At first I was skeptical if the 2002 Spielberg film about the teenage con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr., would be able to successfully transplant to a musical, but I was wrong. I enjoyed it so much that I was clapping and tapping my feet along with many of the audience. I particularly enjoyed the song "Fly, Fly Away by Aubrey Mae Davis, which wowed the audience, as did "Butter Outta Cream" by Frank Sr and Jr., and "Doctor's Orders," by the nurses, but in fact all the music was great.
It's true that the teenage con stole over two million dollars, but even as a scoundrel, he was well-liked and later spent most of his adult years assisting the FBI in catching fraud and other cons.
Written by award winning Terrance McNally and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell with direction by Jack O'Brien, the play Catch Me If You Can is featured now at the Pantages theatre in Hollywood. The upbeat and energetic music was scored by Marc Sherman and Scott Wittman. Larry Blank supervised the music and Matthew Smedal was music director while Talitha Fehr and TL Music International coordinated the songs.
Staring Stephen Anthony as Frank Abagnale, Jr, who captures the essence of the boy thief with his great acting and fabulous voice.
He is joined by Dominic Fortuna as Frank Abagnale, Sr., and Caitlin Maloney as Paula (the mother.) Merritt David Janes plays Carl Hanratty, the FBI agent always on Frank's tail. The rest of the cast include Aubrey Mae Davis (Brenda Strong, the love interest), D. Scott Withers (Roger Strong) , Travis Mitchellas (Agent Branton), Ben Laxton (Agent Dollar), Derrick Parks (Agent Codd), Esther M Antoine, Amanda Braun, Ashley Chasteen Taylor Collins, Vanessa Dunleavy, Michael Graceffa, Collen Hayes, Mary Claire King, Trevor Leadergrand, Casey Renee Rogers. Daniel J Self, Allyson Tolbert, Nadia Vynnytsky, and Bradley Allan Zarr as the talented dancers and singers joining the crew.
The excellent scenic design and easy transitions were done by David Rockwell and superb costuming by William Ivey Long with lighting by Kenneth Posner. Sound design was by Peter McBoyle.
The orchestra included Stephen Boudreau, Dick Mitchell, John Yoakum, Adam Schroeder, John Fumo, Larry Hall, Andy Martin, Paul Viapiano, Cliffon Kellem, Christian Dionne, Dave Witham, with Brian Miller as the local contractor.
While it varies slightly from the movie, it's nevertheless and excellent entertainment investment.
The performances are held Tuesday through Friday 8 pm, Saturdays 2 and 8 pm, and Sundays at 1 and 6:30 pm. Orchestra tickets start at $25. The Pantages is located at 6233 Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles. The play only runs til March 24, 2013, so see if while it's still here. Call 800-982 2787.