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'Catch Me If You Can' musical adaptation lands on Broadway

By Allison Reitz

Broadway's latest high-flying musical has finally landed. "Catch Me If You Can" opened yesterday, April 10, at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Based on the autobiography and Hollywood blockbuster of the same title, "Catch Me" tracks the exploits of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Aaron Tveit) in the 1960s. As the teenage conman jumps from one elaborate scam to the next, workaholic FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Norbert Leo Butz) and his team remain on the trail.

Tom Wopat and Rachel de Benedet portray Frank's parents, Frank Sr. and Paula. Kerry Butler makes an appearance as Frank's love interest Brenda Strong, while Linda Hart and Nick Wyman play her parents, Carol and Roger.

Jack O'Brien directs the production with a book by Terrence McNally, and music and lyrics by "Hairspray" duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The musical arrives on Broadway following a 2009 tryout in Seattle.

"Catch Me" began previews March 11 at the 1,421-seat playhouse. Regular ticket face values on Ticketmaster.com run between $60 and $135, and premium seats are set at $175 and $200, before fees. The show's audience has been between 90 and 96 percent capacity during previews, earning a total gross of $2,180,123 through the week ending April 3, according to the Broadway League.

The musical is two hours and 30 minutes long, including a 15-minute intermission. Its open-ended schedule includes evening performances Tuesday at 7 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinees are at 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Neil Simon Theatre is located at 250 West 52nd Street in New York, NY. More ticketing and schedule details are available on the production's official Web site.

Opening Night: "Catch Me If You Can"

Publication Critic Review
Variety Steve Suskin "If there is a musical to be made from this tale of a bumbling FBI agent chasing a naively innocent charmer, the creators haven't found it."
New York Times Ben Brantley "A tale that follows a continent-spanning pursuit of a chameleon criminal should have, above all things, momentum. And 'Catch Me' mostly just seems to stand in one place, explaining itself."
USA Today Elysa Gardner "Only one of the two leading men is consistently compelling. And it's not the one playing Abagnale (Aaron Tveit)."
TheaterMania David Finkle "...the wonderful Norbert Leo Butz...immeasurably enlivens the intermittently involving proceedings as frumpy FBI man Carl Hanratty..."
Hollywood Reporter David Rooney "[Butler's] surging 11 o’clock number, 'Fly, Fly Away,' packs more emotional charge than the rest of the show combined."
New York Post Elizabeth Vincentelli "Tveit is handsome and sings well, but overuses his Colgate smile and lacks the pizazz necessary to sell the snake oil. This Frank is a junior, all right: many personas but little personality."

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