If Greg Miller has his way, the new season at Rochester Civic Theatre will launch like a rocket.
The opening show, “Catch Me if You Can,” has that potential, he said.
“This show is like lighting a rocket. It goes and goes and goes until it’s time to go home,” Miller said.
“Catch Me if You Can,” a musical, is based on the 2002 movie of the same title. It tells the somewhat enhanced story of Frank Abagnale Jr., who at various times passed himself off as a physician, airline pilot and attorney.
“His life was so fascinating,” Miller said. “You look at his life and say, ‘That should be a big musical.'”
The musical debuted in 2011 on Broadway and received four Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. It opens Friday at RCT.
Miller has cast Dylon Starr as Abagnale, with Doug Petty as his father, Melissa Adams Goihl as his mother and Kayley Dahle as his fiance. Carla Thelen Hanson is the vocal coach, and Brian Koser directs the orchestra. Choreography is by Bryan Gerber.
“I think this is the biggest dancing show we’ve ever done,” Miller said.
The show is also full of songs, all of them original but in a style audiences should recognize. “It’s set in the ’60s, so most of the songs have that Rat Pack, James Bond kind of feel to them,” Miller said.
To complete the ’60s reference, the play is presented as a television color special like those so popular on the networks in that decade when color television was something new.
The heart of the show, though, is Frank, a con artist who is impossible to dislike.
“We like him; he’s a scamp,” Miller said. “He’s not out to hurt anybody or rain on anybody’s livelihood.”
The best part is that Frank shares his secrets with the audience.
“He’ll say, ‘This is how I did this, and this is how I did that,'” Miller said. “The audience is in on the gag.”
Ideally, from the vantage point of RCT, “Catch Me if You Can” will provide laughs, music, dance and a rocket ride into the new season. “It’s a feel-good show,” Miller said.