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A Family Musical
Words by Liz Peterson and Kenneth Grahame
Music by Liz Peterson

The wealthy, spoiled, and wildly enthusiastic Mr. Toad of Toad Hall takes up a new hobby—motorcars—and terrorizes the once-peaceful English countryside along the Thames. His friends, Rat, Badger, and Mole, try to talk sense to him to no avail. As a last resort, they lock him in his bedroom. He escapes and "borrows" a motorcar without asking, and that’s when the real trouble begins.

The cast size is flexible. There have been concert versions done successfully with a cast of 8 and the full-length version done successfully with a cast of 60. The sets and costumes can be simple, elaborate, or somewhere in between. Your call.

The accompaniment CD, by Duane Nelson, is easy to use because actors can practice the songs at home and know exactly what the accompaniment will sound like. The piano/vocal score, by Liz Peterson, is more flexible, since a good pianist can support the singers and fill in background music wherever needed. The new orchestration, by Stuart Leitch, gives an exciting new dimension to a full-scale production.

A Note from Liz Peterson

Over the years I’ve seen countless performances of the show, and I love seeing so many people, actors and audience, young and old, form an intimate relationship with a wonderful classic. But I keep asking myself why this old story still has such broad appeal. Recently I’ve figured out the answer. Most of us have, among our friends and acquaintances, a mole, a water rat, a badger, and a toad. Water Rat is the close friend we can count on. Mole is sweet and innocent, enthusiastic about everything and everybody. Badger is the bossy, pedantic soul who rarely smiles and is always telling us how we should live our lives. Toad is the wild fellow who is constantly stirring things up and bringing excitement into our lives. The world is full of these characters, and that’s why, if actors are type-cast, they find it easy to get into their parts.

Pendragon Theatre, Saranac Lake, NY  Photography By Burdette Parks

Photo by Burdette Parks

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