Theater: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (Revised Version at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.)

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by Lamont Williams on January 20, 2022

in Theater-Regional

Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. is presenting a revised version of the much-loved musical Catch Me If You Can, directed by Molly Smith. It will run March 4 – April 17, 2022, in the iconic in-the-round Fichandler Stage; . Smith and Jocelyn Clarke, dramaturg, examined five different versions of the high-flying musical roller coaster to create a new book that focuses on the beating heart of the musical — the relationship between fathers and sons, both biological and created.

Humor, music and dance drive this rousing musical based on true events and a critically acclaimed film. See how charming, young con man Frank Abagnale Jr. posed as an airline pilot, a lawyer and a doctor — and then escaped police custody, all before he turned 22. The Broadway musical comedy is jam-packed with dynamic numbers such as “Don’t Break the Rules,” “Live in Living Color” and “Doctor’s Orders.” Where else but Washington, D.C., could a musical filled with glamour and delight about con men and being conned be the perfect story we need right now?

In Catch Me If You Can, con men are rampant and the 60s are roaring,” says Smith. “Imagine hearing new words from the great Terrence McNally almost two years after his passing. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman‘s dynamic and visceral music takes us to the swinging 60s with a wink towards today. Re-envisioning this musical with the whole creative team has been a distinct pleasure and thrill. In this moment of con men and con women, this is a perfect time to dive into a musical about a young con man who gets caught.”

Shaiman said, “When Arena Stage came to the three of us and asked if there was unused or additional material we might like to see included in their production, we went back to different drafts of the script from the years of the show’s development, and we truly look forward to seeing their unique, revised version of our show!”

Parker Esse‘s choreography is inspired by the essence of Jack Cole jazz and the jazz dance pioneers that followed; it is a love letter to the 1960s imbued with a modern sensibility and filled with athleticism and storytelling. Laura Bergquist‘s musical direction is a mixture of big band and jazz infused with gospel and R&B: energetic, tuneful and fun, while tugging at the heartstrings.

Catch Me If You Can will feature Christian Thompson as Frank Abagnale Jr. and Nehal Joshi as Carl Hanratty, Jeff McCarthy as Frank Sr., Rhett Guter as Roger Strong, Hayley Podschun as Brenda Strong, Alexandra Frohlinger as Carol Strong, and Stephanie Pope as Paula. Ensemble members include Kristin Yancy, Cara Rose DiPietroJeremiah GinnCandice HatakeyamaRyan LambertJody ReynardKyra Louise Smith, and Brett-Marco Glauser. Swings are Brianna Latrash and Bryan Charles Moore.

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