Catch Me If You Can: The Musical...A First Look!

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Craig
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While hundreds of Broadway fans were attending the Katrina Benefit last night, I was invited to a secret and private "event" a few blocks away. As the subject heading reveals, I was fortunate to have witnessed the birth of the brand new musical by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman and Terrance McNally - Catch Me If You Can.

I originally was not going to post any comments as I was invited in strict confidence and certainly not as press. After talking to the cast and creative team that was there, I was "authorized" and encouraged to at least give a first report on some aspects of the production. So the following is not a review in the slightest since it was the first time they went through the show and the book is not complete, etc.

First off, the cast last night (No casting has been done, of course - this is just the roles as they were played by last night)

Frank Abagnale, Jr: Matt Morrison
Hanratty: Nathan Lane
Frank Abagnale, Sr: Tom Wopat
Paula Abagnale: Christine Ebersole
Brenda: Celia Keenan-Bolger
Cheryl Ann: Sara Gettelfinger

The ensemble had the best and brightest voices that have been on Broadway including Chester Gregory, Shayna Steele, Luther Creek, Melinda Hull, and several others.

The book follows the film pretty closely in plot with some changes, naturally because of the change in medium. There's a clever story telling device throughout but I won't spoil it. The "classic" lines are all there as well as several new ones that are bound to be quoted.

Last night the real treat was hearing the score - which was complete - with 18 songs. While numbers may get cut or replaced, I feel more confident talking about the music and lyrics as they were complete. Usually at these readings or workshops, there's just a piano. It was clear last night that Marc and Scott wanted those in the audience (about 40 of us) to get the full effect of the show and thus, brought in an orchestra.

Most of us have heard "50 Checks" as it was posted here on BroadwayWorld. I've also been in possession of a demo cd with 6 or so tracks on it for a few months now, so I was very excited to hear what else the duo had come up with.

Now, even tho this takes place around the same time as hairspray (a few years later to be exact) the music and feel is entirely different. I'm not sure how I would explain it other than to say - they just are more "mature" - and that's because of the subject matter.

The songlist includes:
THE REAL TRUTH LIES (Frank Jr)
FIFTY CHECKS (Frank Sr)
LAST DECEMBER IN MONTRICHARD (Paula)
SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN (Frank Jr)
JET SET (Ensemble)
I DON'T GET IT (Hanratty)
YOU GOTTA PAY FOR LOVE (Cheryl Ann)
THE MAN INSIDE THE CLUES (Hanratty)
BUTTER OUTTA CREAM (Frank Jr & Sr)
MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR (Hanratty)

DON'T BE A STRANGER (Paula & Frank Sr)
DOCTOR'S ORDERS (Nurses and Shayna Steele)
SEVEN WONDERS (Frank Jr)
BREAKING ALL THE RULES (Hanratty)
BURY ME BESIDE THE ONE I LOVE (Brendas Parents)
FLY, FLY AWAY (Brenda)
RUNNING TOGETHER, NEVER APART (Paula, Frank Sr.)
BUTTER OUTTA CREAM reprise (Frank Jr & Hanratty)

It might sound like a whole-lotta-asskissin' but I have to say there wasn't a bad number in the bunch. There wasn't a song I said "oh.. that'll probably go" It's a very strong score with some amazing standouts including "Jet Set" (as catchy as You Can't Stop The Beat and Welcome to the 60s), "You Gotta Pay For Love" (No one can sell a sutlty number like this as good as Sara Gettelfinger!), "Butter Outta Cream", "Fly, Fly Away" (a song which delayed the dialogue after since the audience was clapping feverishly with Celia's performance), and several others. Christine Ebersole sang her songs so beautifully and Nathan Lane not only showed off his comical chops with his delivery of "I Don't Get It" but also handled the ballads wonderfully in the show with ease and heart.

It looks like Jack O'Brien will be directing with Jerry Mitchell doing the Choreography. Amongst the high profile attendees, Architect and Set Designer David Rockwell was also in attendance.

In summary, there so much to look forward to with this upcoming musical. The only frustration is that we'll have to wait until next season....


"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka
Updated On: 9/26/05 at 10:26 AM
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StephanietheStar
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OMG...you saw all those people. in one night. I'm so jealous....


that's awesome! I wish I lived in NY and random people picked me for special things re: Catch Me If You Can: The Musical...A First Look!
and all that I could do because of you was talk of love...
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xxnewgirlxx
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What a dream cast! That's an amazing experience. With the exception of Matt Morrison, I've seen all these performers in different productions and each of them are amazing on their own. I can't imagine them all together.

Thanks for the scoop...sounds like fun.
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BobbyBubby
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Good to know this project isn't dead in the water.
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FOAnatic
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I that cast makes it to Broadway intact...

I'll have to wear DEPENDS to see this show.
"I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about." - Oscar Wilde
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StephanietheStar
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Frank Abagnale, Jr: Matt Morrison
Hanratty: Nathan Lane
Frank Abagnale, Sr: Tom Wopat
Paula Abagnale: Christine Ebersole
Brenda: Celia Keenan-Bolger
Cheryl Ann: Sara Gettelfinger


seriously....I'm...amazed by those names....GEEZ...


I get to see Tom Wopat from 1st row as Billy Flinn in teh Chicago tour (in Chicago..hehe) and I've seen Sara...but...Matt, Nathan Lane...Celia, Christine Ebersole (who my dentist knows! lmao)...GEEZ..I'm seriously jealous...

and all that I could do because of you was talk of love...
JRTO
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any word on where and when it will premiere? (out of town)
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Craig
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Nope. not yet. They still have 2-3 more readings/workshops planned as well.
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka
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best12bars
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Craig -- what a rare treat! Someday you'll say, "I was there, when..."

(Maybe you're saying it already!)

Was this a backer's audition, or just a reading for "friends" to see what worked and what didn't?
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Craig
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There were producers in the room - but it wasn't a backers audition. It was the first opportunity to play the material for the creative team to see what worked, what didn't, etc.

And yes - a very rare treat!
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka
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dotvmike
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Where did yo get the demo CD? And on which message was "50 Checks" posted on? Thanks!
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Craig
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The demo CD is not available. I got it from Marc. You can hear Marc sing "50 Checks" by clicking below

https://www.broadwayworld.com/viewcolumn.cfm?colid=841
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka
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dotvmike
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Thanks!
ashley0139
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That sounds pretty cool and amazing. What a treat! I can't wait to hear more about this musical.
"This table, he is over one hundred years old. If I could, I would take an old gramophone needle and run it along the surface of the wood. To hear the music of the voices. All that was said." - Doug Wright, I Am My Own Wife
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Wow. I met Marc once while riding the subway up to times sq and we talked for a short bit about Hairspray and the progress on this show, and I have to say, he's one of the nicest guys I've ever met just on approaching. So willing to talk and friendly about discussing theatre. I just wish him, and scott and everyone the best with this production. And I really feel that if anyone can capture the fast-paced, joyful feel of the cat-and-mouse game film, it's this team of collaborators.
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Greekmusicalfan
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This is the one show that I really CAN'T WAIT for !!!! I am sure the MOST talented duo of Broadway have created another marvellous show that will be a huge hit !!!! Bring it on !!!!!
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TheComposer
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Thank you for this.
Will look out for it.
PJ
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I loved the song "Doctor's Orders" when Shoshana sang it at this year's Broadway Bares.
Updated On: 9/26/05 at 02:07 PM
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zepka102
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i agree theatreboy, marc is 1 of the nicest, funniest guys you could ever meet... definitely deserves all the success he has had re: Catch Me If You Can: The Musical...A First Look!


and yeah, OF COURSE i'll looking forward to this show!
::bust a move::
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EverythingIsRENT
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How does one get invited to these things?? I'm jealous!!
Sunchips: Best Kept Secret in the chip aisle!!
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Craig
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Doctor's Orders was great - and Shayna can belt like nobody's business.

I neglected to say how terrific Matt was! He sang his songs beautifully ranging from snazzy to sweet.
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka
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WiCkEDrOcKS
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Wow. All I can say is wow. What a cast!!!

I hope it stays intact! I cant wait for this show.

What year will it most likely open in? '06?
Current Avatar: Cynthia Erivo, bringing down the house in The Color Purple.
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Craig
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I believe that's the plan
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka
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Phantom2
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"The ensemble had the best and brightest voices that have been on Broadway including Chester Gregory, Shayna Steele, Luther Creek, Melinda Hull, and several others."

Several others?????????????
"I'm learning to dig deep down inside and find the truth within myself and put that out. I think what we identify with in popular music more than anything else is when someone just shares a truth that we can relate to. That's what I'm searching for in my music." - Ron Bohmer

"I broke the boundaries. It wasn't cool to be in plays- especially if you were in sports & I was in both." - Ashton Kutcher
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Craig
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I think the total ensemble was about 14 people - give or take
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka