Thursday, June 29, 2017

review - CATCH ME IF YOU CAN - Actor's Youth Theatre

Joey Grado and Liam Thibeault
photo by Lisa Webb / Southwest Shots Photography
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through July 1st.

"If you're looking for a snazzy, jazzy musical comedy, look no further than Catch Me If You Can, based on the autobiographical book and movie of the same name...While this show didn't run that long on Broadway, it has proven quite popular in regional theatres..Actor's Youth Theatre's production stars two multi-talented teens who deliver excellent portrayals of the two leads: a young con man on the run and the FBI agent trying to catch him.....The score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman has several memorable tunes, as well as many that are character specific or plot focused..The book by Terrence McNally touches on the important plot elements and turning points in Frank's life. While I like how the relationship between Frank and Carl is dramatized, the ending, showing what happened to them, feels a bit rushed and forced. There are also a few slow moments, especially the scenes with Hanratty and his fellow agents. But these are just a few quibbles in a fun and jazzy show. Director Julie Clement keeps the show moving at a quick pace..Joey Grado is Frank, and Liam Thibeault is Hanratty. They both excel in their roles, have great singing voices and charisma, and form a strong rapport with the audience. They also display a very good relationship with each other, even though one is the cat and the other the mouse...Jasmine Bassham is Brenda, the girl Frank falls in love with, and she delivers a lovely version of a beautiful ballad, "Fly, Fly Away," that perfectly captures the need to run away from something and to find oneself. ...The choreography by Corrinne Mann, Kristen Malarkey, and Marcus Ellsworth is fun, inventive, original, and somewhat period specific. However, the minimal set design and dark lighting (the use of a spotlight is good, but there are many times when the supporting cast are barely lit) don't quite evoke the idea of a 1960s variety show. ..Catch Me If You Can may not have proven popular in its initial Broadway run but it does have a catchy score, an intriguing book, and characters that actors can sink their teeth into it. With excellent performances by Joey Grado and Liam Thibeault, the Actor's Youth Theatre production is a thoroughly enjoyable theatrical endeavor." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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