When Catch Me If You Can opened on Broadway in March 2011, it was largely ignored because of all the bluster over another popular musical that had opened a week earlier, The Book of Mormon. “We’re calling this our redemption tour,” says director Jack O’Brien.
Based on the Steven Spielberg movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a wildly successful con man and Tom Hanks as the FBI agent pursuing him, the musical version plays up the 1960s zaniness of the chase—by turning it into a ’60s variety show. Book writer Terrence McNally came up with the idea, and the music itself has a retro vibe similar to another Broadway favorite, Hairspray.
The Hairspray connection is no accident, however. Director O’Brien, composer Marc Shaiman, lyricist Scott Wittman, and choreographer Jerry Mitchell all worked on Hairspray back in the late 1980s. Catch Me If You Can isn’t quite as popular as Hairspray yet, but “it’s an astonishing score, evocative and sophisticated,” O’Brien insists. And a lot of fun, too. Dec. 11–16. Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-7007, hennepintheatretrust.org