by Briana Brown, OnStage Guest Critic Extra credit must be given to the cast and crew of Catch Me If You Can at the Eagle Theatre, for elevating the material to the point where I started to believe it was actually a good musical. Without the incredible talent of this cast and vision from director Ted Wioncek III, this would be a shallow, noisy and forgettable production. But with this cast, this will be a production that I won't forget anytime soon.
The plot for the most part follows the movie it's based on. A young con man takes on a variety of careers, transforming his identity as he blazes a trail of bounced checks around the world, aided and abetted by his good-for-nothing father, Frank, Sr. Unfortunately for Frank, FBI agent Carl Hanratty is on his trail by the time that Frank makes his final mistake, namely falling in love.
As Frank Abagnale Jr. , Adam Hoyak is a strong performer with plenty of charisma that could make anyone believe he is who he says he is. He shares some very nice moments on stage with Bob Kelly as Frank Sr. Marianne Green as Paula turns in a beautiful performance as well.
Although his role is underused, Jeffrey Coon makes the most out of his portrayal of FBI agent, Carl Hanratty. He gets some fantastic numbers to work with and provides much of the comic relief.
But the real find here is Jenna Pastuszek as Brenda Strong. Pastuszek gave a draw dropping rendition of "Fly Fly Away" which made me circle her name as one to watch out for in the future.
The ensemble did a fantastic job having to juggle their many respective roles and performed some complex choreography from Dann Dunn, with ease. While there aren't a lot of memorable songs in the score, Trevor Pierce does a fine job with his music direction. Mr. Wioncek III, keeps the pace and humor up and with the use of some 21st century techniques, finds some creative ways to stage the piece.
The biggest obstacle for this production will certainly be overcoming its thin story and forgettable music. But the Eagle Theatre has pulled it off before and it looks like as long as you're not too much of a cynic, you're going to love this one as well.
The show runs thru Feb 21. For tickets and info visit, theeagletheatre.com