Linz. There was a lot of applause and standing ovation on Saturday, December 3, at the premiere of “Catch me if you can” at the Linz Music Theatre.
The musical Catch Me If You Can tells the true story of teenage con man and check fraudster Frank Abagnale Jr. In his early twenties, he pretended to be a pilot without having any flying lessons. Apparently, his Pan Am uniform made such an impression that he was able to fly halfway around the world on free flights and subsidize his lavish lifestyle with fake credit cards. When threatened with arrest, he changes careers: With the specialized vocabulary he learned on the TV series, he’s now successful as a doctor and lawyer and has nearly driven the FBI agents hot on his heels insane. It took years for him to get caught – and that’s exactly where the musical begins.
At the airport, Gernot Romic’s handcuffs click as Frank Abagnale Jr. , but before he goes to jail, he dares to tell his story in a sympathetic and humorous way. Accompanied by the big band sound of Bruckner’s orchestra, it takes you back to his childhood, when his father soon taught him that most people only see what they want. “The uniform is what matters.” So Frank cheated his way into working as a substitute teacher for a week while he was still at school. Eventually I mastered manipulating people. But “always in style”.
Until the FBI finds out about him. Karsten Kenzel slips into the role of his nemesis, Agent Carl Hanratty. With what is sometimes an incredible speed of speech and his manner of failure—he has no wife, no children, and even works at Christmas—he quickly wins the public’s sympathy—and that of Frank. The audience gets a lot of sense of how a kind of father-son relationship between the hunter and the hunted develops.
In general, the musical is a fast-paced game of cat and mouse, but it often has its quiet moments as well. A special feature was the solo performance of Selena dos Santos as a friendly nurse. Nicolas Tenerani stars as Frank’s parents as the elder Frank Abagnale and audience favorite Daniela Det as Paula Abagnale. Hanratty’s group of clients, made up of Lukas Sandmann, Christian Fröhlich, and Joel Parnis, is always a good laugh.
“Catch Me If You Can” was performed by Ulrich Wiggers, and music direction is in the hands of Johoon Han.
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