(From left) Mark Persinger plays the King, Christie Jackson is the Princess, Kathy Halenda is the Queen and Alexander Sapp plays Croaker. (Photos courtesy Virginia Repertory Theatre)
When actor/writer Jason Marks and director Debra Clinton’s “Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical” premiered in 2012 at the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC) with a cast of 30 young people in a contemporary re-telling of “The Princess and the Frog,” the positive response affirmed the material.
A Kickstarter campaign followed to record the original cast, complemented by adult singers. “And then we got busy with other things,” Clinton says, but she credits Virginia Repertory’s associate artistic director, Chase Kniffen, with advocating the piece for the production. Now an 11-member adult cast playing multiple roles puts the show through its swift paces, with music ranging from vaudeville to power ballads.
“It’s very singable music,” Clinton says, “and that’s why people are drawn to it.”
Like the best of these entertainments for the 'tween and below set, there’s humor that both the kids and parents can enjoy. The production runs at Virginia Rep’s Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn from March 11 to April 17. $20. 282-2620 or va-rep.org.