The Frogs


Writers: Burt Shevelove Nathan Lane Stephen Sondheim


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Aristophanes' The Frogs
Number of Acts
First Produced
Fairy Tale/Fantasy, Comedy
Fantasy/Imaginary, Period
Time & Place
Ancient Greece
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Musical Staging
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, High School, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, young adult, elderly, late teen characters


The Frogs is a musical based on the Ancient Greek comedy of the same name written by Aristophanes in 405 BC. The story of Dionysus’ quest to bring Euripides back from the dead has been "freely adapted" by Stephen Sondheim and Burt Shevelove, and then “even more freely adapted” by Nathan Lane in 2004.

In the musical retelling of the story, Dionysus, has lost faith in mankind as he watched the Peloponnesian War rage on and on. He decides that the only solution is to travel to Hades with his loyal servant, Xanthias, to bring back his favorite writer--George Bernard Shaw--whose writing will inspire mankind to end their foolish battle. Hilarity ensues, as Dionysos receives advice on how to man-up from his half-brother Herakles and faces his biggest fear in the River Styx...frogs! Once in Hades, Dionysos must turn a blind eye to the fine women and fine wine and complete his mission. Tensions rise as Shaw takes on William Shakespeare in a fierce battle of words, with the winner being awarded the honor of reincarnation. With a witty score, trademark Sondheim harmonies, and a ton of physical comedy, The Frogs is a rollicking musical that offers a serious message on the important role of the arts in a struggling world.

Lead Characters

The Frogs guide sections