“Catch Me If You Can: The Musical” is onstage at the WYO, and — as the opening number promises — the theater’s fall fundraising production truly is “Live in Living Color.”
The musical premiered in Sheridan last Saturday with the annual gala, a decadent affair in which costumed guests enjoy endless food, drinks and auctions before settling down in their seats to enjoy the show.
This weekend, the WYO is in the heart of its encore performances. The curtain rose Thursday and Friday to packed houses; the final performances will be this evening and Sunday afternoon.
When I attended “Catch Me If You Can: The Musical,” I was quickly swept away in the wild but true tale of Frank Abagnale Jr., played convincingly by Sheridan’s Aaron Schanzenbach. The Tony award-nominated show follows the smooth-talking con artist as he successfully poses as a pilot, doctor and lawyer while cashing more than a million dollars in fraudulent checks. Following Abagnale’s every move is FBI agent Carl Hanratty, portrayed by A.J. Longhurst with a pitch-perfect G-Man vibe.
As always with community theatre, so many elements came into play to make this musical a reality. Led by director and choreographer Marva Craft and music and band director Kathy McNickle, the cast has 28 members and the band 14. Dozens more volunteered as stagehands, fundraisers, lighting designers, costumers and dressers, technicians, hair-and-makeup crew, set designers and painters, audio engineers, box office representatives, ushers and beyond.
Most of these folks have day jobs. Traveling straight to the stage from work, the volunteers transform into these other roles to enrich the community.
But let’s not forget the other important element in community theatre: the audience. You! Each of the hundreds who have purchased tickets, participated in the raffle, chatted over concessions at intermission and watched the show plays a key role in the production.
Gathering together to watch live storytelling is an ancient tradition that reminds us of our shared humanity.
Sure, Netflix is enjoyable, but in community theatre, you connect in shared laughter, applause breaks and the vulnerability of your tribe members singing, dancing and acting. You gain the complex feeling of “Live in Living Color.”
So, if you haven’t caught the show yet, visit wyotheater.com to snag tickets for Saturday’s showing of “Catch Me If You Can: The Musical” at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday’s at 2 p.m.
You can still play your part.