Columbia Children's Theatre to Present A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, 2/8-17

Columbia Children's Theatre (CCT), the Midlands only professional theatre for families and young audiences will present the musical comedy A Year with Frog and Toad, February 8 - 17, 2013.

Show times are Fridays at 7:00 PM; Saturdays at 10:30 AM, 2:00 PM, and 7:00 PM; and Sundays at 3:00 PM. Tickets are $8.00 for children three years old through adult. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit, or call 803-691-4548. All shows at held at Columbia Children's Theatre on the 2nd level of Richland Mall, 3400 Forest Drive.

Based on Arnold Lobel's well-loved characters, this whimsical show follows two great friends -- the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad -- through four, fun-filled seasons.

Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, A Year with Frog and Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons. The show's jazzy, upbeat score bubbles with melody and wit, making it an inventive, exuberant, and enchanting musical for the whole family.

The Columbia Children's Theatre production features veteran actor Lee O. Smith in the role of Frog, and CCT Artistic Director Jerry Stevenson as Toad. An assortment of other animal characters--including birds, lizards, moles, a turtle, mouse, and snail--are played by Columbia actors Bobby Bloom, Sara Jackson, Paul Lindley II, Toni Moore, and Elizabeth Stepp.

This production marks Stevenson's first performance in a Columbia Children's Theatre production. "It's been way too long," he said. "If I was going to make a return to the stage, it is ideal that I'm doing it as a lumpy, grumpy toad who's bad at sports!"

The story of A Year with Frog and Toad begins in 1970, when Arnold Lobel's classic book Frog and Toad are Friends was first published. Lobel received a Caldecott Honor award, and went on to publish three additional volumes of Frog and Toad adventures. In 1973, Frog and Toad Together was named a Newbery Honor book, making Lobel one of only a handful of authors to have received honor citations from both of children's literature's highest awards.

In 2002, Adrianne Lobel, the author's daughter, and a successful designer and producer in her own right, commissioned a musical based on her father's most beloved characters. A Year with Frog and Toad, which incorporates stories from all four books, premiered at the Children's Theater Company of Minneapolis on August 23, 2002. The next stop was the off-Broadway New Victory Theater, specializing solely in family-oriented fare. After stellar reviews and a sold out run, the show transferred to Broadway, where it opened at the Cort Theater on April 13, 2003. A Year with Frog and Toad received three Tony nominations that year, including Best Musical.

Columbia Children's Theatre is a professional resident not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing quality live theatre experiences for families and young audiences. Located on the second level of Richland Mall in Forest Acres, the theatre offers a performance series for families and young audiences, as well as classes, workshops, and performance opportunities for children who have been bitten by the "acting bug." The organization is supported in part by the City of Forest Acres, The Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as individual and corporate contributions.

Pictured: Lee O. Smith (left) as Frog and Jerry Stevenson as Toad.

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