"Live in Living Color": Catch Me If You Can Lands on Broadway March 11

By Adam Hetrick
11 Mar 2011

Tom Wopat and Aaron Tveit perform at a Feb. 10 press preview.
Tom Wopat and Aaron Tveit perform at a Feb. 10 press preview.
Photo by Krissie Fullerton

A con man's life story is given the 1960's television variety treatment in Catch Me If You Can, the new musical from Tony Award-winning Hairspray songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, which begins Broadway previews March 11 at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Based on the DreamWorks film of the same name (and the autobiography by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding), Catch Me If You Can reunites Shaiman and Wittman with Tony-winning Hairspray director Jack O'Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who both stage the musical. The musical has a book by Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally (Master Class, Ragtime).

Catch Me If You Can will officially open April 10 at the Neil Simon, where the creative team's hit musical Hairspray enjoyed a seven-year run. Catch Me If You Can was seen in an earlier incarnation in late 2009 at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, where Hairspray also played its pre-Broadway try-out. Much of the principal cast from the Seattle premiere returns for the Broadway run. Lead producers are Margo Lion and Hal Luftig.

Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Wicked) stars as suave, young con artist Frank Abagnale, who finagles his way to becoming an airline pilot, lawyer and doctor, and journeys across the world in search of fortune and adventure, all while eluding the FBI. Even the Feds ultimately fall for his charms.



"There's something about the magic of a storyteller, this character, who can will beautiful girls to appear. It's the 'silver-tongue' of it that's so entrancing," Wittman told Playbill.com. "It's the power of a boy's imagination that wills all of this to happen." Shaiman added, "He's seeing his story be told as if it's on a fabulous television spectacular." 

Norbert Leo Butz
photo by Krissie Fullerton

Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Is He Dead?) stars as FBI Fraud Agent Carl Hanratty who pursues Abagnale, Jr. and ultimately becomes a sort of father figure to the young fugitive.

The cast also features Tom Wopat (Sondheim on Sondheim, Annie Get Your Gun) as Frank Sr., Kerry Butler (Xanadu, Hairspray) as Brenda, Rachel de Benedet (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Paula Abagnale, Linda Hart (Hairspray) as Carol Strong and Nick Wyman (Tale of Two Cities) as Roger Strong.

The Catch Me If You Can ensemble includes Joe Cassidy, Timothy McCuen Piggee, Brandon Wardell, Sara Andreas, Alex Ellis, Will Erat, Jennifer Frankel, Lisa Gajda, Bob Gaynor, Kearran Giovanni, Nick Kenkel, Grasan Kingsberry, Michael X. Martin, Aleks Pevec, Kristin Piro, Rachelle Rak, Joe Aaron Reid, Angie Schworer, Sabrina Sloan, Sarrah Strimel, Charlie Sutton, Katie Webber and Candice Marie Woods.

The Broadway production has design by David Rockwell, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting by Kenneth Posner and sound design by Steve Kennedy.  

Catch Me If You Can, according to the producers, "captures the astonishing true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a world-class con artist who passed himself off as a doctor, a lawyer, and a jet pilot — all before the age of 21. With straight-arrow FBI agent Carl Hanratty on Frank's trail, we're off on a jet-setting, cat-and-mouse chase, as a jazzy, swinging-sixties score keeps this adventure in constant motion. In the end, Agent Hanratty learns he and Frank aren't so very different after all, and Frank finds out what happens when love catches up to a man on the run."

For tickets phone (877) 250-2929 or visit Ticketmaster.

The Neil Simon Theatre is located at 250 W. 52nd Street.

Watch a musical preview of the show: