‘The Frogs’ Review: A Fresh Take on West Theatre

This past January, Glenbard West Theatre’s The Frogs had its three-performance run on Thursday the 24th through Saturday the 26th.

The comedy followed the adventures of the Greek god of wine and poetry, Dionysus, and his brainy servant, Xanthias, as the pair attempted to bring back William Shakespeare from Hades’ Underworld in hopes of saving modern entertainment (i.e. Honey Boo Boo, Kim Kardashian). The plan goes awry when the pair is held captive by a mob of crazy frogs who love the exact modern entertainment Dionysus hopes to eliminate. In hopes of escaping, Xanthius offers to bring back Jane Austen, falsely claiming she is the original creator of the reality television shows the frogs love so much. Austen and Shakespeare both fight to return from the Underworld with Dionysus and Xanthias in a hysterical competition.

The show was directed by Mr. Moran, English and theatre teacher. Moran said about his return to the director’s chair: “There’s something about that extracurricular [theatre], whether it’s coaching or directing, where it connects you to the student body on a more human level, and that makes me more passionate in terms of my teaching and it just makes me want to be here.”

When asked why he chose The Frogs as the school’s winter play, Mr. Moran said, “I just wanted to do a big-cast, feel-good show, connect with the kids again, and kind of give them almost like a party-type atmosphere where they could really just enjoy their theatre experience.”

Mr. Moran did exactly that, receiving positive reviews from both audience members and cast members.

Mia Navarro, junior, stated, “I can honestly say that it was one of the most unique shows I’ve ever seen here. Unique in the best way possible.”

Emily Davidson, junior, who played Tomato Frog in the show, said, “Frogs was different from every other show I’ve been in at West because we all had to put in the work to make something that people would laugh at and end the end I could barely stop myself from laughing on stage. It was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had in theatre here.”

I was lucky enough to sit in on and photograph a full run-through rehearsal at the end of December prior to the show’s opening. The most interesting thing was to see the small changes vocally and directionally made by the artists from the practice to the real deal, which I saw on Thursday the 26th, the show’s opening night.