Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage presents a new revision of Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, and Terrence McNally's Catch Me If You Can beginning March 4. With an opening night planned for March 17, the production features a "never-before-performed" version of the book by the late McNally and two songs not heard in the work's 2011 Broadway run, "50 Checks" and "Here I Am to Save the Day." The run will continue through April 17.
The revisions have been made with the blessings of and in consultation with Shaiman, Wittman, and Tom Kirdahy, the latter McNally's widower and head of his estate.
Christian Thompson (Ain't Too Proud) leads the cast as Frank Abagnale, Jr., replacing the previously announced Corbin Bleu. Also in the cast are Nehal Joshi (Flying Over Sunset, Oklahoma!) as Carl Hanratty, Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown) as Frank Sr., Rhett Guter as Roger Strong, Hayley Podschun (Hello, Dolly!) as Brenda Strong, Alexandra Frohlinger as Carol Strong, and Stephanie Pope as Paula.
The ensemble comprises Cara Rose DiPietro, Jeremiah Ginn, Brett-Marco Glauser, Candice Hatakeyama, Ryan Lambert, Jody Reynard (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), Kyra Louise Smith (Soft Power), and Kristin Yancy. Rounding out the company as swings are Gillian Bozajian, Brianna Latrash, Bryan Charles Moore and Shiloh Orr.
The production is directed by Molly Smith, with choreography by Parker Esse, music direction by Laura Bergquist, set design by Alexander Dodge, costume design by Alejo Vietti, lighting design by Nicole Pearce, sound design by Daniel Erdbergm, and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe. The creative team also includes associate director and text director Anita Maynard-Losh, associate music director William Yanesh, assistant choreographer Kristin Yancy, fight director Robb Hunter, intimacy consultant Jenny Male, dialect and vocal coach Lisa Nathans, dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke, stage manager Hannah Sullivan, and assistant stage managers Marne Anderson and Emily Ann Mellon. Casting is by Geoff Josselson and Katja Zarolinski of JZ Casting.
The new version of the musical's book has been prepared by Smith and Clarke, working from five different revisions of McNally's work. The pair hope to present a version that more strongly focuses on the relationship between fathers and sons, both biological and otherwise.
"Imagine hearing new words from the great Terrence McNally almost two years after his passing," shared Smith in a previous statement. "Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman's dynamic and visceral music takes us to the swinging '60s with a wink towards today. Re-envisioning this musical with the whole creative team has been a distinct pleasure and thrill. In this moment of con men and con women, this is a perfect time to dive into a musical about a young con man who gets caught."
Adapted from the 2002 film and its 1980 novel source material, Catch Me If You Can is inspired by real-life conman Frank Abagnale, Jr. The somewhat fictionalized take on his life sees Frank posing as an American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor, a Louisiana parish prosecutor, and more, even as the FBI is on his trail.
The work's Broadway production, which starred Aaron Tveit and a Tony-winning Norbert Leo Butz, was something of a Hairspray reunion, between Shaiman, Wittman, director Jack O'Brien, and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, along with much of the design team. The musical would ultimately only see a brief run on the Main Stem, closing after 32 previews and 166 performances.