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GA Voice - - LGBT ATLANTA -

It’s a chil­dren’s show, al­beit one that has a wide ap­peal. The mu­si­cal fol­lows a year in the life of the two char­ac­ters as they grow up and deal with the world around them. Frog is the good-na­tured one of the two, while Toad is grumpy and not al­ways pleas­ant.

“Frog is very ma­ture in con­trast to Toad,” says David­son, who plays Frog. “He knows a lot about the world, about na­ture. He is com­fort­able with him­self and the en­vi­ron­ment around him. He’s very sim­ple, a min­i­mal­ist. Toad, on the other hand, hasn’t fig­ured ev­ery­thing out yet.”

Hinds­man, who plays Toad, agrees the two are com­plete op­po­sites. “Toad is not as clean and quick-wit­ted as Frog is,” he says. “He is slower but quicker to love and ar­rive at an emo­tion. Toad wears his heart on his sleeve. There is no pre­med­i­ta­tion be­fore he does any­thing.” The ac­tor ad­mits he and the char­ac­ter share many char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Hinds­man grad­u­ated from Birm­ing­ham Southern Col­lege in 2014 and moved to At­lanta to go through the Serenbe Play­house ap­pren­tice pro­gram last year. There he was in­volved in shows such as “The Won­der­ful Wiz­ard of Oz,” “Man of La Man­cha,” “Ok­la­homa!” and “Snow Queen.” He was re­cently seen in Ac­tor’s Ex­press’ “Stupid Fuck­ing Bird’ as well as Stage Door Play­ers’ “The Mystery of Ed­win Drood.” A per­former since the age of seven, he calls him­self a mu­si­cal theater nerd, go­ing through months where he is com­pletely ob­sessed with a par­tic­u­lar show.

David­son came out when he was 15, and his fam­ily in­cludes other LGBT mem­bers. He’s been no stranger to gay roles through­out his ca­reer, al­though he says that he didn’t ac­cept this role be­cause of any per­ceived sub­text. He just loved the mu­si­cal and the score.

The orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion of the show teamed gay ac­tors Spencer Stephens and Bryan Mercer and was di­rected by Clint Thorn­ton. It was one of the 2006–2007 theater sea­son’s best shows. It also had some­thing of a gay vibe.

“You can ab­so­lutely pull those un­der­tones from the show—two males rid­ing a sled to­gether,” Hinds­man laughs. “I think it can be mis­con­strued. It’s not the big­ger mean­ing of the show. It’s really the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of th­ese two and their beau­ti­ful friend­ship.”

Dur­ing the course of a year, the two char­ac­ters go through the whole cy­cle of friend­ship—a fight, ex­cite­ment, con­fu­sion, and iso­la­tion. Yet they weather the storm and stay close. Hinds­man feels the mes­sage here is about love and ac­cep­tance. “That is im­por­tant for kids to see and for fam­i­lies as well,” he says. “Th­ese two are very dif­fer­ent, with their own quirks that can frus­trate them. But at a point you say, ‘lf I love this per­son, I can do what I need to do to help them or our re­la­tion­ship.’ If th­ese lit­tle frogs and toads can love and ac­cept each other for who they are, then I can.”

The sub­ject of friend­ship is one that he says is rarely ad­dressed. “You don’t really see male friend­ships de­picted on TV and movies or plays,” he says. “If you see it, it’s the mas­cu­line, ‘Hey bro’ kind. You don’t see the ten­der­ness. This fo­cuses on the ten­der­ness of their friend­ship, the emo­tional needs, what they need and how they give it. You can see the par­al­lels of any friend­ship in the show.”

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