On Tuesday night some friends and I volunteered with the Hennepin Theater Trust for “Catch Me If You Can”. I knew the shell of the show but decided not to get too acquainted with it before seeing it. Although I usually do research before and after shows, I wanted a bit of a surprise.
“Catch Me If You Can” is a story based on the early life of Frank W. Abagnale. When he was 16 years old he ran away from home because a judge asked him to choose between his parents. In order to survive he became a con artist and posed as a successful pilot, lawyer, and doctor. The show started as a book written by Frank Abagnale about himself. It was turned into a movie which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks which Steven Spielberg directed. Due to it’s great success, it hit the Broadway stage in 2011 with two incredible leading men, Aaron Tveit as Frank and Norbert Leo Butz as Agent Carl Hanratty.
Stephen Anthony who plays Frank Abagnale Jr. had a vocal range that made me think of a younger version mesh between Aaron Tveit (who originated the role on Broadway) and Jeremy Jordan (one of my favorite actors). Stephen just graduated college and although he is young, he did a great job commanding the stage. I enjoyed when he sang “Seven Wonders”. It is a beautiful love song that Frank sings to his girlfriend Brenda. It reminded me of “Bonnie” from “Bonnie and Clyde” which Jeremy Jordan played the role of Clyde. The song says “I’ve seen the seven wonders, if you give or take a few. But all them seven wonders well they can’t compare to you. I’ve been a lot of places. Yes I’ve travelled near and far. But now I know that home is where you are.”
Agent Carl Hanratty did a great job as the cop. His song “Don’t Break the Rules” was a cleverly crafted piece. The lyrics explained that “God’s keeping score, you don’t want to fail that test. The game ain’t worth winnin if we’re breaking all the rules.” It completely embodies the role of a cop because it is all about rules and being in line. One of my favorite songs is the second to last called “Goodbye”. Frank is caught by Agent Hanratty and is taken to jail. It is his “final bow” and his show is over. He realizes this is the end of his games and he needs to pay the price for what he has done.
The ensemble was great. Their dancing was a lot of fun and made the show a true musical. Jeremy Mitchell, the choreographer, did a lovely job. The costume designer, William Ivey Long, arranged the outfits in a very “time period” way. The PAN AM pilot and stewardess costumes were spot on. The girls wore short skirts which showed off their long legs and high kicks.
The orchestra was phenomenal. They were on stage the entire time and made the show for me. I was drawn to their wonderful playing and beautiful notes. During the first act they all had white coats on and switched to black for the second act. Behind them was a screen which projected different places where the scene was taking place. It helped set the stage and explain where in the world things were happening. For example, when Frank was a pilot it displayed planes and when he was in New York City you saw skyscrapers.
After the show there was a Q and A with the real Frank Abagnale. It was very interesting and informational to learn about his life. After serving time in prison the FBI hired him to work on fraud and embezzlement cases. He is married with three sons and has written several books on crime including “Catch Me If You Can”.
“Catch Me If You Can” was another fun show at the Orpheum. The Hennepin Theatre Trust does a wonderful job with picking shows. Up next “Aida” and “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”. I’m looking forward to seeing both! For more information check out their website or give the box office a call: