Catch Me If You Can: The MusicalNov 04, 2022 04:33PM ● By Tamsen Butler
Those familiar with the 2002 film “Catch Me If You Can” might be surprised to discover that there is a musical version, but those familiar with the Papillion La Vista South High School theatre program will not be surprised to discover that their current production of it is wildly entertaining – as this is par for the course for this high school.
Director and choreographer Mary Dickson pulled together a fast-paced show packed with funny moments, cleverly augmented by two projected screens on each side of the stage. Perhaps the funniest use of the screens was Jude Glaser’s film noir moments, followed closely by Ava Albracht and Reese McAdams’ Strong Family Song cameos on the screens. The screens, coupled with all the singing and dancing on stage, made the show a feast for the eyes and ears.
The impressive set made audience members nearly forget they were watching a high school production. Versatile and sturdily built, the set was the perfect complement to the array of costumes changes and varying light schemes.
Henry Vote shined in the lead role of Frank Abangale, Jr. His notable vocal range and inherently approachable demeanor made him the perfect choice for this role. The three singing, dancing FBI agents played by Abram Butler, Jake Erickson, and Tyson Johnson were a comical contrast to Jude Glaser’s stern but loveable Carl Hanratty.
Sam Denos and Cameron Iselin – joined by Abram Butler as a very confused FBI agent - made the audience tumble into fits of laughter in the song “Don’t Be a Stranger.” Audrey Pittman managed to shine in the song despite the comical chaos ensuing around her on stage.
This impressive fall production revealed the most probable actors who will next year fill the very big shoes of the current PLVSHS heavy hitters, who will graduate at the end of this school year. The ever-impressive Jude Glaser will likely see his typical roles going to Silas Olson, who commanded the stage with his strong signing voice and spot-on characterizations. Vocal powerhouse Gaby Miranda might be replaced by Laine Cunningham, whose strong voice stood out among the ensemble. Tyson Johnson might find himself filling roles once filled by Reece McAdams.
This review would be lacking if it didn’t mention the true star of this production: Music Director Brian Johnson, who not only expertly led the musicians in the elevated pit, but who also did so donning a sparkly blazer and a variety of mischievous glances to the audience – and a dance or two with cast members.
This show may not be suitable for young kids, but it’s certainly suitable for anyone looking for some entertainment and laughs – while supporting local theatre.
“Catch Me If You Can: The Musical” runs through this Sunday, with 7:00 performances on Friday and Saturday and a 2:00 matinee on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online at showtix4.com or purchased in cash at the door ($5 for students and $10 for adults). Concessions are available for purchase (cash only) and a different themed basket is raffled off nightly.