Catch Me If You Can Books Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre

By Adam Hetrick
September 29, 2010

Catch Me If You Can, the new Broadway musical from the hit-makers behind Hairspray, will play the Neil Simon Theatre beginning March 7, 2011, its producers announced.



Producers previously announced that Catch Me If You Can would play a Nederlander house, leading theatre insiders to speculate whether it would book the Neil Simon (where Hairspray played a seven-year run). The new musical, directed by Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, will officially open April 10, 2011.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom sequel, Love Never Dies, was previously announced to play the Neil Simon. O'Brien and Mitchell were also previously announced to stage the Broadway production of Love Never Dies, which is currently running in London. There have been reports that O'Brien and Mitchell have withdrawn from the project.

Hairspray songwriters Shaiman and Wittman penned the score to Catch Me If You Can, based on the DreamWorks film of the same name (and the autobiography by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding). Margo Lion and Hal Luftig are lead producers of the Broadway show.

Catch Me If You Can, according to 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."

The musical was seen in an earlier incarnation in late 2009 at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, where Hairspray also played its pre-Broadway tryout. The Seattle premiere cast of Catch Me If You Can featured Norbert Leo Butz as FBI Fraud Agent Carl Hanratty, Aaron Tveit as Frank, Tom Wopat as Frank Sr., Kerry Butler as Brenda, Linda Hart as Carol, Rachel deBenedet as Paula, Nick Wyman as Roger and Felicia Finley as Cherll Ann.

The premiere had scenic design by Tony nominee David Rockwell, costume design by Bob Mackie, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner, orchestrations by Marc Shaiman and Larry Blank, and music direction by John McDaniel, who led an on-stage orchestra.

Casting and an on-sale ticket date will be announced shortly.