It was a stellar night for the arts at the Long Island regional theatre premiere of “Catch Me If You Can,” at the BayWay Arts Center in East Islip.
The show, which was on Broadway in 2011, is based on the 2002 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, which itself is based on a true story. The show follows Frank Abagnale Jr., a con artist who pulls absurd feats with charm and style, and the FBI agent chasing after him, Carl Hanratty.
At BayWay, Frank Jr. is played by Francesco DiFlora, who brings heart to a character that could easily be disliked. It’s in one of his last numbers, “Goodbye,” where DiFlora’s acting chops really come to the forefront, and he peels back the layers of a young man who always flashes a smile in order to get by to see a scared little boy who never knows when to stop. That song in particular left this theatregoer speechless.
Jack Seabury, who plays FBI agent Hanratty, is the perfect mix of humor and seriousness for the role. Seabury and DiFlora play off each other extremely well, allowing the audience to become invested in their relationship.
Also of note in the show was Nicole Bianco’s amazing choreography. Choreographing large group numbers is a work of art, but Bianco really shined in the moments where she used choreography in small doses. For the song “Don’t Be a Stranger,” Bianco’s soft utilization of ballroom dancing really allowed singer Emily Nadler to shine.
After over a year without live theatre, BayWay’s “Catch Me If You Can” is can’t-miss entertainment. It has something for everyone: laughs, love and of course, show-stopping numbers.
“Catch Me If You Can” is playing at the BayWay Arts Center in East Islip until July 25. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.studiotheatrelongisland.com/tickets.