REVIEW: Catch Me If You Can

photo by Carol Rosegg

Last night was opening night for the musical, Catch Me If You Can, at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.  After my disappointment with Elf the Musical, I was concerned that Catch Me If You Can would be another movie adaptation that fell short.  I’m pleased to report that this was not the case!  After the first number, I had a huge smile on my face because I knew it was going fantastic.

For those of you unfamiliar with the movie or the plot…

Based on the hit DreamWorks film and the incredible true story that inspired it, Catch Me If You Can is the high-flying, splashy new Broadway musical that tells the story of Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who runs away from home in search of the glamorous life. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer – living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. But when Frank’s lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, Carl chases Frank to the end…and finds something he never expected. This delightfully entertaining musical has been created by a Tony Award-winning “dream team” with a book by Terrence McNally (The Full MontyRagtime), a swinging score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray), choreography by Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray,Legally Blonde) and direction by Jack O’Brien (HairsprayThe Full MontyDirty Rotten Scoundrels).

Catch Me If You Can was adapted brilliantly for the stage.  Scenes and scenery change quite frequently, which made the musical fast paced and added to the feeling that there was an actual chase.  This is a musical for those who love a great story.  Even if you don’t care for the swinging, big band-style score, you will still appreciate the fascinating cat-and-mouse plot.  The production is visually exciting and the acting was superb.   Stephen Anthony as Frank Abagnale, Jr. was compelling, charismatic and beautifully human.  He was perfect for the role and really added a lot of depth to the character, but he wasn’t the only one.  Merritt David Janes, who played Carl Hanratty, the FBI agent, and Aubrey Mzae Davis, who played Brenda the nurse, also added their considerable vocal talents in key points.  The musical score was generally upbeat and along with the choreography, it was hard to sit still in your seat.  I was doing a lot of head bopping.  Particularly noteworthy numbers include “Live in Living Color”, attention demanding “Fly, Fly Away” and “Good-Bye”, all of which I’ve already downloaded and listened to on repeat this morning.

Catch Me If You Can is only in town through December 16, 2012.
Tickets start at $34 for the public and $25 Student/Educator rush tickets are available