A Year with Frog & Toad runs through Nov. 24 at the Chicago
Children's Theatre. Weekend shows are $28 for children and $38 and
adults. Tickets are $25 for children and adults on Friday nights.
For an additional $5, families can upgrade for the on-stage seats.
To buy tickets, visit www.ChicagoChildrensTheatre.org
or call (872) 222-9555.
If you're going to pick just one children's production this
season to attend, it should be "A Year with Frog & Toad" at the
Chicago Children's Theatre.
It's not just the live band, the delightful characters or the
fun, shabby chic set and costumes that make the timeless Arnold
Lobel books jump to life. It's every little detail that was
thoughtfully directed by Henry Godinez to make this production into
a fairytale for children and into delightfully funny and eccentric
show for adults.
The story, which starts in the spring and takes us through the
winter, reminds us of what a true friendship between two besties
(or in this case, between a frog and a toad) should be. The
live band keeps the energy going through this 70-minute,
It really shows the ups and downs of a friendship, while
explaining the migration of birds, the speed of snails and other
basic ways of life. It's a true classic.
The toad, played by Mark David Kaplan, stole the show with his
Woody Allen characteristics, and he gelled perfectly with his frog
counterpart, played by Karl Hamilton.
Also, surprisingly hysterical was the snail/ mailman, played by
Shawn Pfautsch. We could keep singing the praises of each
individual person who contributed to the show, but the real judges
are the tiniest audience members - who loved it.
We took our 4-year-old and 2-year-old, and they didn't budge
until the very end. In fact, though the show is recommended for
4-year-olds and up, many of the theatergoers were children who
appeared to be younger - and they all did fine (though the band may
have masked some squirmier kids).
There was an option for some children to sit on the side of the
stage, but I don't recommend doing that. Though sitting on the
stage seems exciting, those seats are more on the side than on the
center of the stage - and the kids would actually have a better
view of the show from the regular seats than the stage seats.
Danielle Braff lives with her two daughters and husband in downtown Chicago.
See more of Danielle's stories here.
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