Catch Me If You Can (Neil Simon Theatre)

Run date: March 11, 2011 – September 4, 2011
Theater: Neil Simon Theatre (New York, NY)

Cast: Aaron Tveit (Frank Abagnale, Jr.), Norbert Leo Butz (Agent Carl Hanratty), Tom Wopat (Frank Abagnale, Sr.), Rachel de Benedet (Paula Abagnale), Kerry Butler (Branda Strong), Nick Wyman (Roger Strong), Linda Hart (Carol Strong)

Libretti by: Terrence McNally
Lyrics by: Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
Music by: Marc Shaiman

Directed by: Jack O’Brien
Choreographed by: Jerry Mitchell

Catch Me If You Can tells the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a world-class con artist who passed himself off as a doctor, a lawyer and a jet pilot all before the age of 21. With straight-arrow FBI agent Carl Hanratty on Frank’s trail, we’re off on a jet-setting, cat-and-mouse chase as a jazzy, swinging-sixties score keeps this adventure in constant motion. In the end, Agent Hanratty learns he and Frank aren’t so different after all, and Frank finds out what happens when love catches up to a man on the run.


An asterisk (*) denotes a song featuring Aaron.

REVIEWS

“The modelesque Tveit, who carries the entire show on his shoulders, should be praised for his sheer physical stamina and chameleon-like ability to pull off Frank’s disguises.”
AM NEW YORK

“As Frank, Aaron Tveit has stage presence, sings powerfully, and dances with pizzazz.”
BACKSTAGE

“To keep his one-man global check-kiting franchise afloat, Frank Abagnale Jr. — played with hip-swaying, barely post-adolescent charm by Aaron Tveit — successfully passes himself off as a Pan Am pilot, an M.D. and a lawyer while bedding every skirt passing by.”
BLOOMBERG

“The boyishly handsome Tveit, who turned heads in Next to Normal, graduates to a lead role with sparkling self-assurance, strong pipes and natural charm. He makes it easy to like Frank, even if the show makes it hard to love him.”
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Suggesting a younger version of Mathew Morrison, the gleaming Tveit gives Frank a winning smile and gobs of boyish charm.”
NEW JERSEY NEWSROOM

“Even the ‘real’ Frank, the one beneath the fraud and the fake I.D.s, is a blank check, a creation of his own fiction and that of his admirers, and this was the point where the Spielberg movie punted — and where the musical enjoys a bit more success. Tveit has hungrier, angrier eyes than DiCaprio — they give you the feeling he wants it more, even if he’s not sure what it is.”
NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“The notion of Frank as a little boy lost limits the performance of Mr. Tveit, who was terrific as the mother-haunting son in Next to Normal. He has intense presence, for sure, and a bright, blasting voice (though it belongs more to the age of American Idol than American Bandstand).”
NEW YORK TIMES

“Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal) commands the stage as Frank Jr., in the sort of role which boosted Norbert Leo Butz to stardom in the 2005 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”
VARIETY

PHOTOS

TRIVIA

• Frank Abagnale, Jr. – the man whose life story inspired Catch Me If You Can – has stated that he actually prefers the musical over the Steven Spielberg-directed film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

• Aaron has worked with much of the creative team in a previous production: Hairspray! The director, writing team, and choreographers collaborated to bring another 1960s musical bonanza together.

• The musical first debuted at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington.

• Aaron on auditioning for his role as Frank, Jr.: “I first auditioned for this when I got cast in the Hairspray tour, 2005. When I was here rehearsing to go on tour, the same casting director — we have almost the same creative team as Hairspray; the same writers, the same director, the same choreographer. And so these people were starting readings to develop the show. They called me in to say, ‘Can you come in to sing for Catch Me If You Can?’ At the time I had seen the movie and I said, “Oh yeah, I like that story. I think it’s great.” I went in and sang for them and nothing happened; I left and went on the road, they did a workshop. When I got off the Hairspray tour, I went here and did Haispray, and then I went in again for another workshop — and I didn’t get it. That was 2006. In 2007, I went in again for another workshop — and I didn’t get it, but they asked me to be in the ensemble. And then I was doing Next To Normal off-Broadway, and I heard that they were having auditions again for Catch Me If You Can. In the course of two days, about ten of my friends were like, ‘Hey! Are you going in for Catch Me If You Can?!’ And I was like, ‘If somebody else says this to me…’ Then I heard that they didn’t want to see me. They didn’t think I was the guy. You know, sometimes that happens. It’s great that it was the same creative team, but they only saw me as Link. The day before the final callback, they said, ‘Come on in, come on in.’ I got there and there was literally every actor under the age of forty who’s been in a Broadway show in the last ten years, Tony winners. I literally just stood there and said… It was the first time I saw the ridiculousness of the situation. I said, ‘I could go into this room and be my absolute best and still not get the gig,’ so it kind of took all the pressure off me for the first time. So, I went in. I remember my manager called me an hour afterwards and said, ‘They want to see you again tomorrow, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke!’ So I went in the next morning and I got it the next day. It was great, though, because I had to shatter their image of me. So, I first auditioned for it in 2005, I didn’t get it until 2007, and here we are today in 2011.”

• Celebrities who have seen the show include Andrea Martin, Andy Cohen, Ben Vereen, Chace Crawford, Chad Kimball, Chester Gregory, David Burtka, Ed Westwick, Frank Abagnale, Jr., Hilarie Burton, Hugh Jackman, J.R. Martinez, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jenifer Lewis, John Waters, Joy Behar, Laura Bell Bundy, Laura Linney, Mark Sanchez, Martin Short, Matthew Broderick, Matthew Morrison, Nancy Sinatra, Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Robin Williams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Lucci, Tina Fay, Tom Hanks, and Vanessa Hudgens.

• Aaron never missed a single performance throughout the entire run of Catch Me If You Can (170 regular shows, 32 previews).

• A poster advertising the show can be seen at the very end of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). Additionally, a small poster can often be seen in interior office shots in NBC’s musical-drama, “Smash.”