What is the difference between a frog and a toad?
Find out in the Santa Fe Playhouse production, “A Year with Frog and Toad,” premiering on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Frog and Toad are the amphibious pals from Arnold Lobel’s children’s books and you can take your kids to see the pair takes to the stage in “A Year with Frog and Toad,” with music by Robert Reale, and book and lyrics by Willie Reale.
“Frog is a laid back lad, while Toad can be timid and anxious, but they are best buds who count on each other as the seasons turn,” said Patrick MacDonald, co-director.
The play is also directed by Emily Rankin and is a family-friendly romp about friendship, appreciating the differences of others and loving folks unconditionally.
“This is not like other shows that I have directed before as it is very much set up for young audiences,” MacDonald said. “I’m hoping parents bring their kids to it and kids get addicted to theater so there is a little bit of pizzazz in there to hopefully get someone hooked.”
The cast stars Christian Libonati as Frog and Koppany Pusztai as Toad. Bear Schacht, Terri Scullin and Karen Gruber Ryan fill multiple animal roles, including the beloved Snail (Schacht) who delivers the mail.
“This show is definitely geared towards kids and just basically demonstrating what it is to be a decent human being,” MacDonald said. “While it is intended for kids, what we’re pulling into it for the adults is me doing their cartoon musicals and where there’s that whole layer to it. When you’re an adult, like I see what they’re referencing with layers of jokes.”
The set was designed by James Johnson and reflects the changing seasons and features adobe architectural elements and the Santa Fe River.
In 2003, “A Year with Frog and Toad” was nominated for three Tony Awards including Best Musical.