Bringing a beloved book to life onstage is a tall order, and Imagination Stage has brought not just a book but the full Frog and Toad series to life in A Y ear with Frog and Toad. This bright, funny and joyful show is not to be missed this holiday season!

Directed by Colin Hovde, A Year with Frog and Toad is based on Arnold Lobel’s beloved characters and follows a year of their adventures together. Bold Frog and cautious Toad wake up from hibernation and begin a year of fun together. When Frog learns that Toad is sad because he never gets any mail, he writes his friend a letter…and asks Snail to deliver it. The show follows Frog and Toad’s year in a series of short Vaudeville-style vignettes that will keep the interest of even the youngest (and most wiggly) theatergoers. Frog and Toad go swimming, bake cookies, fly a kite and go sledding together as they sing their way through the seasons. All the while, Snail races to deliver Frog’s letter to Toad. Will he make it before it’s time for the friends to hibernate once again?


A Year with Frog and Toad is filled with truly fantastic singing and songs that will have you tapping your toes. Jobari Parker-Namdar brings friendly Frog to life, and Stephen Edwards Horst is serious Toad. The two are joined by Matt Dewberry, Tracy Lynn Olivera and Nova Y. Payton, who each play a variety of animals in the show. Their musical talent is not to be missed, and the show also includes an unexpected and very sweet ode to self confidence.


We’ve had a tough time in recent months finding entertainment that truly is enjoyable for all four of us. Movies we’ve looked forward to for months have turned out to be far darker than we’d expected, and others take turns that play on some of our children’s deepest fears. The scariest moment in A Year with Frog and Toad comes in the form of a thunderstorm with flashing lights and a scary story told via shadow puppets. If you choose a seat in the side orchestra section at stage left, you can catch a glimpse of the actors making the shadows to take the edge off this scary scene.

Imagination Stage recommends A Year with Frog and Toad for ages 4 and up, and this is a show with very little in the way of scary moments that might bother little theatergoers. There is one scene with thunder and a scary story, but even this “scary” scene is laced with humor that keeps things light.

A Year with Frog and Toad runs through January 10, 2016 in Imagination Stage’s Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre. Tickets start at $10 and may be purchased online at, at the Imagination Stage box office, or via phone at 301-280-1660. Group rates are also available.

Special opportunities include:

  • Sensory-Friendly performance: December 13 at 11:00 am
    Please call 301-280-1660 for more information and to ensure proper seat location.
  • ASL-interpreted performance: December 13 at 4:00 pm
    Please call 301-280-1660 for more information and to ensure proper seat location.
  • Saturday Night Holiday Card Decorating: December 19 at 7:00 pm
    Decorate a card for a loved one for Snail to send on your behalf, or design your own snowflake!

All photos by Margot Schulman courtesy of Imagination Stage.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets in exchange for my honest review.


Allison writes about life at home in the Maryland suburbs at Home and Never Alone. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.