robert E. Wankel: Executive Vice President)

Produced by Bob Boyett, Adrianne Lobel, Michael Gardner, Lawrence Horowitz and Roy Furman

Originally produced by The Children's Theatre Company; World Premiere Production at The Children's Theatre Company; New York City Premiere at The New Victory Theater, November 2002, by The New 42nd Street Inc.

Music by Robert Reale; Book by Willie Reale; Lyrics by Willie Reale; Based on the "Frog and Toad" books by Arnold Lobel; Music orchestrated by Irwin Fisch; Musical Director: Linda Twine; Writer's Associate: Becky Browder

Directed by David Petrarca; Choreographed by Daniel Pelzig

Scenic Design by Adrianne Lobel; Costume Design by Martin Pakledinaz; Lighting Design by James F. Ingalls; Sound Design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen; Associate Scenic Design: Thomas Peter Sarr; Associate Costume Design: Kate Carroll; Associate Sound Design: Christopher Cronin

General Manager: 101 Productions, Ltd.; Associate Gen. Mgr: David Auster; Company Manager: David Auster and Heidi Neven

Technical Supervisor: Peter Fulbright, Tech Production Services, Inc., Colleen Houlehen and John Kontogiannis; Production Stage Manager: Michael J. Passaro; Stage Manager: Stacy McIntosh

Musical Coordinator: Kimberlee Wertz; Conducted by Linda Twine; Piano: Linda Twine; Bass/Tuba: Linc Milliman; Drums/Percussion: James Saporito; Guitar/Banjo: Brian Koonin; Woodwinds: Eddie Salkin and Dan Block; Trumpet: Brian Pareschi; Trombone: Art Baron; Music Copying: Emily Grishman Music Preparation

Press Representative: Barlow-Hartman Public Relations; Casting: Cindy Tolan; Marketing: Hugh Hysell Communications; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Photographer: Robert Levine, Joan Marcus and Don Perdue

Special thanks to New York Stage and Film Company

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Opening Night Cast

Jay GoedeFrog
Mark Linn-BakerToad
Danielle FerlandBird
Mother Frog
Jennifer GambateseBird
Young Frog
Frank VlastnikBird
Father Frog

Understudies: Kate Manning (Bird, Mole, Mother Frog, Mouse, Squirrel, Turtle, Young Frog) and Jonathan Rayson (Bird, Father Frog, Frog, Lizard, Mole, Snail, Toad)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2003 Best Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Bob Boyett, Adrianne Lobel, Michael Gardner, Lawrence Horowitz and Roy Furman; Originally presented by The Children's Theatre Company

 2003 Best Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Book by Willie Reale

 2003 Best Original Score [nominee] 

Music by Robert Reale; Lyrics by Willie Reale


music by Robert Reale; lyrics by Willie Reale

ACT 1 Sung By
A Year with Frog and ToadBirds, Frog and Toad
It's SpringFrog, Toad and Birds
The LetterSnail
Getta Loada ToadToad, Frog, Turtle, Mouse and Lizard
Underwater BalletOrchestra
The Letter (Reprise) Snail
CookiesFrog, Toad and Birds
ACT 2 Sung By
The KiteBirds, Frog and Toad
A Year with Frog and Toad (Reprise) Birds
He'll Never KnowFrog and Toad
ShiversYoung Frog, Father Frog, Mother Frog, Toad and Frog
The Letter (Reprise) Snail
Down The HillFrog, Toad and Moles
I'm Coming Out of My ShellSnail
Toad to the RescueToad and Moles
Merry Almost ChristmasToad, Frog and Moles
FinaleBirds, Toad and Frog


AP: "Frog and Toad Is Sweet, Charming Musical"

Can sweet and charming survive on Broadway?

If so, there may be hope for "A Year with Frog and Toad," an ingratiating little musical from the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, that has now found itself in some pretty grown-up circumstances.

The short, 90-minute show (that's with intermission!), which opened Sunday at the Cort Theatre, is based on several children's books by Arnold Lobel and celebrates the enduring friendship of the title characters. Helping each other seems to be the theme of "Frog and Toad," not a bad idea to instill in a young audience.

Frog (Jay Goede) is serious and practical; Toad (Mark Linn-Baker) is more childish and a bit flighty. It's Frog who is always pulling Toad out of scrapes or getting him to do things that he might not accomplish if he were all alone.

Their lives are chronicled in a series of episodes spread over 12 months, so spring, summer, fall and winter figure prominently. From hibernation to planting flowers to swimming to raking leaves to sledding down a steep hill to spending Christmas Eve together, these pals share a lot of experiences.

Some of the stories are funnier than others, which gives the show a kind of stop-and-go quality, but authors Willie Reale (book and lyrics) and Robert Reale (music) don't let down with their sprightly, altogether catchy score. It's simple without being simplistic, defying listeners not to hum along after only one hearing.

Physically, Goede and Linn-Baker are Mutt-and-Jeff vaudevillians. Linn-Baker is short and stocky, with pop eyes and a nervous energy. The tall, lanky Goede has a debonaire presence, a kind of matinee idol smoothness - not to mention a terrific singing voice - that allows him to effortlessly dispense common sense to the often hapless Toad

Shows written for children are difficult to pull off. Pandering to the kiddies might leave the adults in the audience wishing they were anywhere else. Yet "Frog and Toad” saunters, skips and sings effortlessly between the childlike and a clear-eyed directness that children immediately can grasp.

The two stars are assisted by an energetic trio of performers - Danielle Ferland, Jennifer Gambatese and Frank Vlastnik - who play assorted woodland and feathered creatures. Vlastnik, in particular, scores as a mighty slow snail (is there any other kind?), charged with delivering a letter to Toad, who, it seems, never gets any mail.

The scenery, designed by Adrianne Lobel (daughter of the original author), consists of colorful, pop-up quality cutouts, in keeping with the show's big, bold of comedy and fun.

One consumer note. This is Broadway, so the best orchestra seats in the house are a stiff $90, not including that infamous $1.25 facilities fee. Yet tickets can be had in the balcony for as low as $25. The Cort, one of Broadway's smaller houses, has a warm, intimate feeling. So the balcony locations, while high, puts theatergoers relatively close to the stage. Judging from the audience response at a recent preview performance, the cheerful, golden glow of "A Year With Frog and Toad” can carry right up there.


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