Wheels Up: Catch Me If You Can, Starring Aaron Tveit and Norbert Leo Butz, Opens On Broadway

News   Wheels Up: Catch Me If You Can, Starring Aaron Tveit and Norbert Leo Butz, Opens On Broadway
Aaron Tveit is a young con man with the golden touch who sets out to charm Broadway audiences in Catch Me If You Can, the new musical by Hairspray songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and playwright Terrence McNally that officially opens April 10 at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Aaron Tveit in Catch Me If You Can
Aaron Tveit in Catch Me If You Can Photo by Joan Marcus

Much of the creative team behind the 2002 Tony Award-winning hit Hairspray have reunited for Catch Me If You Can, including Tony-winning director Jack O'Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. Set within the frame of a 1960's television variety show, Catch Me If You Can began previews March 11.

Also on board are the original Hairspray creative team, including scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer William Ivey Long, lighting designer Kenneth Posner and sound designer Steve Kennedy.

Based on the DreamWorks film of the same name (and the autobiography by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding), Catch Me If You Can has a score by Tony winners Shaiman (music/lyrics) and Wittman (lyrics) and a book by Tony winner McNally (Master Class, Ragtime).

The musical arrives on Broadway following a run in late 2009 at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, where Hairspray also played its pre-Broadway tryout. Lead producers are Margo Lion and Hal Luftig.

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.

Norbert Leo Butz
photo by Joan Marcus

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.

"It's more adult and sexy," Shaiman said in an interview with Playbill.com. "Hairspray was completely innocent and more girlie.... It's a very male-driven kind of score because the principals — Frank, Frank's father and the detective — are men. If Hairspray was Sixteen magazine, Catch Me If You Can is Playboy."

"I was attracted to the imagery initially," Wittman added. "Then, as I watched it, I realized it spoke to things I wanted to write about and I knew Marc wanted to write about: the notion of family and, when yours doesn't work, you create another one outside of it. It's about fathers and mentors and stewardesses — all those things are floating about. We have, I must say, ten of the most beautiful girls on Broadway."

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.

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:


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