Theater Works at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts wraps up its 2014-15 YouthWorks season with a lively presentation of “A Year with Frog and Toad.” The production, which features 25 young performers from around the Valley of the Sun, opens Friday, May 8, and runs through Sunday, May 24. On Saturday, May 23, the venue will host its first sensory-friendly performance for patrons of all ages with sensory sensitivities.
Directed by Chris Hamby and based on the award-winning books of Arnold Lobel, “A Year with Frog and Toad” celebrates friendship, using seasons to represent how friendship develops through the years. “The themes of this production are played out in such a way that appeal to both children and adults,” said Hamby. “It’s a lighthearted, imaginative, colorful musical that teaches valuable lessons about respect, friendship and loyalty—themes that resonate with everyone and remain relevant and timeless.”
During an adventure-filled year, the unlikely friendship of Frog and Toad blossoms as they bake cookies, go sledding together and tell each other scary stories. The two are joined by some colorful companions along the way, who help them delight audiences with such songs as “Merry Almost Christmas,” “Seeds,” “Alone” and “Getta Loada Toad,” among others.
After playing the lead, school basketball star Troy, in “High School Musical” in 2014, Tyler (Ty) Lewis returns to the Theater Works stage as the ever-cheerful Frog. He has also appeared as Geppetto in “My Son Pinocchio” and Hatch Shonin in “The Flying Trunk” at Spotlight Youth Theatre. Playing the fussbudget Toad is Skyler Washburn, who most recently appeared in “Tales from the Arabian Nights” and who has also appeared at Theater Works in “Beauty and the Beast” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Autumn Froitland, who was also in “High School Musical,” “Tales from the Arabian Nights,” and “13 the Musical,” returns to play Mouse. In addition, she belongs to Stardust, a Theater Works program for performers aged 13–19, who entertain Valley audiences through various music genres. Cody Seaver takes the role of Lizard, and Karson Cook plays Snail. Both have been in many productions and recently performed in Theater Works’ “Follies.”
The Peoria Center for the Performing Arts is located at 8355 W. Peoria Ave. in Peoria, Arizona. Regular tickets for “A Year with Frog and Toad” are $15 each and may be purchased online or by calling the box office at 623-815-7930 Monday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.