The premiere of any show is always exciting and brings an extra dose of energy with it. That is the case with Hurricane Valley Theatrical Company’s southern Utah premiere of “Catch Me If You Can,” the musical based on the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
Kyle Myrick, who is both the Hurricane Valley Theatrical Company artistic director as well as the director of the show, is enthusiastic about bringing this to audiences who might not be familiar with the musical.
“Many people do not know it was made into a musical, but for those that do, they will be running to the theater to see it,” he said. “The music is from the same team that did ‘Hairspray,’ so that gives you an idea of how fantastic the songs are. I’m most excited for those who are not familiar with it, because they are in for a real treat. This show is amazing!”
While great music is a plus, this musical profits from its fantastic storyline as well. It is the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., who successfully conned people out of millions of dollars with check fraud and posed as a pilot, doctor, and lawyer — all before his 19th birthday. Carl Hanratty was the FBI agent who spent years chasing him all over the country and then to Europe before catching him. The show follows their cat-and-mouse antics as Abagnale tries to keep one step ahead of Hanratty, all while trying to get approval from his father, Frank Sr.
Kelly Olsen plays Hanratty and has nothing but great things to say about it.
“I was really drawn to this character,” he said. “Much of the time, he thinks he is chasing an older experienced guy, and when he finds out it’s just a kid, there is a real change in him, and I love that Hanratty’s softer side comes out after that. The musical focuses more on the relationship between Hanratty and Frank Jr. than the movie does. It goes deeper, and I love it.”
The other complicated relationship is between Frank Jr., played by Jadon Webster, and Frank Sr., played by Bruce Bennett.
“A big part of Frank Jr.’s focus is on his relationship with his father,” Benett said. “Jr. is trying to please Sr., and the father is trying to be a good dad, but he can’t quite get there. It’s like he’s in a little bit of denial. There are some great scenes and great songs between the two of them.”
Lest you think it’s all heavy relationship drama, this play has fantastic, upbeat scenes and production numbers. Olsen tips his hat to choreographer McKenzie Morgan for that.
“McKenzie did a fantastic job with the choreography,” Olsen said. “It is so great with tons of energy. People are going to love it.”
“This music is great,” added Bennett. “It’s very upbeat. It’s very brassy with a ‘60s jazz feel, and I love singing these songs.”
Webster is no stranger to being in musicals, but he was particularly drawn to this show because of the complexity of the role he plays.
“Frank Jr. has so much great material to work with,” he said. “He’s funny, charming, silly, serious, he gets to interact with everyone, and since singing is my passion, that’s a huge plus, because Frank Jr.’s songs are remarkable.”
Great story. Great music. Great dancing. Great venue. It’s safe to say that “Catch Me If You Can” aims for the clouds and makes it there with ease.
“Catch Me If You Can” plays every Friday, Saturday, and Monday at 7 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. at the Hurricane Fine Arts Center, located at 92 S 100 W in Hurricane. For tickets, call (435) 668-9753.