Ever wanted to see female yankees, doctors, and flight attendants dressed in near nothing? Look no further than the Orpheum Theater, where you will see that, and more. Surprisingly, these scantily clad women are highlight of an otherwise dull adaptation of the real life story of Frank Abagnale Jr.. The score is predictable, the plot slow-moving, and the acting just so-so. With the exception of a few show stopping moments, this play drags on to the point of me wanting to rip out my hair. It is a very ensemble heavy show. The dancers and singers supported it so well that they made the scenes they were in the best.
This is not to say that I did not enjoy it. Stephen Anthony (Frank Abagnale, Jr.) managed to somewhat get over his nerves by the end of the second act, managing to make a few of the high notes he couldn’t hit in the first. Aubrey Mae Davis (Brenda) met the superb dancing and singing skills of the ensemble and blasted them out of the water. Though her songs were poorly written and took place near the end of a very dragging second act, she managed to catch my attention long enough to pull me out of my distractedness. Merrit David Janes (Carl Hanratty) also entertained, though he had a depressingly dull role.
There are other aspects that are of course worth mentioning. The wonderful band, conducted by Matthew Smedal, a humble and kind man, yet very obviously passionate about what he is doing. The pit orchestra was levitated and in view most of the scenes, which created a great atmosphere and allowed the showiness to be played up to the max. The large screen in the background displayed cheesy but fitting images as a backdrop for some scenes, and was executed excellently. The lighting and scenic changes (including large black panels that came from the rafters above) created a stage that was able to house many different types of scenes, and made that part of the play very intriguing to watch.
Do I recommend this show? Maybe. I ended up being pleased with it, despite what this review seems to show. There are delightful scenes and redeeming moments that might just make it worth it after all. If you want a chance to see the true story of a con man turned FBI agent live and in living color, head on down to the Orpheum Theatre, any time from now until the 16th of December. Tickets for Catch Me If You Can are available at hennepintheatertrust.org, in person at the State Theater box office or by calling 1.800.982.2787.