Frog and Toad are absolutely my favorite amphibians now on the Philadelphia stage.
True, we soon shall have a swamp-load of multihued, exotic froggies in town, what with Frogs: A Chorus of Colors at the Academy of Natural Sciences, running Feb. 4 (they’re calling it “Froguary”) through May 14. But since late November, this town has been the domain of Frog and Toad, the protags of A Year with Frog and Toad at the Arden. The production is slated to close on Friday, Feb. 3.
From time to time, we’ve looked in on Frog and Toad over the past couple of months of their residency, and they have kept the place hopping. Their musical is a genial, tuneful tale about friendship, optimism and its icky opposite, adventure, and, at least some of the time, cookies. Based on the Frog and Toad characters created by the great kids’ writer Arnold Lobel, it was developed by his daughter Adrianne Lobel and features music by Robert Reale and book and lyrics by Willie Reale. It has established itself as a perennial favorite, especially with Jeff Coon as Frog and Jeff Dibble as Toad, both of who are here for the third time.
Here’s a parting look at their inspired chemistry. Coon and Dibble do a "dramatic reading," playing Frog and Toad playing great friendships from across cultural history, including Chewbacca and Han Solo of Star Wars, Felix and Oscar from The Odd Couple, Buzz Lightyear and Woody of Toy Story, Hamlet and Yorick, Vladimir and Estragon of Waiting for Godot (especially funny), and Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin.