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Feb 2, 2013

Catch Me If You Can: Opening Night

By Michal Jansen Miller


Before the curtain went up last night at the Lexington Opera House for this weekend’s run of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, the cast and crew gathered around a designer cake from a local bakery to toast the tour’s landmark 100th performance. By the end of the evening, jam-packed with high flying production numbers accompanied by a first-class on stage orchestra, eye-popping state of the art technical bells and whistles, and a standing ovation from the blizzard-braving Thursday night audience, it was clear this tour has something worth celebrating.

The mood is set early-on when the opening number “Live in Living Color” reveals a mammoth wave-like orchestra bandstand that runs the entire length of the stage and required special equipment to load into the Opera House. The inventive way the action plays out on and around this eye-popping center piece is a stunning theatrical innovation that Broadway audiences never got to experience. The “wave” as it has been nicknamed by the cast and crew, was used in the original Seattle production but not in New York. Its return to the show is one of several elements the Broadway creative team made for this exclusive touring production.

Lavish production numbers that bring to mind the best of 1960′s TV variety specials are the musical highlight. Chorus girls and guys go from groovy retro Dean Martin Gold Diggers to Pan Am stewardesses to kitschy kitten-y nurses throughout the evening. It’s clear Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the dynamic duo behind Hairspray, were determined to bring the success they had in that show’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat” to CATCH ME. It may prove borderline overkill to some, but I loved every cheeky kickline. Broadway musicals can never have too many kicklines. Ever.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN runs through Sunday afternoon at the Lexington Opera House. If you’ve been wanting to see a truly fresh-from-Broadway tour on our local stage, this is your chance. Take it.


INSIDER TIP: Those unfamiliar with the source material will want to check out the two-page “real story of Frank Abagnale Jr.” that appears near the back of the program when you settle into your seat. There’s a LOT of story to tell here, and that will give you some
good context if you need it.