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A strange but true story makes for a
clever and compelling new musical

"Catch Me If You Can"
Cadillac Palace Theatre
Chicago, IL
April 3, 2013
Catch Me If You Can Catch Me If You Can

Story by Andy Argyrakis
Publicity photos courtesy of Broadway In Chicago

Often times the truth is stranger than fiction, which makes the tale of a con artist who passes as a Pan Am pilot, doctor and lawyer- all before turning 21- a no brainer for a big time Broadway musical. But long before "Catch Me If You Can" hit the "Great White Way" and the touring trails, it graced the silver screen starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks under the direction of Steven Spielberg. While current cast members Stephen Anthony (who plays clever crook Frank Abagnale, Jr.) and Merritt David Janes (as FBI agent Carl Hanratty) don't boast the same star power, they are both incredibly talented and flawlessly execute the cat and mouse chase through a series of jetsetting scenarios.

After coming from a broken home, it's easy to sympathize with the troubled but fast-talking teenage Frank, who runs away in search of the good life only to turn to a life of lies. Getting banks to cash bad checks allows him to garner quick chunks of dough, which coupled with a masterful ability to forge documents and assume identities makes him extremely hard to catch. In fact, even when Frank's finally found for the first time in a seedy motel surrounded by a full-fledged stakeout, he manages to slip away ever so smoothly by claiming to be a secret service agent.

But like most criminals (even of his unparalleled caliber), there's always a mistake to be made, and after falling in love with a nurse during his tenure as a quasi-doctor, he doesn't cover his tracks as carefully as before. Nonetheless, Frank is perhaps the most loveable criminal of all time, insisting he's ready to retire to a life filled with family (to make up for his fractured upbringing) and singing along ever so impressively to several original tunes in the swinging '60s style that bid adieu to his shady side.

It's no surprise the FBI eventually catches him on the run yet again, but rather than throwing him in the slammer for life, offer a plea for a shorter sentence in exchange for future fraud assistance. As the final scene shows the dubious Frank and his capturer Carl forming an unexpected bond, "Catch Me If You Can" is quite simply "Strange But True," and as far as musicals go, entertaining and endearing for its entire flight.

"Catch Me If You Can" continues at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through April 14. For more information, and

Catch Me If You Can Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can Catch Me If You Can

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