Book and Lyrics by Willie Reale
Music by Robert Reale
Based on the books by Arnold Lobel

A year with Frog and Toad | Book Musical| Rated G

  • About the Show

    Arnold Lobel's well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in Robert and Willie Reale's Tony-nominated musical A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD. This whimsical show follows two great friends -- the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad -- through four, fun-filled seasons.

    Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.

    The jazzy, upbeat score of A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD bubbles with melody and wit, making it an inventive, exuberant, and enchanting musical for the whole family. It is a perfect show to be performed by an ensemble group of actors and can be produced with either simple or extravagant staging and sets.

    Synopsis

    ACT ONE 

    The Birds have come back at the end of winter and are anxiously ready for spring. They look in on Frog and Toad, still in hibernation in their respective beds in their cozy home. In sleep, Frog and Toad dream about their friendship and all they will do in the brand-new year ("A Year With Frog And Toad").

    Frog finally wakes to realize it is spring, and therefore time to wake up his friend Toad. Toad is hesitant and, after breaking his alarm clock in anger, tells Frog to wake him up in another month. Frog rips the month off of his calendar and tells Toad that the time has passed ("It's Spring"). Toad finally gets out of bed, and decides that this year he wants to plant a garden; Frog gives him seeds and some advice to help them grow. Toad finishes his planting but quickly becomes impatient when they don't immediately grow. Toad tries yelling at the seeds, but Frog tells him that now they will be afraid to grow. Toad feels bad, so he stays up all night trying other methods to convince the seeds to grow ("Seeds").

    Toad falls asleep in front of the garden and when Frog comes to wake him up in the morning, they see the seeds have grown a little. Toad is happy for a moment, but instantly becomes sad when he realizes that it is ten o'clock. He explains to Frog that ten o'clock is when the mail comes but he never gets any mail! Hearing this, Frog excuses himself and goes to write a letter for Toad. He gives it to Snail to mail it for him and Snail sets off on his mission ("The Letter #1").

    Eventually, Frog and Toad go to the pond for a swim but when it comes time to swim, Toad asks Frog to turn away while he gets into the water. Frog inquires and Toad explains that he looks funny in a bathing suit. Frog promises not to look until Toad is in the water. When it's time to get out, Turtle comes by and Toad tells Frog to ask her to go away. Frog asks her, but instead she finds this amusing and calls over Lizard and Mouse to see Toad in his bathing suit. After getting cold, Toad decides to get out of the water as the onlookers laugh about him and his suit ("Getta Loada Toad").

    The next day, Toad goes to Frog's house to surprise him with lunch but finds that Frog isn't home. There is a note on the door that says he went to the island and wishes to be left alone. Toad worries and goes to the island in search of Frog, during which he falls in the water and ruins lunch, but Frog doesn't mind. Frog explains that he isn't sad, he's happy. He just wanted alone time to reflect on how happy it makes him to be a frog on such a beautiful day ("Alone"). Meanwhile, Snail is still on his way to deliver Frog's letter to Toad and is very happy to be doing the job ("The Letter #2").

    Frog and Toad are now at Toad's house preparing dinner. They make cookies for dessert. When they go to try them, however, they can't stop eating them because they are so good! In hopes of stopping, the two tie the cookies in a box...to no avail. They end up giving the rest of the cookies to the birds so that they won't eat all of them by themselves ("Cookies").

    ACT TWO

    Frog and Toad are trying to fly a kite, but they can't get it to stay in the air. The birds watch nearby and laugh at their attempts. Toad wants to give up, but Frog continues to encourage him and finally they get the kite to fly ("The Kite").

    It's now the end of the summer, and as autumn comes leaves begin to cover the ground ("Leaves: A Year With Frog And Toad"). Frog and Toad decide to secretly rake each other's yard as a favor. They find that it's hard work ("He'll Never Know"). When they are going back home after finishing, squirrels come and mess up the piles of leaves, ruining all the work they've done. They both get home and decide to rake their own yard later, never knowing the good deed they've done for each other ("He'll Never Know [Reprise]").

    Later, on a dark and stormy night, Toad heads over to Frog's house. Frog thinks that it's a good night to tell a scary story; Toad is already nervous from the weather, but Frog goes on telling him the story of a young frog who gets separated from his parents and then escapes the clutches of the Large Terrible Frog before it eats him ("Shivers"). Meanwhile, Snail is still making his way to Toad's to deliver Frog's letter ("The Letter #3").

    It is now winter, and Frog and Toad are getting ready to sled down a hill though Toad is scared. Frog continues to assure him that it will be okay. Partway down the hill, Frog is thrown from the sled - leaving Toad all alone. Toad doesn't know what to do and accidentally takes the dangerous and bumpy path ("Down The Hill"). Toad eventually makes it to the bottom, but is angry at Frog for making him go sledding. He swears he will never talk to Frog again. Just as Toad is about to leave, Snail appears with his letter from Frog. Toad reads the letter wherein Frog talks about their good friendship and that he cannot be happy unless Toad is happy. Toad decides to talk to Frog again and invites him home for soup.

    Snail, having delivered his first letter, feels as though he has finally done something to be proud of ("I'm Coming Out Of My Shell").

    It's now Christmas Eve, and Toad is in his kitchen waiting for Frog. He begins to get worried because Frog is late, and starts to think something terrible has happened to him. He goes out in search of Frog ("Toad To The Rescue"). Frog arrives just as Toad is leaving and apologizes for being late, explaining that he was wrapping Toad's present. Toad opens the gift and it seems to be a new clock. Toad tells Frog that Snail is delivering his present and it should be there soon; the two reflect on what a lovely Christmas Eve it is and how glad they are to be together ("Merry Almost Christmas").

    It is now almost Spring again. Frog and Toad are in hibernation. The birds return and look in on Frog and Toad dreaming. In their dreams, the two talk about what lovely things they have been thinking about and how excited they are for another new year together ("Finale: A Year With Frog And Toad").

    Casting Information

    FROG
    TOAD
    MAN BIRD

    LADY BIRD 1

    LADY BIRD 2

    MOUSE

    SNAIL

    TURTLE

    LIZARD

    SQUIRREL 1

    SQUIRREL 2

    YOUNG FROG
    FATHER FROG

    MOTHER FROG

    LARGE AND TERRIBLE FROG

    MOLE 1 

    MOLE 2

    The doubling for a cast of five as follows: 

    FROG: No Doubling

    TOAD: No Doubling

    BIRD, TURTLE, SQUIRREL, MOTHER FROG, MOLE: Female Track 1

    BIRD, MOUSE, SQUIRREL, YOUNG FROG, MOLE: Female Track 2

    BIRD, SNAIL, LIZARD, FATHER FROG, MOLE: Male Track 3

    Original Broadway Cast:
    Jay Goede (FROG)
    Mark Linn-Baker (TOAD)
    Danielle Ferland (BIRD, TURTLE, SQUIRREL, MOTHER FROG, MOLE)
    Jennifer Gambatese (BIRD, MOUSE, SQUIRREL, YOUNG FROG, MOLE)
    Frank Vlastnik (BIRD, SNAIL, LIZARD, FATHER FROG, MOLE)

    Character Breakdown

    BIRDS

    Communicate the passage of time 

    FROG

    Friendly, confidant, positive 

    LIZARD

    Confused 

    MOLES

    Chorus 

    MOUSE

    Almost like a talk show host 

    SNAILS

    Postal deliverers 

    SQUIRRELS

    Mischievious 

    TOAD

    Serious, irritable, self-conscious yet charismatic 

    TURTLE

    Rabble-rouser 

    Production Material

    15 X LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK

    2 X PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE

    Orchestra Size

    SMALL

    Instrumentation:

    Doublings:

    BASS

     BASS, TUBA

    DRUMS

     BLOCKS, CONCERT SNARE, DRUM KIT, FINGER CYMBALS, GLOCKENSPIEL, GRAN CASSA, HIGH COWBELL, MARK TREE, MILITARY SNARE, ORCHESTRA BELLS, SIREN, SUSPENDED CYMBAL, TEMPLE BLOCKS, TIMPANI, TRIANGLE, VIBRAPHONE, WIND CHIMES, WOOD BLOCK

    GUITAR

    REED 1

     ALTO SAXOPHONE, CLARINET, FLUTE, PICCOLO

    REED 2

     ALTO FLUTE, BASS CLARINET, CLARINET, FLUTE, TENOR SAXOPHONE

    TROMBONE

    TRUMPET

     PICCOLO TRUMPET, TRUMPET

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