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A Year With Frog and Toad dazzles a sold-out audience

LONG LAKE- The standing ovations were exuberant following sold-out performances of "A Year With Frog and Toad: The Musical", a colorful and magical musical comedy performed by Long Lake students and clients with disabilities of the Sunmount DDSO, at the Long Lake Central School, Friday and Saturday evening, April 23 and 24. Audiences delighted in the jazzy score performed enthusiastically by the cast, the whimsical costumes, and show-stopping choreography.

Under the clever direction of Stephen Svoboda, the story follows the yearlong adventures of Frog and Toad, the original odd-couple who, despite their conflicts, are affectionate and loyal friends to the end.

"The story of Frog and Toad is about two very different amphibians discovering the meaning of friendship. I thought it was appropriate for these two very different groups [students and clients] to explore the meaning of that story together", said Svoboda.

Set in a colorful marsh, the play opened with the "birds" coming out at the end of winter, ready for spring. Frog and Toad encounter a series of crises including Toad's humiliation at "looking funny in a bathing suit", their shame at eating too many cookies leaving nothing for dessert, and Toad's frustration at finding his mailbox empty. Frog decides to write a letter to Toad, and asks the "snails" to deliver it. Throughout the play, the hilarious snails' scene-stealing, slow motion appearances provided some of the production's musical peaks.

In an unprecedented collaboration between Stephen Svoboda, Executive Director, Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, Natalie Luxford, Director Sunmount DDSO Long Lake and Speculator, and Mary Jo Dickerson, Superintendent, Long Lake Central School, they felt the play would provide a unique theatre experience that could bring together two different communities within our region that have often existed in separate worlds. Clients of Sunmount and Long Lake students worked together throughout the entire process, from rehearsing music and scenes, to building sets and costumes behind the scenes.

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