FrogToad logo 2014

Saturday afternoon found Mrs. K and I turning out for what could definitely become a holiday tradition for us – Actors Theatre of Indiana’s production of A Year with Frog and Toad. (We are already talking about who we should bring with us next year!) We saw this show for the first time last December and in the review that resulted, I said: “Though not a Christmassy production in the strictest sense, the show was a rollickingly delightful treat, featuring superior performances by all in the tidy cast of five.” That is true once again, and it was good to see a couple of new faces in the cast.

Bradley Reynolds is Toad and Don Farrell is Frog in ATI's "A Year with Frog and Toad"

Bradley Reynolds is Frog and Don Farrell is Toad in ATI’s “A Year with Frog and Toad”

From left: Tim Hunt, Kelly Krauter, and Kyra Jeanne Kenyon play all the supporting animal characters in "A Year with Frog and Toad" at ATI.

From left: Tim Hunt, Kelly Krauter, and Kyra Jeanne Kenyon play all the supporting animal characters in “A Year with Frog and Toad” at ATI.

The cast features Don Farrell as the charmingly unsure Toad, Bradley Reynolds as his faithful guiding friend Frog, Tim Hunt as several animal characters including the hilarious mail carrying Snail, and new cast members Kyra Jeanne Kenyon and Kelly Krauter, who fill the remaining animal roles. Ms. Kenyon is actually reprising her roles (from a year I did not attend, obviously) and her strong singing voice and dance talents are a boon to the production. Ms. Krauter is a very talented local product and she is quite adorable in her roles, especially Young Frog. Farrell and Reynolds are flawless as the main characters, effortlessly playing off each other in what is obviously a well established partnership onstage.

Also of special note are the sharp choreography by Cynthia Collins and the wonderful live musical arrangements by the band led by Brent E. Marty. The unlisted costumer (Margaret Ozemet again, perhaps?) who put together Camilla Haith’s original Costume Design for this production also deserves mention.

Seeing the show a second year running did not erode a bit of our enjoyment. As I wrote last year: “I found last night’s show to be enjoyed by all of my fellow audience members, no matter what their age was. This was due, I think, to director Judy Fitzgerald’s (and the cast’s) ability to find just the right level of childish play in their roles. Never too foolish, but never very serious either, the action is both hilarious and poignant, full of the silly type of story-telling kids love, and yet intelligently thoughtful enough that adults can enjoy it as well.” This ability remains unfailingly true and indeed is the very essence of what makes this a superior production for all ages to see, especially for the holidays.

I was seated where I could look around at my surrounding audience members and I really enjoyed the looks on everyone’s face as the cast sparkled and popped through their roster of songs and gags. This is simply an uncomplicated and clearly enjoyable show – with a message of friendship, sharing and love. I hope you make the time to see this production during this holiday season.

A Year with Frog and Toad‘s limited engagement continues at Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts with shows through December 21st. To find out exact times and dates, go to http://www.actorstheatreofindiana.org/ or call the box office at 317-843-3800.

Advertisements