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BWW Review: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN at BayWay Arts Center presented by Studio Theatre Of Long Island

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presented by Studio Theatre Of Long Island

Theatre is back on Long Island and the spirited offering of Tony nominee Catch Me If You Can at the BayWay Arts Center does not disappoint. Presented by Studio Theatre of Long Island at the adorable East Islip venue, Rick Grossman superbly directs the wonderful cast and the superb crew elevates the visually stunning production. Running through July 25th, this is indeed a raucous yet heart-tugging show.

The musical comedy - set in the 1960's - is created by Terrence McNally (book), Marc Shaiman (music & lyrics), and Scott Wittman (lyrics) based on the 2002 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie, in turn, is based on the autobiography by our main character, Frank Abagnale, Jr. We follow the young con man around the world with his ridiculous shenanigans as he evades authorities and deals with his fraught relationship with his father.

Francesco DiFlora excellently stars in BayWay's showing as Frank, Jr. Mr. DiFlora puts a charming quality on Frank, Jr. when it seems this could easily be a skeevy type. The large, talented cast also includes Long Island theatre vet Chris Dufrenoy as Frank, Sr. Indeed, DiFlora and Dufrenoy have a great rapport on stage. In addition, Jack Seabury is hilarious as the supposed-to-be tough Carl Hanratty, the leader of the investigation team who is trying to capture Frank, Jr. The whole cast is truly extraordinary.

As for the crew, they created a gorgeous and engaging production. The bi-level stage is minimal on the lower level with two grand staircases on each side. The upper level houses the outstanding orchestra headed up by Musical Director Gregory P. Franz though some of the cast ventures up to the second level at some points. Joe Kassner's costumes are first-rate as is Mike Visco's superb lighting. And the choreography by Nicole Ashlee Bianco is fun and bubbly making great use of the stage.

And so, Catch Me If You Can, at the BayWay Arts Center is certainly a must see. Fun fact.... Even though Studio Theatre has been around for fifty years, this is their inaugural season at the venue since recently taking it over. They also have a theatre in Lindenhurst. The renovations they have done at BayWay are fantastic even putting in a small café. Really, seeing this show is a great and safe opportunity as we venture into our new normal.

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Catch Me If You Can is presented by Studio Theatre Of Long Island at the BayWay Arts Center in East Islip through July 25th

Book by Terrence McNally, Music & Lyrics by Marc Shaiman, Lyrics by Scott Wittman, Directed by Rick Grossman, Music Direction by Gregory P. Franz, Choreography by Nicole Ashlee Brown, Scenic Design by Chris Rosselli, Costume & Wig Design by Joe Kassner, Lighting Design by Mike Visco, Sound Design by Jacob Levesque, Stage Management by Emily Gladstein, Associate Choreographer is Samantha Fels

Starring Francesco DiFlora, Ryan Worrell, Daniel Bishop, Jack Seabury, Londel Collier, Chris Dufrenoy, Emily Nadler, Veronica Fox, Aubrey Alvino, Stephanie Moreau, Angelo DiBiase, Kevin Russo, Katey Russo, Louisa Bikowski, Devin Butera, Kristen Greek, Thomas Higgins, Katie Johnson, David Lopez, Cassidy O'Brien, Abby Semelsburger, Jillian Michaels Smith, and Rylee Taylor

Photo by Michael Ryan


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