San Diego Musical Theatre’s CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is an incredibly fun caper musical comedy that fulfills the process to “take you on a ride” in “live in living color” and should not be missed. Catch this musical while you can at the brand new San Diego Musical Theatre stage through March 13th.
The musical is based on the film of the same name, about Frank Abignale Jr. (Beau Brians), a teenage conman extraordinaire who embarks on a life of crime in an attempt to bring his parents back together. Carried away by his own success, he lives many lives as a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer all within a few short years that feels like a combination of survival and a game.
Hot on his trail is the FBI, led by agent Carl Hanratty (Berto Fernández) who wants to stop the person having all of this felonious fun.
While the show has many characters, the cat and mouse chase setup wouldn’t work without the fun chemistry between the leads. Brians sense of youthful fun combined with Fernández’s comedic gruff cop is the heart of the show.
Brians’ Frank is charming, confident, and vulnerable; at heart, he’s still a kid who wants his parents to stop fighting. He has a fantastic voice and is hitting great notes from beginning to end. Fernández has the comedic and musical theatre skills to be gruff, funny, and exasperated all at the same time. His “Don’t Break the Rules” is a song that establishes the character’s world-weary coolness and is a perfect foil to Frank’s exuberance.
Frank Sr. (Paul Morgavo) is strong as the morally ambiguous father figure and Andrea Petsinger is Frank’s perfectly chic if distant French mother Paula. Adelaida Martínez brings wonderful vocals to the second act as Frank’s girlfriend Brenda, the only person in the whole piece who may know the real Frank.
Directed by Allison Spratt Pearce the show’s pace is snappy and packs emotional punches in the quieter moments. Choreography by Xavier J. Bush is energetic, creative, and keeps a period feel to the numbers. The ensemble is incredibly versatile and is always moving and dancing their way from scene to scene.
The show is a bright, funny love letter to 60’s tv specials, musicals, fashion, and decor. The set by Mathys Herbet is a scenic 60’s mod design, that also makes for quick and clean scenes changes. Janet Pitcher’s costumes are candy store colorful and fun (though the nurse costumes feel more sexy Halloween costumes than anything else). Music direction by Richard Dueñez Morrison keeps the ’60s musically swinging along.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is truly a fun musical and that’s no con.
How to get tickets
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is playing at San Diego Musical Theatre through March 13th. For ticket and showtimes information goto
Proof of full vaccination is required or negative test result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of showtime. Masks are required at all times.
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