Mr. Toad coming to Grand Forks

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
February 14th, 2012

Young, old and every age in between fans of Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame won’t want to miss Rivers’ Edge Theatre Society’s latest production.

Toad of Toad Hall, a play adaptation of Wind in the Willows by A.A. Milne of Winnie the Pooh fame, features everything a great play needs — wonderful costumes, music, dancing, singing, an energetic main character, adventure, suspense and a great escape.

Toad, played by Gary Smith, is a wealthy English squire and owner of Toad Hall. He is impulsive, which gets him and his friends, Rat, Badger and Mole, into lots of trouble. Follow Toad as he embarks on his many adventures including a wild car ride, imprisonment and his great escape, only to find his beloved Toad Hall taken over by weasels.

“Toad is outrageous,” said Smith. “It’s just good to be free to have fun (as Toad).”

Smith has been involved with the River’s Edge Theatre since Fiddler on the Roof. He not only acts, but has also directed and produced. He was approached by the society to be Toad.

“I just really enjoy acting,” said Smith. “It’s such a blast. It is a lot of hardwork but the reward is in the audience and their applause is intoxicating.”

“Toad of Toad Hall is such a family thing and Wind in the Willows is such a classic,” said Smith. “It’s about friendship, loyalty and fun.”

The Rivers’ Edge Theatre production includes 22 actors between the ages of six and 73 who depict 31 colourful animal characters.

Toad of Toad Hall is in celebration of the Rivers’ Edge Theatre Society’s 20th Anniversary.

Showing for three days only at Grand Forks Secondary School Auditorium on Thursday Feb. 16 and Friday Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets available at Gallery 2, Thistlepot Gifts and at the door. Ticket prices are adults $15, students $10 and for families $40.