Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another show...another set of reviews

Cardinal Stage opened its holiday family musical A Year with Frog and Toad last Friday night. The Herald-Times' declared that the Buskirk-Chumley Theater was "thoroughly invaded by giddy, laughing adults and their children" and WFIU called Cardinals' Frog and Toad "a magically realized production."
In his Herald-Times review, Glenn Kaufmann has more to say:
Hard on the heels of its acclaimed production of Unveiling, Cardinal Stage has once again shown its ability to mindfully produce thought-provoking, visually inventive, yet universally appealing theater. From the minute you enter the lobby, where children are presented with frog beanbags, you can't help but get caught up in the kid-friendly ambiance. And once you enter the already enchanting Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Gordon Strain's nuanced and deliciously textured sets spirit you away. Alexandra Morphet's clever costumes manage to keep children giggling and parents laughing.

WFIU's George Walker agrees, calling the set "eye catching" and the costumes "colorful and imaginative." Mr. Walker goes on to add that Esther Widlandski's "lively choreography" was "just the right mix of simplicity and cleverness."

Both reviewers also weigh in on the acting. Mr. Kaufmann notes that, "Mike Price (Frog) and Chris Aruffo (Toad) do a fantastic job of portraying their parts, but more important, have chemistry that makes their friendship seem a living, breathing entity all its own — almost a third character on stage." Mr. Walker adds that, "Mike Price was a totally engaging as Frog and was equally matched by his slightly shyer but still outgoing friend Toad played by Chris Aruffo." Walker adds that, "Anjanette Armstrong, Phoebe Spier and Alex Shotts made up the trio of birds who dramatically and tunefully set the seasons of the year," and "Shotts had the repeat comic turns of the night as the slow moving, but dedicated 'snail with the mail.'"

Mr. Kauffmann adds that A Year with Frog and Toad has "a very tight ensemble that is capable of simultaneously entertaining the children and imparting just the right measure of seriousness when the moment calls for it." Kaufmann concludes by saying that, "in the end, White and his team have done a remarkable job creating a "children's" play that is a visual treat, teaches children (and adults) a number of life lessons, and is just plain fun to watch. ?
While the kids in the audience were the focus of the evening, Mr. Walker concludes his glowing review by noting that, "it was the greyer heads that started the standing ovation at the curtain call." Cardinal Stage's production of A Year with Frog and Toad is definitely for all ages!
A Year with Frog and Toad plays the Buskirk-Chumley this Friday at 7:30pm and Saturday at 2pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the Sunrise Box Office (812 323 3020), bloomingtonarts.info, and at Bloomingfoods East.

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