BWW Review: JPAS Takes Flight with CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
We've all seen the movie, right? The super hunky Leonardo DiCaprio won us all over as he conned person after person and wooed woman after woman as Frank Abagnale, Jr. in the 2002 Steven Spielberg hit CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. If you're new to the story, all you need to know is this... a 16 year old Frank Abagnale, Jr. ran away from home and survived by figuring out a way to steal $2.5 million by cashing bad checks and simultaneously charming the pants off of everyone he met. Eventually, of course he was caught, served his time, and worked for the FBI catching guys who did the exact same thing that he did.
Nearly 10 years after the movie, some geniuses decided to turn the show into a Broadway musical starring Aaron Tveit and Norbert Leo Butz. Honestly, what more do we need in life? While the show didn't have a long run on Broadway, it is now being played in regional theatres, and the New Orleans area was lucky enough to have the opportunity to experience the fun at Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS).
Because this story is so fantastical (even though it's not actually fantastical and based on very true events), it lended itself well to the stage. The costumes were brightly colored, appropriate to the time period, well tailored, and just really adorable. The ladies in the ensemble donned precious dresses as well as flight attendant and nurse uniforms. The guys sported close fitting suits, and boy did they look handsome as ever!
The orchestra situation is a bit different for this show than it is for most. They aren't in the orchestra pit. Instead, they are featured on an elaborate platform on the stage. It's cool to see the orchestra right there the whole show, but it's also super appropriate for the telling of this story. You see, in order to tell the story on stage, Frank decides to narrate the story to us like he's putting on a show instead of telling the cops who catch him what happened in the usual way. All of the people in the story... his mom and dad, Brenda, Carl, Cheryl, etc.... are cast members in his grand adventure. The orchestra is there to back him up as he tells his story. The audience... well... we're his audience. It was so creative! Not to mention, the orchestra lead by Maestro Dennis Assaf was absolutely stunning. Not a note out of place.
The leading actors in the cast included Anthony Harvey as Frank Abagnale, Jr., Jimmy Murphy as Carl Hanratty, Butch Claire as Frank Abagnale, Sr., Melissa Hunter as Paula Abagnale, Christian Tarzetti as Brenda Strong, Elizabeth Ulloa Lowry as Carol Strong, Warren Hovis as Roger Strong, and Abigail Gardner as Cheryl Ann. Each and every one of them gave a most enthusiastic performance, and did their characters justice.
Bravo to the cast, creative, and crew of JPAS for putting on a fun show!
To find out what's up next for JPAS, visit https://www.jpas.org/.
From This Author Heidi Scheuermann
Heidi first found her love for theatre during summer road trips to the beach where her dad would rig up a TV in the back (read more...)
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