BANGOR, Maine — Penobscot Theatre continues its 35th anniversary season with two productions for the holiday season — the Tony-nominated family musical “A Year With Frog and Toad,” and the uproarious comedy for mature audiences, “A Tuna Christmas.”
The productions run through Dec. 23 at the historic Bangor Opera House, 131 Main St.
Based on the beloved children’s books written by Arnold Lobel, “A Year With Frog and Toad” follows the fun-filled antics of anxious Toad and his dapper best friend Frog over a year. The jazzy score and pure joy of the show have been delighting family audiences on Broadway and around the country since 2002.
“A Tuna Christmas,” one of the irreverent plays from the Greater Tuna canon, features all the citizens who live in the third-smallest town in Texas, all portrayed by just two actors.
Scott RC Levy, Penobscot Theatre’s producing artistic director, and Nathan Halvorson, resident director, bring the entire town to life.
As for performing with Halvorson, Levy said, “After each of us performed solo in ‘The Santaland Diaries’ over the last two years, it’s now time to put us two together. Texas, here we come!” The two will be directed by Joye Cook-Levy, the theater’s director of education and outreach. “A Year With Frog and Toad” is directed and choreographed by Halvorson.
As a bonus to this year’s family musical, Saturdays, Dec. 13 and 20, will be sponsored by Camden National Bank Day. Every child who comes to see “A Year With Frog and Toad” will receive a gift-filled tote bag courtesy of the production sponsor.
The Edythe L. Dyer Community Library in Hampden will hold a “Fun With Frog and Toad” Day at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the library. Stories, games, crafts, cookies and a chance to win tickets to the show will be available.
With a cast featuring local musical theater favorites and Penobscot Theatre veterans Dominick Varney, Hans-Stefan Ducharme, Ben Layman, Rebecca Bailey and Christie Robinson, the show is guaranteed to warm hearts of all ages.
“I’ve been hearing for a while that our audience wants more productions appropriate for the whole family,” Levy said. “Everyone will get their wish with the charming, witty musical ‘A Year with Frog and Toad.’ My 3-year-old has been singing the songs for the last six months — and so have I. Our five student matinees sold out months ago, so get your tickets early!”
“A Year With Frog and Toad” is made possible in part through the support of production sponsor Camden National Bank. Granville Stone & Hearth supports “A Tuna Christmas” as production sponsor. Support for these productions also comes from Penobscot Theatre’s season hospitality and media sponsors The Charles Inn, WLBZ NewsCenter 2, Bangor Daily News, The Maine Edge, WKIT-FM 100.3, Blueberry Broadcasting and the Cumulus Radio Network.
“A Year with Frog and Toad” will be presented at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 10-12, and Thursday and Tuesday, Dec. 18 and 23; at noon and 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 and 20; and 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14 and 21. Tickets range in price from $15 to $40, $14 to those under 12.
“A Tuna Christmas” will presented at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, and Friday and Saturday, Dec. 19-20; 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14 and 21; and 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 16-17, and Monday, Dec. 22. Tickets are $15 to $35.
Tickets are available at 942-3333 or visit www.penobscottheatre.org.