Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
May 25th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Green Piece

ae_2-1Embrace all things amphibian in Shakespeare Santa Cruz’ and the UCSC Theater Arts Department’s new offering

Move over Kermit, there’s another famous frog in town for the holidays. But instead of a motley muppet, this one is based on a character from the beloved children’s tales, “Frog and Toad.” Though officially the winter production of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the local theatrical powerhouse has teamed up with the UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts Department to produce a Broadway-endorsed musical treat.

Based on a series of children’s books written in the 1970s by Arnold Lobel, the “Frog and Toad” stories outline the adventures and misadventures of a friendly frog and a cantankerous toad as they negotiate the ups and downs of living a woodland life. A loveable assortment of forest creatures join them on occasion to create a panoply of engaging characters that entertain as well as teach various life lessons. The effect is that the story creates the perfect opportunity for adorable little animals to sing Disney-esque show tunes. But it wasn’t until 2002 that Lobel’s daughter Adrianne, saw the characters’ musical potential, that she commissioned the production. Thus, “A Year With Frog and Toad” was born. The peppy, G-rated musical quickly became a hit, finding its way to Broadway and becoming nominated for not one, but three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2003. Since then, the production has remained a family-centric favorite in regional theater circuits across the country.

“What’s really unique and special about the musical is that it was written for children, but it holds lessons for all of us regardless of our ages,” says Art Manke, director of “A Year With Frog and Toad.” The lively story follows the emerald duo and their friends through the seasons, whilst accompanied by a festive musical backdrop. “It’s just like a wonderful, old-fashioned Broadway musical.”

Of the fantastical amphibian foray, Kyle Clausen, managing director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, is also excited. “I think the community will love it,” he says. “It is one of the most delightful family musicals I've ever encountered, and in particular I think people will love the music, which is a jazzy, Dixieland-inspired score that features a seven-piece band.AE_2-2ribbit ribbit Director Art Manke of “Frog and Toad,” makes the holidays very theatrical.

“In addition, it's an incredibly well-crafted show. Both the script and music are great, and I think its success has been largely due to the fact that both adults and children can enjoy it equally.”

When selecting a production for the Shakespeare Santa Cruz winter show, Clausen admits that it can be an arduous task. “There are a lot of factors that go into choosing each production,” he explains. “For the holiday show, a big consideration is what will be attractive to families. ‘A Year with Frog and Toad’ is a tale of friendship, and even if you aren't familiar with the books, the stories are all ones we can relate to, and they are told in a charming way.”

Clausen also notes that since this is a co-production between Shakespeare Santa Cruz and the UCSC Theater Arts Department, another consideration is to choose a show that will allow professionals and amateurs to work together in an effective and educational capacity. Director Art Manke couldn’t agree more. “We have professional actors and directors, working alongside students,” Manke raves. “It’s wonderful for us and forces us to step up our game and be accountable for our work. It’s really stimulating to be around people who are just starting out in theater.”

With myriad accolades, cute creatures and catchy musical scores, who says it’s not easy being green? Despite the quip of one famous amphibian, “A Year With Frog and Toad” is hopping into town, full speed ahead.


“A Year With Frog and Toad” opens Friday, Nov. 18 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 11. For tickets and more information visit shakespearesantacruz.org.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival