TV and stage star Mark Linn-Baker (Chesapeake, A Funny Thing Happened...) and theatre veteran Jay Goede (Cabaret, Angels in America) are Toad and Frog in the new children's musical, A Year With Frog and Toad, making its New York premiere Nov. 15-Dec. 1 at the New Victory Theater. Most performances are sold out with tickets available only on Thanksgiving week.
A Year With Frog and Toad is based on Arnold Lobel's award-winning books about a pair of amphibians with an unwavering friendship despite their very different personalities. The small-cast musical features five performers — one to play Frog (Goede) and one to play Toad (Linn-Baker), while the others, including Into the Woods Danielle Ferland, Kate Reinders (the upcoming Broadway Gypsy) and Frank Vlastnik, provide a menagerie of other creatures.
The Robert and Willie Reale (Quark Victory, Once Around the City) show debuted at Minneapolis' Children's Theatre Company this summer. Willie wrote the book and lyrics. His brother, Robert, provided the music, written with a 1920s jazz feel. The siblings are known in New York for the Off-Broadway musical, Once Around the City, seen at Second Stage in summer 2001.
David Petrarca (Marvin's Room, Fuddy Meers) directs. The set designer is Adrianne Lobel, daughter of the late author. The show has had several regional readings that have included actor Robert Sella (Side Man and the tour of Angels in America).
A Year With Frog and Toad marks the New York debut for Children's Theatre Company. The Minneapolis-based troupe, one of the largest children's theatres in the country, produces six mainstage productions a year, teaches acting and performing classes in a conservatory environment and tours the Midwest and the world. For more information on Children's Theatre Company, visit http://www.childrenstheatre.org A Year With Frog and Toad opens Nov. 17. Tickets are $30-$10 with a $21-$7 discount for members. For tickets and information, call (212) 239 6200. The New Victory is on the web at http://www.newvictory.org.
As a bonus, A Year With Frog and Toad will do a special workshop at the Jewish Museum Nov. 24. For a $5 fee, kids will visit the world of best friends Frog and Toad with lily pad mobiles and a haiku-writing session, exploring the theme of the meaning of friendship. For more information on the workshop with artist Trina Lion, call (212) 423-3337 or visit http://www.thejewishmuseum.org.