Most of us know someone who is divorced. Divorces often involve kids. The kids often go through an adjustment period, but few kids require an FBI pursuit and end up spending time in prison. Frank Abagnale, Jr. did and became a modern-day legend, memorialized in a book, a 2002 movie and now a musical. The musical, “Catch Me If You Can” is breezing 25-30 June 2013 through Orange County. Go to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts for a fabulously fun time.
And go early. There are three fun activities you can do pre-show to get into the mood. The score by Marc Shaiman with lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman really get you in the mood. Remember, Abagnale committed all this crimes before he was even 21. living on the run from the time his parents divorced at 14.
There’s some dispute about the veracity of all Abagnale’s claims but let’s not go there now. Terrance McNally’s book gives us Abagnale’s capture and then backtracks. We see Frank Abagnale Jr. (Stephen Anthony) as a young man, caught, scared and yet still working his mind around various options and possibilities. Frank Jr.’s nemesis is the dully dressed and dutiful Agent Carl Hanratty (Merritt David Janes). If you’re expecting Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, you might be disappointed. Anthony’s Frank Jr. is geekier than DiCaprio’s and Janes has more opportunities for humor.
Yet this is no ordinary narrative journey to how we got to where the story is going. Adopting the old TV format of a variety show starring Frank Jr. with featured the Frank Abagnale Jr. orchestra and the Frank Abagnale dancers and singers. So if you like sexy girls in that perky 1960s early 1970s way. Think short skirts and some bared midriffs. What do you expect? We’re looking at a story about a hormone-driven young man who reaches adulthood while doing more than just survive. He thrived through check forging and posing as professional men. Yet he was a boy with fantasies about life and wet dreams about women.
But this musical isn’t all bouncing bosoms and leggy women showing their assets. McNally’s script also emphasizes Frank Jr.’s search for a father, a real father–someone more stable than the delusional and alcoholic Frank Sr. (Dominic Fortuna).
This musical is perfect for people who loved the movie, for people who loved the variety show (singing, dancing, a change of mood skit and dancing) and for people who want to remember a time when getting a 13-inch color TV was a luxury item and Pan Am ruled the skies. Segerstrom is the last stop on the “Catch Me If You Can” national tour, so if you don’t catch it now, you’ll have to put those tickets on your most wanted list for a long time.
“Catch Me If You Can,” Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA. Wedesday-Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information call (714) 556-2787 or go to www.SCFTA.org.