Frog and Toad Songwriters Give Voice to Dinosaurs in New Musical at Philly's Arden

News   Frog and Toad Songwriters Give Voice to Dinosaurs in New Musical at Philly's Arden The brother songwriters who created the family-friendly Broadway musical A Year With From and Toad go back in time 65 million years for their world premiere, The Dinosaur Musical, starting Nov. 30 at Philadelphia's Arden Theatre Company.

Directed by Whit MacLaughlin (Arden's A Year with Frog and Toad, Sideways Stories from Wayside School), The Dinosaur Musical — with music by Robert Reale and book and lyrics by Willie Reale — begins previews Nov. 30, opens Dec. 4 and runs through Jan. 22, 2006, on Arden's F. Otto Haas Stage.

The Dinosaur Musical is recommended for families and children aged five and older.

Billed as "a family adventure of pre-historic proportions," The Dinosaur Musical is the latest world premiere from Rob Reale and Willie Reale, who were Tony Award-nominated for their score to A Year with Frog and Toad (a show finding life on regional theatre's like the respected Equity Arden troupe).

In this adventurous musical, it's 65 million years ago and a meteor has hit the planet earth. The dinosaurs have survived, "but dwindling food supplies make unfriendly neighbors," according to the Arden. "T-Rexes menace with Parasaurolophuses, Pterosaurs struggle to be understood, and Maiasauras just want a decent meal on the table. This adventurous musical asks the question: can an unlikely friendship save the planet?"

The show is recommended for families and children over five years old. All performances will be followed by a post-show discussion and an opportunity for children to meet the cast. The cast includes Joshua Lamon, a Barrymore Award-winner for his role as Snail in A Year with Frog and Toad, and Barrymore Award nominee Ben Dibble (Arden's A Year with Frog and Toad, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Sweeney Todd), who was Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad.

Ben Dibble plays Reginald Van Cleef, Leah Goldstein plays Eleanor, Joshua Lamon plays Quincy, Jillian Louis as Genevieve/Gertrude, Kelly McCreary as Mindy, Donna Migliaccio as Mama Lucredzia/Mrs. Gapp, Robyne Parrish as Carlotta Devries, Chris Sapienza as Swifty Lavine/King Marcus and Peter Schmitz as Armando/Mr. Glut.

Musical direction is by Charles Gilbert. Designers are Nick Embree (scenic), Richard St. Clair (costume), Thomas C. Hase (lighting) and Jorge Cousineau (sound). Stage management is by John David Flak.

For tickets and information, call (215) 922-1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.

Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 N. Second Street in Philadelphia.

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In the 2002-03 Broadway season, A Year With Frog and Toad was nominated for three 2003 Tony Awards: Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical.

From Left: Ben Dibble and Joshua Lamon with T-Rexes in <i>The Dinosaur Musical</i>.
From Left: Ben Dibble and Joshua Lamon with T-Rexes in The Dinosaur Musical. Photo by Mark Garvin
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