“A Year with Frog and Toad” stars Dylan Koch (left) as Frog and Andrew Martinez (right) as Toad.
Image from the King’s College Theatre Department

With the semester in full swing, King’s College Theatre is back with their first musical performance of the year.

The launch of their fall season begins with performances of the Broadway and Tony Award-nominated musical, “A Year with Frog and Toad.”

The show, based on Arnold Lobel’s children’s book, follows the adventures of a cheerful frog and grumpy toad throughout the course of a year.

Brothers Willie and Robert Reale worked together to turn the novel into a play. Willie provided the book and lyrics while Robert produced the music.

The play cycles through all four seasons and centers on Frog and Toad, and their various wildlife companions, as they celebrate their friendship and the unique qualities they each have.

“A Year with Frog and Toad” stars Dylan Koch as Frog and Andrew Martinez as Toad as well as Alyx Koehler, Sean Lickers, Skyler Makuch, Chip Lemheney, Dorothy Monforte, Jessica Sudano, Ashley Surdovel, and Talia Johnson in supporting roles.

Dave Reynolds, the director of the show, is showcasing his range in a drastic turn in tone for King’s College Theatre compared to last year’s production of the darkly religious “Doubt,” which he also directed.

In looking at the child-like tone of this play, Andrew Martinez, who plays the role of Toad, says “everything is so over the top and colorful.”

Even though the musical is based on a children’s book, people of all ages will be able to enjoy the performance.

Cast member, Dorothy Monforte, says “this show is beautifully fun for all ages.”

The cast and crew of “A Year with Frog and Toad” encourage students and faculty to come out to the show and to bring their young family and friends along, too.

“The show is a great opportunity to introduce children to theatre and the magic that happens there. They will love the story and adults will love seeing their childhood brought to life,” Monforte adds.

“A Year with Frog and Toad” is geared towards all ages.
Image from the King’s College Theater Department

Monforte and fellow cast member Ashley Surdovel also act as the show’s choreographers. One big challenge of choreographing with a show like this was all of the different types of dancing styles found within it. “In one of the songs, there is swing partner dancing and then [in] another song there’s ballet,” Monforte remarks.

Between the singing and the dancing, many cast members have had to learn new skills. For instance, Koch, who plays Frog, taught himself how to play the banjo for his role. The dedication of cast members like him speaks to the professional quality of this show.

All of the students and faculty involved have done all of the work for the entire play. In less than a month back at school, the cast and crew of “A Year with Frog and Toad” have prepared an entire musical. All of the work, including actors’ rehearsals and building sets started after Labor Day and the cast has gone through about 20 rehearsals to prepare.

“At times this short, the process is very demanding but the payoff is worth it,” Monforte says. The process of quickly putting together a fully prepared musical gives students the experience of preparing a professional play within a set turnaround time.

Even with their busy schedules and countless hours preparing, the cast still managed to have fun throughout the demanding process. The cast has had a great time working together on it. “It’s truly a fun time during rehearsals,” Martinez says.

During the performances, the cast will express how much fun they had in the making of the musical. With a play so fun and lively, they look forward to showing that on stage.

Martinez says, “’Frog and Toad’ is an exciting musical that has humor for both adults and children. It’s a very family oriented show that is truly fun to perform.”

The production of “A Year with Frog and Toad” premiered at 7 p.m. on September 28 in the King’s College Maffei Theatre. The final showings will be on October 5-7 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are on sale for $12 for general admission, $7 for senior citizens, and $5 for King’s alumni and non-King’s students. There will be special $3 ticket prices for children under the age of 12 on the Thursday and Friday night performances.
To make a reservation, call 570.208.5825 or email boxoffice@kings.edu.