In Santa Ana, ‘Catch Me’ catches essence of the 2011 Broadway musical – Orange County Register

“Catch Me If You Can” has the kind of story, characters and songs that work whether in large-scale productions or small.

The 2011 Broadway staging and the 2012 U.S. national tour are the “large.” The “small” would include The Attic Theater, where director Kathy Paladino and a game cast of 22 give the show their best shot.

For the most part, they succeed, communicating the themes sketched out in Terrence McNally’s libretto and Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s lyrics – ideas in turn based on the 2002 film from Frank Abagnale Jr.’s 1980 autobiography.

At age 16, Abagnale (Jeffrey Bonser) left his New Rochelle, N.Y., home and embarked on an incredible life. For five years he created counterfeit bank checks and other documents, stole millions of dollars and passed himself off as an airline pilot, doctor and lawyer.

The story’s twin focuses: The cat-and-mouse pursuit of young Frank by FBI agent Hanratty (Bob Fetes), and Frank’s desperate obsession with restoring his badly broken family and reuniting dad Frank Sr. (Jim Huffman) and mom Paula (Lisa Baker).

The script and lyrics sharply define Frank, his dad and Hanratty, and the complex dynamic connecting them. Attic’s production neatly showcases the entertaining songs and musical numbers and, also, the cast’s vocal and dance skills.

Bonser has the requisite matinee idol looks but seems less credibly raw and immature than the teen-age Frank. True, he delivers Frank’s chutzpah, grace under pressure and joie de vivre – but not the insecurity that drives him.

Bonser hints at the kid’s…

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