The Scandalous Lives Of Frog And Toad


Graham Sedam, blog, thoughts, life, interests, writing, Frog and Toad, A Year With Frog and Toad, Children's Theater, Girl Scout Super Seller, theater, intermission, Minnesota Institute of Art, family, family outing, family fun, Minneapolis
Last year, I wrote a post about a play that I attended at the Children's Theater. I won't be getting into that because you could obviously just read it. But, much like the situation surrounding last year's event, this one was also a Girl Scout sponsored night that was a prize for Super Sellers. This year's play was A Year With Frog and Toad.

Even though we only had three tickets, we all went to the Children's Theater. My wife and toddler son, much like last year, were going to peruse the adjoining Minnesota Institute of Art. Fortunate for us, not everyone who attends needs three tickets, and a woman asked my wife if she'd like her extra ticket. We said yes, of course. In hind sight, we probably didn't need an extra ticket and could've showed up with no tickets and still have watched the show. Whether it was lax security, a general trust of others, or the fact that the theater wasn't quite full, no one seemed concerned about making sure everyone there was authorized.

So, unlike last year, my wife and toddler son were able to attend, even if it was in the 'quiet room' in the back. I was happy that she was able to see most of the show, since she plays a big part in my daughter being able to be a Super Seller in the first place. I help sell at work, and my numbers aren't shabby at all, but I'm neither motivated nor willing to take my efforts to the level my wife is willing to. And, like I told my wife that night, we all suffer during Girl Scout cookie season. We all should be able to go to the play. There are always empty seats.

So, I sat in the third row with my daughter, the Girl Scout, and her oldest brother, sitting between them to keep the peace. After we established our dominance and fought off another parent and child who were trying to take the same seats, my daughter and son went down to the stage to observe the orchestra pit before the show. I stayed with our seats, baring my teeth and growling so that the others respected my turf.

My daughter did what my daughter does and made a new best friend. I don't know how it all went down, but they became besties while exploring the front of the stage at the beginning of the show. Perhaps part of the reason had something to do with her mother and brother sitting next to us during the show, but I don't think they met until we had already picked our seats and the kids were stage bound. Her BFF's little brother got booted from his original seat so the girls could sit by each other. Maybe, someday, they will reunite and have ALL of the fun. It could be next year. One thing is certain, though: If they couldn't remember each other's names that night, they probably won't when the day they reunite comes.

As with last year, intermission was stocked with cookies and drinks for attendees. Buying was an option, but with every ticket came a cookie and drink voucher, and that was good enough for us. Having prior experience with the event, before intermission, my wife was already trying to come up with how we could make everything run more smoothly. Whether or not it was an option last year, we found out that the vouchers could be used to obtain the goods before the show. So, that is how it went down, and when intermission began, we went to the lobby where the kids could begin snacking immediately.

This year, a staff member of the Children's Theater seemed to take a shining to us, or rather to my toddler son. During the show, she was stationed by the 'quiet room' and was able to observe and interact with him. When we came out to the lobby and stopped just outside of the theater doors, she stayed and chatted with us. It seemed to me that it was likely that she has cerebral palsy, in part because she needed a motorized wheelchair. My toddler son must have thought she was lucky to have a set of wheels to drive around in. He's been getting more and more interested in 'cars' and the sounds they make. He kept pointing to her chair and making a bbbmmm bbbmmm sound. Then, she would honk, and he'd say beep beep. All the while, he was in his own set of non-motorized wheels—the stroller.

Graham Sedam, blog, thoughts, life, interests, writing, Frog and Toad, A Year With Frog and Toad, Children's Theater, Girl Scout Super Seller, theater, intermission, Minnesota Institute of Art, family, family outing, family fun, orchestra pit, Minneapolis
After intermission, I went back down to our seats and chased off scavengers while my daughter and son went down to the orchestra pit to hang out with the other rowdy kids. My son lingered a bit too long and was asked to go back to his seat moments before the second half began. It's a good thing it wasn't me. He just might have had a melt down. It's always hard to know.

He was mostly well-behaved throughout the show, asking if the show was over every time it got dark. His question made sense as the show got closer to the end, but I swear, the first of many times he asked was ten minutes in. I told him that the lights would be more likely to turn on than off if the show was over. He also felt the need to tell me toward the end of the show that his seat felt like a chair, you know, like, a real chair. I found that odd. Is six old enough to worry about whether or not drugs were involved, you know, to 'enhance' the experience? Probably.

My wife, as she had already planned before we arrived at the Children's Theater, got in line for autographs before the show was over. She was the first person to leave the theater, so she was the first person in line. Autographs don't mean a whole lot to me, but I think it's important for the kids beyond a mere signature. It puts them within touching distance of the people they just watched do something out of the ordinary, something that takes guts and practice. They can talk to them and feel important because the performers talk back. It provides that little bit of extra inspiration to do extraordinary things themselves. It makes the night twice as memorable. That's what I think, at least.

I was able to go to the Children's Theater with my daughter earlier this year on a class field trip. We watched them perform a version of the Dr. Seuss book, Sneetches. One of the two main characters in Sneetches was also the man who played Toad. I noticed this right away, in part because he has a unique singing voice, but also because he looks like himself. I made my daughter aware of this, and she was able to bring up that tidbit when she got his autograph. The little things.

(I just realized right now as I'm writing this that Frog was also in Sneetches. He played the entrepreneur, McBean, who had the star-off/on machine. Then again, maybe all of the cast was in Sneetches. Also, Frog was the only cast member not present at the signing.)

The cast for this show was really small, five people. The three people that weren't Frog or Toad played the rest of the characters, and it worked well. I'm sure it's just par for the stage and such, but it was still interesting that they pulled off all of the acting with five people. Last year's production, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Sneetches had a considerably larger cast. Regardless, the sets and backdrops for A Year With Frog and Toad weren't lacking in the least despite the minimal cast size.

I don't know how I'd rank these shows in relation to each other, but considering I don't like ranking in the first place, I guess it doesn't really matter. After the first half of the show, I remember thinking that I had enjoyed the two previous shows more at that point. After the play was over, I walked away from an experience I enjoyed, my family enjoyed, and that's all that mattered.

Hey! We got home and got the kids to bed sooner than we thought we would. Still, the morning (and work) came too early. C'est la vie.
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