New York and Broadway aren’t exactly within spitting distance of our humble city, and it can take years for some of the newer productions to make their way to Vancouver. There are a few exceptions.
Somewhat a little closer, our neighbours to the south in Seattle at 5th Avenue Theatre have played host to some memorable pre-Broadway world premieres over the years including Jekyll & Hyde, Hairspray, The Wedding Singer, and Shrek the Musical.
Head to Seattle and from July 23 through August 16, you can sneak a peek at the new musical version of Catch Me If You Can. Based on the 2002 film of the same name, it’s the story of youthful conman Frank Abagnale, who stole millions while posing as a doctor, pilot and lawyer. With music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray), book by Terrence McNally (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime) and choreography by Jerry Mitchell (The Full Monty, Legally Blonde: The Musical), it could easily soon be a bona fide Broadway hit.
Currently the show is set to star Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as FBI agent Carl Hanratty, Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal) as Frank, Tom Wopat (Annie Get Your Gun) as Frank Sr., and Kerry Butler (Xanadu) as Brenda.
YouTube has a couple of clips from a preview of the show. Catch them while they’re still up:
Admittedly, some of these ‘pre-Broadway’ runs don’t ever make it to Broadway, and often lyrics, songs and plots will be rewritten or totally scrapped after you’ve come and gone. But it can still be a great opportunity to see amazing Broadway talent without catching a plane to NYC.