The recording took place when the show debuted at The Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Actress Kate Reinders, now in the Broadway revival of Gypsy, is featured on the album. Jennifer Gambatese plays the role she originated in the current Broadway run.
The whimsical musical comedy by the brothers Reale — Willie penned book and lyrics, Robert penned the music — is presented by producers Bob Boyett and Adrianne Lobel (with partners) in an unusual eight-show week in which Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are dark and Saturdays see three performances.
The musical based on characters created by the late children's author-illustrator, Arnold Lobel, first appeared in August 2002 in Minneapolis and then played a three week, sold-out run at 42nd Street's New Victory Theatre in fall 2002. Reviews in the Midwest and Manhattan embraced the 90-minute, five-actor show, which featured Mark Linn-Baker as Toad and Jay Goede as Frog (they repeat their amphibious duties at the Cort).
Truly a family show, producer Adrianne Lobel (also a scenic designer on shows including On the Town, The Diary of Anne Frank and Passion) is author Arnold Lobel's daughter and star Linn-Baker's wife.
David Petrarca directs and Daniel Pelzig choreographs the show, conceived and designed by Adrianne Lobel. The Reale brothers are known for their Off-Broadway musical, Once Around the City. The show is billed this way: "Tried and true friends Frog and Toad navigate through an adventure-filled year, joined by some colorful companions along the way. Set to a jazzy score, this charming musical lovingly captures the spirit of Lobel's whimsical stories as this unlikely friendship blossoms and grows."
The cast includes Danielle Ferland (Little Red of the original Into the Woods), Jennifer Gambatese and Frank Vlastnik (Sweet Smell of Success), in multiple roles including woodland creatures with fur, feathers or scales.
The producers are Boyett, Lobel, Michael Gardner, Lawrence Horowitz, Roy Furman and Scott E. Nederlander.
Designers are Adrianne Lobel (set), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), James F. Ingalls (lighting), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound). Orchestrations are by Irwin Fisch. Musical director is Linda Twine.
The Cort is at 138 W. 48th Street. Tickets range $25-$90 and can be purchased by phone at (212) 239-6200, or in person at the Cort Theater box office.