Catch Me If You Can: Fast Talking and Fast Action

If you thought the 2002 movie version of Catch Me if You Can was exhausting with all those times con man Frank Abagnale Jr. was running like hell to escape his dedicated pursuer, Carl Hanratty, and then imagine a musical (whose leading man on Broadway won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award) made from that movie where everyone is singing and dancing and racing for two hours night after night.

"All the actors are exhausted after the show," says Caitlin Maloney who plays Abagnale's mother in the new touring production coming to the Hobby Center courtesy of Gexa Energy Broadway. "There's lots of dancing with really pretty girls and the boys are fantastic as well."

The musical frames the action inside a TV show Abagnale is presenting. All of this is based on a book written by the real Abagnale - who passed himself off as a doctor and other assorted professions, all before the age of 21.

That's a big part of the attraction for Maloney, now on her fourth national tour, because while she enjoys doing the fantasy that musicals often employ, it still is great doing a show that is based on real life.

Maloney, whose home base is Boston, says she started doing musicals in high school (Godspell was her first) and went on to the Hartt School at the University of Hartford, a musical conservatory setting.

For this tour they started rehearsals in September in New York City and opened in Providence in October. They already have bookings through June.

"I think it appeals to people because it's high energy," she says. "There's a lot of really fun scenes and big splashy numbers. A lot of people are really surprised by the ending how heartfelt it is."

Performances of Catch Me If You Can are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 5-10 at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 800- 982-2787 or visit www.broadwayacrossamerica.com/houston. $30 to $96.

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