Recommended Theater: A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD (Morgan-Wixson Theatre Youth Production)

Post image for Recommended Theater: A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD (Morgan-Wixson Theatre Youth Production)

by Tony Frankel on May 1, 2023

in Theater-Los Angeles


Friendship is among the hardest subjects to parse, but this musical based on Arnold Lobel’s “Frog and Toad” stories, considers friendship warts and all. Frog and Toad worry about each other over big things and small. They argue. They become angry. At times they fail to hear what the other is saying, or to perceive the other’s emotion. But something more is at play between the two and whatever it is, it’s the crux of real friendship. It’s part vaudeville, part make-believe, and all charm.

Now, a Santa Monica Morgan-Wixson Theatre Youth Production will open on May 20, 2023, and it’s not just for kids — this musical was on Broadway. Frog and Toad follows the seasonal routines and adventures of the amphibious friends — a cheerful, nimble Frog and a somewhat grumpy yet steady Toad along with comical pals like Snail (yes, mail is involved in this story). Lobel’s daughter Adrianne originally commissioned the show and created the scenic design based on her father’s books. Her husband, well-known actor Mark Linn-Baker, adapted the stories into a theatrical script and later played Toad in the show’s Broadway run — which was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical. With engaging and hummable music by Robert Reale and book and lyrics by his brother Willie Reale, the show nods to musical icons from Porter and Sondheim to Hope and Crosby.

Sarah Hajmomenian is Frog and Walden Sullivan is Toad

The production features a 22 member all-youth cast, ranging in ages from 11 to 16. The tech crew stage manager, assistant stage managers, lights and sound operators are 14-16. Lolly Johansen, director; Martha Thatcher, musical director; Michael Marchak, choreographer; Anne Gesling, costume designer; Jason Sheppard, set design, William Wilday, lighting design; produced by Cori Goldberg, Eve Keller and Karin Klein.

Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica
Saturday May 20, 11am
Sunday May 21, 11am
Saturday May 27, 11am
Sunday May 28, 11am
Saturday June 3 11am
Sunday June 4, 11am
for tickets ($12-$15), call 310.828.7519, visit Morgan-Wixson

Frog: Sarah Hajmomenian
Toad: Walden Sullivan
Birds: Charlotte Einstein, Maia Goldberg, Ever Golden, Liza Hall, Amelia Olson, Mimi Vizzi
Snail: Andy Rowles
Turtle: Chase Klein
Mouse: Lilly Moss
Lizard: Charli Austin
Young Frog/Racoon: Avery Harris
Father Frog/Racoon: Andrew Bramblett
Mother Frog/Bird: Anna Stillman
Large & Terrible Frog/Racoon: Rahland Keller
Squirrels: Aaliyah McGee, Filip Alexander, Finnley Blaine
Moles: Dora Adelman, Elodie Barker, Evan Simonowitz
Understudy for Frog: Filip Alexander
Understudy for Toad: Charli Austin

Leave a Comment