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Arden Theatre Company presents A Year with Frog and Toad
Music by Robert Reale - Book and Lyrics by Willie Reale - Based on the books by Arnold Lobel - Directed by Whit MacLaughlin - On the F. Otto Haas stage March 4 - April 19, 2009
Media Photos

February 2, 2009

Philadelphia, PA - Arden Theatre Company presents the revival of the smash-hit musical, A Year with Frog and Toad, based on the Newbery and Caldecott Honored children's books by Arnold Lobel. Directed by Whit MacLaughlin (James and the Giant Peach, The BFG) A Year with Frog and Toad begins previews on Wednesday, March 4, 2009; opens Saturday, March 7, 2009; and runs through Sunday, April 19, 2009. This Arden Children's Theatre production is sponsored by Comcast and Sprout. Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia. For tickets, call 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.

In 2004, an unlikely friendship between a cheerful Frog and a grumpy Toad blossomed at the Arden. Nominated for six Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre and a Tony Award for Best Musical, A Year with Frog and Toad was lauded by both audiences and critics alike. City Paper described the Arden's production as "brimming with so much talent and merrymaking I doubt anyone could resist its charms." The Arden's production features the return of Barrymore Award-winners Jeffrey Coon (Candide, Assassins) and Ben Dibble (Candide, Assassins) in the title roles. Rounding out the cast are recent faces at the Arden, Erin Driscoll (Candide), Nick Gaswirth (Candide) and Danielle G. Herbert (Caroline, or Change, The BFG).

"We are thrilled to be reviving A Year with Frog and Toad," said Terrence J. Nolen Artistic Director of Arden Theatre Company. "This was a landmark production for us that was embraced by audiences of all ages and led to a valued relationship with Willie Reale and Rob Reale, two of the leading writers working for kids today. I'm especially excited to welcome back Jeff Coon and Ben Dibble. Jeff and Ben love this musical and jumped at the chance to do it again. They were especially excited because they are both dads, which neither was when we did this show five years ago. Jeff now has two children and Ben has three – not only will their kids be able to see them as Frog and Toad, but they almost have enough kids between them to get a group discount."

A Year with Frog and Toad is directed by Whit MacLaughlin who has directed nine Arden Children's Theatre productions including the original staging of this musical at the Arden. "I feel like I'm walking into a familiar world filled with the same excitement that we generated during the first Frog and Toad," said Whit. "This show is great family entertainment; truly it is an almost perfect show."

Richard St. Clair, who won Barrymore Awards for his costumes for A Year with Frog and Toad (2004/05) and Sleeping Beauty (2007/08) has also returned to design costumes for the revival.

Photos from our 2004/05 production of A Year with Frog and Toad are available for download in our press room at www.ardentheatre.org/news/.

The Arden produces a full array of arts educational programming to compliment Arden Children's Theatre.

Arden Drama School is a wide array of classes and day camps for elementary through high school aged children. Spring Break Camp for kids in grades 1-5 will run April 6 - 10 and a camp for teens in grades 9 - 12 will be held March 23 - 27. Check out www.ardentheatre.org/ardendramaschool/ for more details.

Arden's school "in-reach" program, Arden In Class and On Stage (AICOS) serves students in Philadelphia, Camden and Ridley Park School Districts. With support from Verizon, the Arden will provide free books to students through Arden For All (AFA). AFA is a needs-based theatre access program that provides 5,000 tickets to underserved students in the Greater Philadelphia region each season.

Every performance includes a post-show question and answer session with the cast and all kids receive a free commemorative show poster and are invited to meet the cast in the lobby after each performance. Enhance your performance experience – kids 7 and older and their adult chaperones are invited to join the Family Usher Network (FUN). FUN gives kids a behind-the-scenes peek at how plays are created, instills the value of community involvement and teaches valuable social skills. FUN ushers receive an exclusive backstage tour, hand out programs, tear tickets, seat patrons and help straighten up the theatre after the show. For information call the box office at 215.922.1122.

Join us for A Year with Frog and Toad Family Salon on Saturday, April 4, 2009 from 2 to 3pm. Go behind the scenes of A Year with Frog and Toad. $25 per family. www.ardentheatre.org/salons/.

The Arden is proud to announce the Target 2 for 1 Family Series, a ticket discount program generously sponsored by Target. This program offers two tickets for the price of one during selected performances of A Year with Frog and Toad. Please refer to the show calendars at www.ardentheatre.org/calendar/ for the designated performances. There is a limit of four discounted orders (8 tickets) per transaction, available while supplies last.

Comcast Illustrator of the Year at Arden Theatre Company is a contest sponsored by Comcast encouraging children ages 2 - 12 to submit a drawing or painting that shows what friendship means to them. Ten finalists will have their drawings displayed at the Arden Theatre Company during the final week of their production of A Year with Frog and Toad. Two winners will have their illustrations animated and broadcast on Sprout TV! Winners will also receive a family pack of tickets to the final performance of A Year with Frog and Toad on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at p.m. A complete list of prizes, rules and regulations for the Comcast Illustrator of the Year contest can be found at www.ardentheatre.org.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, visit us online at www.ardentheatre.org, or stop by the box office. Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 N. 2nd Street in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Old City Philadelphia.

The Arden is fully wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices and large-print programs at every performance. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122. A performance interpreted in American Sign Language is scheduled for Saturday, April 4 at 12pm.

WHAT:
A Year with Frog and Toad
Music by Robert Reale
Book and Lyrics by Willie Reale
Based on the books by Arnold Lobel
Directed by Whit MacLaughlin
On the F. Otto Haas stage

SUMMARY:
Jeffrey Coon (Frog) and Ben Dibble (Toad) return for a revival of one of the Arden's most celebrated productions in its history! Nominated for six Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre and a Tony Award for Best Musical, this whimsical story features an unlikely friendship between a cheerful Frog and a rather grumpy Toad and the life lessons they learn during the four seasons of one year.

Arden Children's Theatre is most enjoyed by families with children 5 and older.

WHERE:
Arden Theatre Company
Arcadia Stage
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia

WHEN:
March 4, 2009 - April 19, 2009
Preview performances: March 4 through March 7
Opening night: March 7, 2009 @ 7pm
Reviewing members of the press are invited to attend opening night and are welcome to invite the children in their lives. Please reserve tickets by contacting Janine Zappone at jzappone@ardentheatre.org.

TICKETS:
Tickets are $14 -$16 for children (12 and under)
$18 - $22 for teens (13 - 17)
$26 - $30 for adults depending on the performances chosen.

Target 2 for 1 Family Series, a ticket discount program generously sponsored by Target, offers two tickets for the price of one during selected performance, subject to availability. Limit 8 tickets per transaction, date and details available online.

Group discounts available for 20+

Student Rush tickets at the door only five minutes before curtain for $5 cash, pending availability (must present valid student ID)

Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org

CAST:
Jeffrey Coon (resident of Springfield, PA) - Frog
Ben Dibble (resident of Malvern, PA) - Toad
Erin Driscoll (resident of New York, NY) - Bird/ensemble
Nick Gaswirth (resident of New York, NY) - Snail/ensemble
Danielle G. Herbert (resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Mouse/ensemble

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Whit MacLaughlin - Director
Donald Eastman - Set Designer
David Ames - Musical Director
Drew Billiau - Lighting Designer
Richard St. Clair - Costume Designer
Jorge Cousineau - Sound Designer
Lee Etzold - Choreographer
John Flak - Stage Manager

A Year with Frog and Toad was originally presented on Broadway by Bob Boyett, Adrianne Lobel, Michael Gardner, Lawrence Horowitz and Roy Furman. World Premiere at Children's Theatre Company Minneapolis, MN.

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©2009 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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