The Frogs  

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Written in 405 B.C. by Aristophanes
Freely Adapted in 1974 by Burt Shevelove

1974 Yale University Production

Opened May 20, 1974 at the Yale University Swimming Pool
Ran for 8 performances
Produced by the Yale Repertory Theatre
Staged by Burt Shevelove
Choreographed by Carmen de Lavallade
Scenery Designed by Michael H. Yeargan
Costumes by Jeanne Button
Lighting by Carol M. Waaser
Selections from Shakespeare and Shaw Selected and
Arranged by Michael Feingold
Musical Direction by Don Jennings
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick


Dionysos - Larry Blyden
Xanthias - Michael Vale
Herakles - Dan Desmond
Charon - Charles Levin
Hierophantes - Ron Recasner
Aeakos - Alvin Epstein
A Handmaiden - Carmen de Lavallade
An Innkeeper's Wife - Carmen de Lavallade
An Innkeeper - Stephen R. Lawson
Pluto - Jeremy Dempsey
William Shakespeare - Jerome Geidt
Bernard Shaw - Anthony Holland

Guards - Joseph Costa, Jonathan Marks, Gil Rochon III, Paul Schierhorn

Flagbearers - Christopher Brown, Darryl Hill

Singers - Joan Berliner, Peter Bogyo, Alma Cuervo, Franchelle Stewart Dorn, Christopher Durang, Beth Hatton, Brock Holmes, Richard Larsen, Stephen R. Lawson, Susan LeFevre, Robert Picardo, Ron Recasner, Gil Rochon III, Stephen Rowe, Jeremy Smith, Kate McGregor-Stewart, Meryl Streep, David Thomas, Scott Ulmer, Bob Van Nest, Sigourney Weaver, and Donald Woodall

Dancers - Diana Belshaw, Linda K. Harold, Ron Porter, Nora Peterson, Diana Raffman, Susan Strassburger, Alfonso Wilson, and Kathryn Woglom

Frogs - Steve Edelson, Wade Agurcia, Michael Armstrong, Robert Barnett, Michael Cadden, Jack Callahan, Gary Cavaliere, Peter Crawford, David B. Fisher, Ed Hornsby, Alexander Lawler, Quentin Lawler, Frank Lawlor, Kevin Lawlor, Dave Lichten, Pat Monahan, Ralph Redpath, Curt Sanburn, Ted Stein, Jose A. Taboada, and Richard Taus

Musical Numbers

  • Fanfare - Orchestra
  • "Prologos: Invocation to the Gods and Instructions to the Audience" - Dionysos and Xanthias
  • Travel Music [chant] - Frogs
  • "Parodos: The Frogs" - Frogs
  • "Hymnos: Evoe!" - Dionysians
  • "Parabasis: It's Only a Play" - Dionysians
  • "Paean: Evoe for the Dead"
  • "Invocation to the Muses" - Dionysians and Dionysos
  • "Fear No More" - Shakespeare
  • "Exodos: The Sound of Poets" Dionysians

1990 Old Brentford Baths Production

The European Premiere

Opened July 24, 1990 at the Old Brentford Baths, West London UK
Ran for ? performances
Produced by COEX [Community Opera in Ealing Experience]
Directed by John Gardyne
Choreographed by Ron Howell
Production Designed by Allison Hughes
Lighting by Chris Jones
Musical Direction by Helen Porter


Dionysos - Richard Zajdlic
Xanthias - Bob Husson
Herakles - Ian Temple
Charon - Steve Pavey
Virilla - Anne O'Brien
Charisma - Bronwen James
Aeakos - Peter Saracen
Bernard Shaw - Rory Johnstone
Pluto - John Sheppard
William Shakespeare - Geoff Sanders

Frogs, Dionysians, Guards - Lesley Allen, Karen Beattie, Jennifer Cowasji, Anne-Marie Denyer, Natasha Dilleyston, Evelyn Felton, Catherine Gerrard, Jenny Grady, Krystle Kyriacou, Maroushka Lawrence, Wendy Babbage, Katherine Lanham, Emily Newington, Marian Nicholson, Jayne Robinson, Stephen Barlow, Mike Fox, Geoffrey Williams, Paul James, Michael Kirkwood, Richard Mehr, and Peter Worthington

Musical Numbers

  • "Prologos: Invocation to the Gods and Instructions to the Audience" - Dionysos and Xanthias
  • "Parodos: The Frogs" - Frogs
  • "Hymnos: Evoe!" - Dionysians
  • "Parabasis: It's Only a Play" - Dionysians
  • "Invocation to the Muses" - Dionysians and Dionysos
  • "Exodos: The Sound of Poets" Dionysians

2000 Library of Congress Concert Version

One performance on May 22, 2000 at the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress, Washington DC
Master of Ceremonies: Nathan Lane
Musical Director: Paul Gemignani
Stage Director: Kathleen Marshall
Orchestrator: Jonathan Tunick
Choral Preparation: Norman Scribner
Concertmaster: Suzanne Ornstein
Pianist: Paul Ford


Davis Gaines
Nathan Lane
Brian Stokes Mitchell

Musical Numbers

  • "Prologos: Invocation and Instructions to the Audience" - Nathan Lane and Brian Stokes Mitchell
  • "Traveling Music" - Chorus
  • "Parados: The Frogs" - Chorus with Nathan Lane and Brian Stokes Mitchell
  • "Hymnos: Evoe!" - Chorus
  • "Parabasis: It's Only a Play" - Soloists and Chorus
  • "Evoe for the Dead" - Chorus
  • "Invocation to the Muses" - Chorus with Nathan Lane
  • "Fear No More" - Davis Gaines
  • "Exodos: The Sound of Poets" - Chorus

2001 Studio Recording

The Frogs / Evening Primrose

The Frogs / Evening Primrose
Produced by Tommy Krasker
Recorded June 12, 2000 at The Hit Factory, NYC
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Conducted by Paul Gemignani

  • Compact Disc, 2001 [Nonesuch 79638] (46:41 mins.)

Cast: Nathan Lane, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Davis Gaines


Fanfare, Prologos: Invocation and Instructions to the Audience - Nathan Lane and Brian Stokes Mitchell, Traveling Music - Chorus, Parados: The Frogs - Chorus, Hymnos: Evoe! - Chorus, Dialogue: "Pluto!", Parabasis: It's Only a Play - Chorus, Dialogue: "That Was Some Banquet!", Evoe for the Dead - Chorus, Invocation to the Muses - Chorus, Fear No More - Davis Gaines, Exodos: The Sound of Poets - Chorus

Also includes the four songs from Evening Primrose

2004 Lincoln Center Production

This version was "even more freely adapted by Nathan Lane"

Previews began June 22, 2004 at the Lincoln Center Theater at the Vivian Beaumont
Opened July 22, 2004; closed October 10, 2004
Ran for 32 previews and 92 performances
Produced by the Lincoln Center under the direction of
André Bishop and Bernard Gersten
in association with Bob Boyett
Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman
Set Design by Giles Cadle
Costume Design by William Ivey Long
Lighting Design by Kenneth Posner
Sound Design by Scott Lehrer
Dance and Music Arrangements by Glen Kelly
Special Effects by Gregory Meeh
Puppet Design by Martin P. Robinson
Associate Director and Choreographer: Tara Young
Musical Direction by Paul Gemignani
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick


Dionysos - Nathan Lane
Xanthias - Roger Bart [replaced Chris Kattan on July 15, 2004]
Herakles - Burke Moses
Charon / Aeakos - John Byner
Pluto - Peter Bartlett
George Bernard Shaw - Daniel Davis
William Shakespeare - Michael Siberry

A Greek Chorus / A Splash of Frogs / A Revel of Dionysians -
Ryan L. Ball, Bryn Dowling, Rebecca Eichenberger, Meg Gillentine,
Pia C. Glenn, Tyler Hanes, Francesca Harper, Rod Harrelson,
Jessica Howard, Naomi Kakuk, Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua, Luke Longacre,
David Lowenstein, Kathy Voytko, Steve Wilson, Jay Brian Winnick
Fire Belly Dancing Frogs - Ryan L. Ball, Luke Longacre
Three Graces - Meg Gillentine, Jessica Howard, Naomi Kakuk
Handmaiden Charisma - Bryn Bowling
Virilla, the Amazon - Pia C. Glenn
Ariadne - Kathy Voytko
Pluto's Hellraisers - Bryn Dowling, Meg Gillentine,
Francesca Harper, Jessica Howard, Naomi Kakuk
Shavians - Rebecca Eichenberger, Meg Gillentine, Tyler Hanes,
Francesca Harper, David Lowenstein, Jay Brian Winnick

Musical Numbers

Act One

  • "Invocation and Instructions to the Audience" - 1st Actor, 2nd Actor, Greek Chorus
  • "I Love to Travel" - Dionysos, Xanthias, Greek Chorus
  • "Dress Big" - Herakles, Dionysos, Xanthias
  • "I Love to Travel" (reprise) - Dionysos, Xanthias
  • "All Aboard" - Charon
  • "Ariadne" - Dionysos
  • "The Frogs" - Dionysos, A Splash of Frogs, Fire Belly Bouncing Frogs

Act Two

  • Hymn to Dionysos - 3 Graces, Dionysians, Dionysos, Xanthias
  • "Hades" - Pluto & The Hellraisers
  • "It's Only a Play" - Greek Chorus
  • "Shaw" - Dionysos, Shaw, Shavians
  • "All Aboard" (reprise) - Charon
  • "Fear No More" - Shakespeare
  • Hymn to Dionysos (reprise) - Greek Chorus
  • "Final Instructions to the Audience" - Company


The Frogs (2004 Broadway Cast Recording)

The Frogs - The Broadway Cast Recording
Produced by Tommy Krasker
Executive Producers: Philip A. Chaffin & Tommy Krasker
Recorded and Mixed by Tom Lazarus
Conducted by Paul Gemignani
Music Preparation by Katharine L. Edmonds
Recorded October 12, 2004 at the Hit Factory NYC
Liner Notes by Wendy Wasserstein and Nathan Lane
Synopsis by Ira Weitzman
Lyrics included

  • Compact Disc, 2005 [PS Classics PS-525] (56:47 mins.)


Opening Fanfare (1:18), Invocations and Instruction to the Audience (3:44), "It is time we start our journey" (0:38), I Love to Travel (4:02), Dress Big (3:52), I Love to Travel (reprise) (1:13), All Aboard (1:36), On the River Styx (1:21), Ariadne (3:35), The Frogs (7:26), Hymn to Dionysos (5:59), Hades (4:10), It's Only a Play (4:33), Shaw (4:16), The Contest (1:39), Fear No More (2:05), All Aboard (reprise) (0:41), Hymn to Dionysos (reprise) (2:48), Final Instructions to the Audience (1:42)

Recordings of Songs

  • Chicago: Dramatic Publishing Co., 1975; 126 pp.
Score [selections]
  • Milwaukee: Hal Leonard HL 00313473 [ISBN: 978-1-4234-8443-1] January 2011; 48 pp.; $17.99 [forthcoming, selections to be determined]

Performance rights for the original version controlled by Dramatic Publishing Co.
Performance rights for the Broadway version controlled by Music Theatre International

Top of The Frogs

Last modified on Sunday, April 6, 2014
Compiled by Michael H. Hutchins