A Year With Frog and Toad

Last Saturday afternoon my son and I had the opportunity to go and see "A Year With Frog and Toad", by The Salt Lake Acting Company. I was really excited to be able to go and do something like this with him. It was his first musical/play experience and I think he really enjoyed himself.

I have to say, I was very impressed. Being a former Jr. High Theater/English Teacher, I understand, on a smaller scale obviously, what goes into putting a production together.

I thought that the actors were fantastic, funny and approachable, without being childish or annoying, which can happen sometimes with children's shows. While Frog and Toad certainly were the stars of the show and had wonderful, funny chemistry together, I have to admit that I really loved the other three actors who play a collection of characters from birds, a mouse, a turtle, and a lizard, to moles, a snail, and Frog and his family in a flashback. The show ran for about an hour, which was perfect in length for small children and their attention spans, and I was very impressed with the ability of all five actors to continually carry the show non-stop for the entire hour. The show flowed well and came full circle. The action begins with three birds singing about how they had gone south for the Winter and were now coming back to the pond for the Spring, then continues through each season in the year, hence, "A Year With Frog and Toad", ending once again with the three birds returning from the south for the Spring.

 I loved the costume and set design, which had a consistent color scheme, creating one nice collective whole. Toad's home/side of the stage, was represented with circles, down to his bedding, his costuming, and even the table he sat at. Frog's home/side of the stage was represented with stripes and squares, similarly on his bedding, costuming, and his own square table. I loved this attention to detail. I also really enjoyed how the set was so perfectly and beautifully designed, right down to details on Toad's fireplace. Beautiful set design, that really put the audience member into their little amphibian world. The costuming was brilliant yet functional as well.

There were so many things to love about this Children's Musical, from the cute songs about Frog and Toad loving, "cookies, cookies, cookies", to all of the other characters teasing that "Toad Looks Funny in a Bathing Suit". I loved hearing the kids laughing throughout the show, and it was especially magical for me, to hold my 3 year old son on my lap and watch him drink it all in, laughing at all of the jokes, even if he didn't get them. I asked him what his favorite parts of the show were, to which he replied, "I liked the funny snail guy. He made me laugh." True praise from a 3 year old.

I would highly recommend for anybody of any age to go and see "A Year With Frog and Toad", but, if you can take a child in your life with you, it is all the more fun and enchanting, to watch them be transported into Frog and Toad's year of adventures, mishaps, and overall enduring friendship.

* Here is some more information on The Salt Lake Acting Company and A Year With Frog and Toad, if you are interested in checking it out.
Outside of SLAC after the show, with my cute little sidekick.

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