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Musical Adaptation of Beloved Children's Book to Kick Off Imagine U

Robert and Willie Reale’s “A Year with Frog and Toad” at Struble Theater Oct. 28 to Nov. 6

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October 27, 2011 | by Judy Moore
“A Year with Frog and Toad,” an all-ages woodland musical adventure, will launch the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University’s second Imagine U: Family Series Oct. 28 to Nov. 6. Pictured, left to right: Meg Lowey, Darrin French and Kylie Mullins. 

EVANSTON, Ill. --- “A Year with Frog and Toad,” the Broadway all-ages woodland musical adventure, will launch the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University’s second Imagine U: Family Series this fall.  

“A Year with Frog and Toad,” based on the books by Arnold Lobel, with music by Robert Reale and book and lyrics by Willie Reale, will be staged Oct. 28 to Nov. 6 at the Mussetter-Struble Theater, 1949 Campus Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Matinee and evening performances on Saturday, Nov. 5, will take place at 2 and 7 p.m.

Directed by Northwestern undergraduate theatre major Sophie Rich, “A Year with Frog and Toad” is the story of two unlikely best friends who fight, make mistakes and sometimes let feelings get the better of them. But despite their differences their friendship always prevails.

“The show provides an incredible example of the depth and resilience of friendship and defines what being a good friend means,” said Rich. “Frog and Toad remind us of the joy in sharing and giving and the importance of loving ourselves as we are.” 

Lobel fans can expect to see some of their favorite stories in this production. All but one musical number are based on episodes from the books, so the adventures, language and characters will be familiar to children and parents who have read the classic series. 

Imagine U programming is recommended for children aged 5 to 10 and their families. Each performance includes a talkback afterwards with the Northwestern undergraduate student cast. Audience members are encouraged to bring books to be signed by the performers after the show and take-home programs filled with activities, art projects, fun facts and games will be given to all children in the audience. 

“The Imagine U series is designed as a special opportunity for families to experience the joy of live theatre,” said Lynn Kelso, Imagine U artistic mentor and Northwestern School of Communication faculty member. “In this production of ‘A Year with Frog and Toad’ and in our spring 2012 production of ‘Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,’ we are taking beloved stories from the page and bringing them to life on the stage.”

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Single tickets are $10; $5 tickets are available exclusively to Northwestern students with valid IDs on advance ticket purchases only. Subscriptions to both Imagine U productions are $16.   Tickets may be purchased through the TIC Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.tic.northwestern.edu.