A Year with Frog and Toad charms audiences

Fans of Frog and Toad can head to the western suburbs to watch a charming production of the musical adaptation, A Year with Frog and Toad, on an intimate stage in Oak Park.

The Tony nominated musical adaption of the Arnold Lobel books was originally produced on Broadway, but the suburban version arrived at the Open Door Theater on March 7 and will run until March 29.

The show, which is choreographed and directed by Jeff Predmore, stays true to the story of the two amphibians, which follows their friendship throughout all four seasons.

It’s told through songs accompanied by upbeat live jazz pianist, David Nathaniel Pollak.

Alex Ghattas and Julian Stroop were pleasant in their roles as Frog and Toad, and they kept the show lively and entertaining throughout the entire 70-minute show, sans intermission. The set is an extra comfy living room, and it changes minimally through the seasons, as it tells the tales of baking cookies with friends, cheering each other up, growing flowers and going sledding in the snow.

It’s a great show for kids ages 3-8, especially if they’re fans of the books. But even if your kids aren’t familiar with Lobel’s books, they’ll still be able to grasp the concept and enjoy the show.

If you were expecting the whole song and dance that appeared at the Chicago Children’s Theatre two years ago, with a full live band, costume changes and a big shebang, this isn’t that. But this rendition is about a third of the price as the previous production as well. All in all, this is a budget buy and a very solid show.

A Year with Frog and Toad will run through March 29th with shows Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 1:30 p.m. at the Open Door Theater (902 S. Ridgeland, Oak Park). Tickets for kids 12 and under are $10; adults are $16 and seniors are $14. For more information, check out opendoortheater.net.

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