Tony Award® Nominee “Catch Me If You Can” Tells the Story of Legendary Con Man Frank Abagnale
On Nov. 6-11, Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre will jointly host the national tour of multiple 2011 Tony Award® nominee Catch Me If You Can, a frisky musical comedy based on the legendary 1960s crime spree of 64-year-old Bronxville, NY native Frank William Abagnale, Jr., in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. A legendary con man, check forger, identity thief, and escape artist, Abagnale was a great imposter who successfully impersonated a Pan Am pilot, a sociology teaching assistant at Brigham Young University, a doctor at a Georgia hospital, and an attorney in the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office — all before he turned 21.
Frank Abagnale passed more than $2.5 million in bad checks in 26 countries before his arrest — at age 21 — and imprisonment first in France, then in Sweden, and finally in the United States — for a combined total of less than five years, after which he became a “security consultant” to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and some of his former victims.
According to Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre:
“Based on the  hit DreamWorks film, Catch Me If You Can captures the astonishing true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a world-class con artist who passed himself off as a doctor, a lawyer, and a jet pilot — all before the age of 21. With straight-arrow FBI [bank fraud] agent Carl Hanratty on Frank’s trail, we’re off on a jet-setting, cat-and-mouse chase, as a jazzy, swinging-sixties score keeps this adventure in constant motion. In the end, Agent Hanratty learns he and Frank aren’t so very different after all, and Frank finds out what happens when love catches up to a man on the run.
“The charming, high-flying con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr. will be played by Stephen Anthony; and Carl Hanratty, the FBI agent who is always on Frank’s tracks, will be played by Merritt David Janes. Additional casting includes Aubrey Mae Davis as Brenda Strong, Caitlin Maloney as [Frank's mother] Paula Abagnale, Amy Burgmaier as Carol Strong, D. Scott Withers as Roger Strong, Travis Mitchell as Agent Branton, Ben Laxton as Agent Dollar.
Also according to Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre:
“Durham native and former Riverside High School student Derrick Parks has been cast as Agent Cod, alongside Amanda Braun, Ashley Chasteen, Taylor Collins, Vanessa Dunleavy, Michael Graceffa, Colleen Hayes, Mary Claire King, Trevor Leaderbrand, Casey Renee Rogers, Daniel J. Self, Allyson Tolbert, [and] Nadia Vynnytsky. Another cast member with local ties is Bradley Allen Zarr, [who is] originally from Rocky Mount.
“This engagement follows hot on the heels of the [show's] recent Broadway run, where the show received considerable acclaim. The New York Times exclaims, ‘Hot diggity! This portrait of the con artist as a young man comes to ecstatic life.’ WOR Radio calls it ‘absolutely marvelous’ and proclaims Catch Me If You Can ‘a real Broadway musical with showstoppers to enthrall just about everyone.’ And Vanity Fair says ‘Catch Me will move you to live life to the fullest and dance past anything standing in your way,’ and urges ‘Get your seats now!’
“Nominated for four  Tony Awards [-- including Best Musical --] and six Drama Desk Awards [-- including Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics --] Catch Me If You Can features a Tony Award-winning creative team, with a book by Terrence McNally (The Full Monty, Ragtime), an irresistible score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray), choreography by Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Legally Blonde) and direction by Jack O’Brien (Hairspray, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).
“Scenic design for Catch Me If You Can is by David Rockwell (Hairspray), costumes based on the original design by five-time Tony Award winner William Ivey Long (The Producers), lighting design is by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (Wicked), and sound design is by Peter McBoyle.”
The North Carolina Theatre is celebrating 30 seasons as one of the Triangle’s premier professional regional theaters, and Broadway Series South is Raleigh’s anchor presenter for touring shows. Catch Me If You Can is the first presentation of their second collaborative season.
NOTE: Security consultant Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., the real-life great imposter whose impersonations, check forgeries, and narrow escapes from the law from age 16 to 21 inspired the 2002 DreamWorks film and 2011 Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can, will host a post-show question-and-answer session after the musical’s 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8th, performance at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, where Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre are presenting the show from Nov. 6th to 11th. For more information about Frank Abagnale, click here. Click here for more information about the Broadway musical and the current tour. For tickets to the eight Triangle performances of Catch Me If You Can, dial 800-745-3000 or click http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115203/1515546.
Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre present CATCH ME IF YOU CAN at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6-9 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 and 11 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.
TICKETS: $30.10-$89.35 (including fees).
Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115203/1515546.
VIDEO PREVIEWS: http://www.youtube.com/catchmethemusical (YouTube channel).
Broadway Series South: http://www.progressenergycenter.com/broadway-series-south.
The 2000 Book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_Me_if_You_Can_(book) (Wikipedia).
The 2002 Film: http://www.dreamworks.com/catchthem/jump2.html (official website), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_Me_If_You_Can (Wikipedia), and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0264464/ (Internet Movie Database).
The 2011 Broadway Musical: http://www.catchmethemusical.com/ (official Broadway website), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch_Me_If_You_Can_(musical) (Wikipedia), and http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?id=488875 (Internet Broadway Database).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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