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Catch Me If You Can

a Musical Comedy
by Terrence McNally, book; Marc Shaiman & Scott Witman, songs

COMPANY : Atlanta Lyric Theatre
VENUE : Jennie T. Anderson Theatre-Cobb Civic Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 4687

SHOWING : February 13, 2015 - March 01, 2015



Based on the hit DreamWorks film starring
Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, and the
incredible true story that inspired it, CATCH ME
IF YOU CAN is the high-flying, splashy musical
that tells the story of Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a
teenager who runs away from home in search of the
glamorous life. With nothing more than his boyish
charm, a big imagination, and millions of dollars in
forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot,
a doctor, and a lawyer – living the high life and
winning the girl of his dreams. But when Frank’s
lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty,
Carl chases Frank to the end…and finds something
he never expected. Nominated for four Tony
Awards including Best Musical, CATCH ME IF YOU
CAN will make its regional premiere at The Lyric!

Director Brandt Blocker
Music Director BJ Brown
Cheryl Ann/Ensemble Jennifer Lynn Arnold
Carol Strong/Ensemble Mary Nye Bennett
Brenda Strong Alison Brannon
Ensemble Jason Cohen
Paula Abagnale Courtenay Collins
Ensemble Fenner Eaddy
Ensemble Natalie Rhae Goodwin
Ensemble Jamey Hoge
Ensemble Jenna Jackson
Ensemble Imani Joseph
Frank Abagnale, Sr. Alan Kilpatrick
Ensemble Tre McClendon
Carl Hanratty Jeff McKerley
Roger Strong/Ensemble Allen O'Reilly
Ensemble J. Koby Parker
Frank Abagnale, Jr. Chase Peacock
Ensemble Becca Potter
Ensemble Becky Simmons
Ensemble Austin Tijerina
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Catch As Catch Can
by playgoer
Monday, March 2, 2015
Atlanta Lyric Theatre always puts on a good show. Now that they’re performing in the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb Civic Center, they have the wing and fly space that allows them to put on Broadway-caliber shows. For "Catch Me If You Can," they even have the Broadway costume designs of William Ivey Long. It all adds up to first-class entertainment.

Lee Shiver-Cerone’s set design doesn’t "wow," consisting of a static band platform with twin staircases in front that can be hidden by a grid-covered scrim, with a couple of projection screens to the side. The airline theme of the show is evident from the start, with a PanAm promotional video playing on the screens. The pre-show announcement is also screened, with a faux 1960’s stewardess giving the usual information. Decorative vertical columns with a diamond pattern also lend a 1960’s feel to the decor. At the end of the show, a real-life video of Frank Abagnale, Jr. plays, leading us from the fictionalized, musicalized version of his life back into the real world.

Terrence McNally’s book and the songs of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman move the story right along, telling of the various schemes and scams of Frank Abagnale, Sr. and Jr., adding in just enough human interest moments to keep the story compelling. Brandt Blocker’s direction and BJ Brown’s music direction do nothing to get in the way of the storytelling, and Cindy Reiser’s choreography adds a lot of sparkle and fizz. Costumes, wigs (by George Deavours), and lighting (by Andre C. Allen) also help the production look good.

Of course, the performances are what make this production truly sparkle and fizz. Atlanta Lyric Theatre has assembled a cast filled with audience favorites who once again prove why they have been invited back time and time again. Alan Kilpatrick is splendid as Frank Abagnale, Sr., and Courtenay Collins makes a big impact in the smaller role of his French wife (with a splendid accent and stunning voice). Jeff McKerley adds comic bits to his role of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, but does nothing to lessen the impact of his character, and Mary Nye Bennett raises the roof in her big number "Our Family Tree." Their voices are superior to the original Broadway cast.

Chase Peacock and Allison Brannon Wilhoit, as the male and female leads (Frank Abagnale, Jr. and Brenda Strong), both make good impressions, although the personalities of their characters are perhaps more vanilla than they need be. The ensemble play their parts with verve and energy across the board, but I always found my eyes drawn to Natalie Goodwin, Becky Simmons, and Austin Tijerina (and not because his costumes were too often swimming on his diminutive frame).

The orchestra is fully professional, with the brass- and reed-heavy score played splendidly. Bobby Johnston’s sound design mixes the vocals and orchestra well, but the volume is usually high enough to cause unnecessary muddiness in the overall sound. This provides a marked contrast to an unamplified section near the end of the show, but overwhelms in general. If only the sound were kept at a manageable level, this production would be a total stunner. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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