Can reviewing musicals become our professional career? As some of you know, we were invited to attend the opening night of Catch Me If You Can at the Orpheum Theatre here in Minneapolis. Let us be the first to tell you – the show is fantastic. The powerhouse vocals, original scores, flashy costumes, incredible set and storyline all stole our hearts (pun intended). We even loved the leggy ensemble girls who after the opening number somehow managed to never wear pants again.
This show is brought to us by the Steven Speilbergs of the Broadway world, Marc Shaiman & Scott Whittman. The plot showcases Frank Abagnale Jr.’s story and his rise to becoming a world-renown conman by the age of just 21-years-old. This is cleverly done by framing his life as a series of flashbacks on his own ’60s TV variety show. The show is vibrant and well-constructed, with upbeat song-and-dance numbers that had us on the edge of our seats as well as ballads that came close to bringing tears to our eyes. The magic of the orchestra was brought front-and-center as they were incorporated into the set itself; we were able to watch with pleasure as the pianist rocked out at his post and gave a hearty fist pump after a great opening number for Act 2. We of course also paid particular attention to the costume design which paid homage to the ’60s but with a modern touch – we often caught ourselves wishing we could run out and buy the pieces being worn onstage.
Catch Me If You Can moves along at a brisk pace, but not once were we confused by the real-life intricacies of the story, something which we can’t imagine to have been an easy task. We suspect the actual events to have had many more twists & turns than what would be possible to squeeze into a 1.5 hour show, but what we were able to digest during that time was brilliant. And truthfully, never have our minds felt more ordinary.
After the show the real Frank Abagnale Jr., who was in town by sheer luck, graciously addressed the crowd with a Q & A session. Despite his book being one of the top sellers on the New York Times list and Leonardo DiCaprio playing him in what some are calling Leo’s best role during his adult career – Abagnale is a humble man. He answered questions from how he told his sons about his past to what type of car he drove during his heyday and what masquerade of a career he enjoyed the most (pilot). He attributes much of his success to being a young kid with little fear. We call it being a charismatic, quick-thinking genius. He is now one of the world’s most respected authorities on the subjects of forgery, embezzlement & secure documents. And that’s just impressive. Our berets are off to you, Mr. Abagnale.
There’s still time to see the show. Catch Me If You Can will be in Minneapolis through this Sunday, December 16th. For our friends elsewhere, you can find the rest of the tour dates here: http://broadwaytour.net/catch-me-if-you-can-tour
We think there are fewer things more chic than the gift of music this holiday season.