TPAC is currently presenting the world-class Broadway musical "Catch Me If You Can", based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr, a teenager who manages to write millions of dollars in forged checks and sport as many names as a phone book all while posing as teacher, pilot and doctor.
The production is as wild a ride as the young life of the actual Abagnale Jr. must have been in reality. Played brilliantly by 22 year old Stephen Anthony, the character is a quirky, smooth talking conman who has too many smarts – and not enough conscience, for his and the public's own good.
It's a fun, fast-paced play, filled with action, humor and talent. The talent is quite amazing and worth so much more than the cost of the ticket that you could go in blind-folded and simply listen to the music played by the incredible white-jacketed onstage band and get your moneys worth.
However, you will be glad you left the blind-fold at home when you get a load of the vintage style wardrobe, including 60s era Pan Am uniforms and Dean Martin's Gold-Diggers style chorus line costumes complete with high kicking dance choreography.
As a matter of fact, upon entering TPAC's lobby, you see on display stewardess (so called in that time period) uniforms on loan from actual flight attendants from that era, allowing you to see how closely the production has followed the styles of the day.
With very cool scenery projected to the back wall of the stage, the production uses a 60s style TV variety show, starring Frank Abagnale Jr. of course, as the vehicle with which it tells the based-on-real-life tale of the teen conman. Add mood lighting, singing and skimpily clad dancers and it's like being right on the set of an actual variety show.
The music, written by Marc Shaiman, who also penned the lyrics along with Scott Wittman, is well-written and well-performed . Stephen Anthony has an amazingly pure voice, puts his heart and soul into his performance and ain't too bad to look at. The main actors, including Abagnale's FBI nemesis Carl Hanratty Jr., well-played by Merritt David Janes. all play their roles to a T.
CATCH the production now through January 27 at Nashville's premier entertainment venue, Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Check out the tpac.org website for tickets, times and information about all the wonderful upcoming shows.
In case you are curious:
Frank W. Abagnale is one of the world's leading authorities on secure documents, fraud and embezzlement. He has been associated with the FBI for more than 35 years. Abagnale has been married for more than 36 years, is the father of three sons and has three grandchildren. He is the author of several books on crime, including Catch Me If You Can, and is a world-renowned public speaker who has keynoted more than 3,000 events in more than 30 years on the lecture circuit.
Steven Spielberg said it best: “I didn't immortalize Frank Abagnale on film because of what he did 40 years ago as a teenager, I chose to immortalize him on film because of what he'd done for his country for more than 30 years.”