Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review of A Year with Frog and Toad at Chicago Children's Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called A Year with Frog and Toad. It was about Frog (Karl Hamilton) and Toad (Mark David Kaplan) who are two very good friends and all their other friends and what they like to do and the adventures they have together. It was directed by Henry Godinez and it was based on the books by Arnold Lobel and it was adapted by Willie Reale and Robert Reale. I wondered if they were brothers, so I looked it up. They are! It was good for brothers to write this because Frog and Toad are kind of like brothers because they are always together, they love each other, and they never really will not be friends. I really liked this show because they didn't add a bunch of stuff that wasn't in the books. They mostly stuck to the stories. There's no singing in the books, but that just made it better. Frog and Toad were still lovable even though they were actually humans. All the actors really brought the characters that were in the book to life.

I really thought that the man who played Toad was really like Toad. Mom and I are also like Toad, because we are cranky but we are also laughable. When I was little, and even now, I liked the moment in the book when Toad wakes up and says, "Blah." They put this in the show, so I was very happy! It tells us that he is a pessimist and he likes to say blah, and also that he will be a very funny character throughout the rest of the play. And Frog, also in that scene, is tearing off all these pages from the calendar because one of the winter pages was still on top. That tells you that Frog is kind of ornery but also very sweet because he ripped off the first month of spring page and then it was May (but it wasn't really May, just his calendar said May) so then Toad would wake up. Toad was his friend and he wanted to go out in the spring with him; he wants to be with his friend all the time. That is the thing that is really sweet, but the thing that was ornery was that he said "It is May now!" even though it wasn't actually May.

One of my favorite characters was Snail (Shawn Pfautsch) who wanted to be super awesome and famous and fast. And he wanted to be a mailman. So Toad was feeling sad that he was not getting any mail, and then Frog wrote him a note so that he would feel better and sent it with Snail. And then Snail was being very slow, as snails do, but the thing is he was singing this song that went, "I'm the snail with the mail. I deliver without fail." And it took him a whole year to get over and give it to Toad! My favorite part was when it was winter and he was going under the snow. But the funniest was the movements which were paired with the lyrics, which were: "I'm going to go a little faster now." And then he would start going like he was about to run really fast, but then he actually went really slow. I thought that was a great idea to have that at different random points because it was so unexpected to just put the snail there in the snow! I thought it was fuhlarious; other people were laughing so I thought it was really funny for other people as well as me.

I really liked "Cookies" because it is my favorite story in all of the books and it was perfect! It was perfect because there weren't very many things that were different except for the song and that made it funnier and cooler and the dance moves (by Tommy Rapley) just worked perfectly. I thought the woman who played Mouse (Christine Bunuan) was really funny because she kept asking, "What time is it?" and Toad kept saying to everybody, "My clock is broken." Everybody already knew his clock was broken; he broke it with his shoe in the beginning. I really liked the "Cookies" song because at the end they did this great movement where they threw all the cookies up in the air. The "Cookies" story is about will power, but we don't really know if the author is saying that you should have will power our you shouldn't have will power. He might think you shouldn't have will power because he loves cookies! And maybe he was eating cookies when he wrote the story. The story makes you want cookies! I agree with the second one: EAT COOKIES!!!!!

"Toad Looks Funny in a Bathing Suit" was a really awesome song. I liked it because the bathing suit that Toad wore was actually pretty funny and I thought it was a really good idea to have a giant blanket to be the water and little holes for them to pop out of. I thought that that was a great idea that the scene designer Geoffrey Curley had to make the water but also the snow a big blanket. The song I thought was very catchy and very awesome. And Turtle (Brittani Arlandis Green) sang the song and she was amazing. It has a lesson, which is that it is okay if you are funny. Being funny is a good thing, not a bad thing! Try to find some way you can be funny, even if you don't think you are the funniest thing like some people do. You should have some sympathy for Toad because he doesn't want people to see him but they are still looking. He finds out that he doesn't have to take himself so seriously and he doesn't have to be angry at people just because they think he's funny.

People who would like this show are people who like amphibian friends, catapulting cookies, and very "fast" snails. I think this show should be for ages 2 and up because it is a really fun play for even littler kids because they will get the jokes and these books are books everyone should know. I felt, while I was watching the show, like I was really with Frog and Toad. And when it ended I was sad that it ended. I loved this show!

Photos: Charles Osgood


Catherine Miller said...

I was wondering how one might go about contacting Ada to review an upcoming/current show.

Ada & Mom said...

Ada's mom monitors comments, so you can safely leave your contact info here and she won't post it but will be in touch about Ada reviewing for you.