Last night, I went to see Catch Me If You Can at the Walton Arts Center with friend Samantha. I went into the show completely blind – hadn’t read any reviews, heard any songs, heard any synopsis – which rarely happens, but I was looking forward to watching with a fresh eye. I did learn before the show that it was the same story as the movie with the same title with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, which I never saw, and learned it was based on a true story.
Plot Synopsis: Have you seen the TV show White Collar? The exact same story line. Con artist turns FBI agent. You can read more about the plot here if you wish.
The show began with a big enough bang, setting up the plot and opening with a big number with flashy costumes, dances, etc. “Live in Living Color” However, I immediately noticed something wasn’t quite right. The main character didn’t have quite a strong enough voice, the dancing was average, the sub-plot was difficult to follow, the supporting actors didn’t have enough depth. And this was the theme of the entire show. I kept thinking as I was watching that they needed juuuust one more week to practice until show time. Multiple lines were obviously flubbed and several dancers were off rhythm. As a performer myself, I completely understand the difficulty in the space, but when you’re paying at least $60 a ticket, you really expect more.
What was good about the show? The set, the orchestra and the costumes. I personally love when the orchestra is shown onstage and they did a fantastic job working it into the set. The set was also very fun, light, colorful and dynamic. I’ve already ragged on a few members of the chorus line, but boy did I wish I was onstage in their role. (Fun fact: Every time I see a show I wish I was onstage performing in it.) They had a ton of fun costume changes including Pan Am stewardesses (dream job), nurses and showgirls.
The bright spot of the show: when the main character goes to New Orleans to meet his lady’s parents. The parents’ acting was phenomenal and hysterical. At one point they were badgering him with all these questions, but really the most important was … Was he a Lutheran? As a Lutheran myself, I found it funny and relatable. The mom was overly dramatic, but it gave the show the punch it needed and the audience definitely noticed. Unfortunately that only lasted about 15 minutes, but if that energy had been throughout the entire show, it would have gotten a standing ovation from me.
Final rating: B
Other ratings from shows I’ve seen in the past month:
Billy Elliot, Walton Arts Center – A-
Dead Accounts, Broadway – F (I know, I know, but I’m sitting here trying to think of one tiny thing I enjoyed about it and just can’t think of anything…)
Nice Work If You Can Get It, Broadway – A+