Willsboro kids will perform ‘A year with Frog & Toad

Students at Willsboro Central School practice their performance of a Year with Frog & Toad musical.

Students at Willsboro Central School practice their performance of a Year with Frog & Toad musical. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— The show will go to the amphibians for a special performance of “With Frog and Toad” by Willsboro Central School students.

The young actors will lead audience members through a journey of true friendship and companionship over four seasons.

“A Year With Frog and Toad For Kids” is a whimsical show following the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad. The play was performed on Broadway and has been adapted for children.

The students will perform in the Willsboro Central School Auditorium, 421 West 54 Street, on March 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. and on March 10 at 2 p.m.

Student performers range from kindergarten through grade 6. Play director and fourth-grade teacher Derrick A. Hopkins said he chose Disney plays for the younger students in the past. This year, however, he wanted to branch away from Disney.

“This play was made for the stage, not for the movie screen, and I wanted the students to see the difference and get to experience something they haven’t seen yet,” Hopkins said. “It was a high-interest hit with the younger kids who have read the Frog and Toad books.”

The 25 students have been rehearsing for eight weeks. The elementary school plays, usually held in the spring, were changed to give the kids a relief from cabin fever in winter.

“It was coinciding with state testing and in the spring kids want to be outside not inside rehearsing,” Hopkins said. “Now we have their full attention.”

The show begins with the pair Regan Arnold as Frog and Ben Jackson as Toad, waking from hibernation in the spring, and goes through a year worth of adventures with the pair and their animal friends including birds, squirrels, moles, snail, mouse and lizard.

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. The performance is part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, and tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.

Hopkins has worked with the students on their acting and singing while choreographer Annie-Laurie Lemieux instructs on the dance moves.

Hopkins said the jazzy, upbeat score of music bubbles with melody and wit, making it an inventive, exuberant, and enchanting musical for the whole family.

For more information call Hopkins at 963-4455 ext. 252 or email dhopkins@willsborocsd.org.

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