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Wirtz Center Charms With the Story of Two Best Friends

Imagine U returns with musical favorite “A Year with Frog and Toad”

  • Heartwarming and joyous musical adapted from the children’s books of Arnold Lobel
  • Musical tells the story of a classic friendship that endures year-round, despite differences
  • “A Year with Frog and Toad” is part vaudeville, part make-believe -- and all charm
  • The show captures “a little bit of Fred and Ginger, a little bit of Bert and Ernie”

EVANSTON, Ill. --- An all new production of a popular musical for young audiences that focuses on the importance of differences will be part of Northwestern University’s fall theater season.

Presented by the University’s Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, the Imagine U family production is an encore staging of  “A Year with Frog and Toad,” a show that is part vaudeville, part make-believe -- and all charm. First performed on the Evanston campus in November 2011, the show was such a hit with audiences that it is being presented again.

The Nov. 6 to Nov. 22 musical is part of the Wirtz Center’s fall 2015 theater season and is recommended for children ages 5 to 12 and their family members and friends.

Based on the series of children’s books by Arnold Lobel, “A Year with Frog And Toad tells the story of a friendship between two endearing amphibians that endures, weathering all seasons.

Waking from hibernation in the spring, 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.

The production features book and lyrics by Willie Reale and music by Robert Reale. It will be directed by Jerrell L. Henderson, a third-year candidate in the School of Communication’s Master of Fine Arts in Directing program. 

All performances will take place at the Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. 

“A Year with Frog and Toad” will be staged at the Wallis Theater at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8; 7 p.m. Friday, Nov.13; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15; 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21; and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22. 

“In a vibrant forest bursting with multiple personalities uproariously large and delightfully small, Frog and Toad remain the best of friends,” said Henderson, the show’s director. “A little bit Fred and Ginger, a little bit Bert and Ernie, this show encapsulates what it takes to hold onto a lasting friendship as naturally recurring as nature itself.” 

Tickets are $10 for general public, seniors 65 and older, and Northwestern faculty and staff; $10 for full-time students with valid IDs (at the door); or $5 tickets exclusively for full-time Northwestern students on advance purchase only. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

For more information, phone the Wirtz Center Box Office at 847-491-7282 or visit the Wirtz Center website or email

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