Public Policy News

"CATCH ME" at ETC is Festive, Musical Fun

By Marsha Wilson Rappaport

Island ETC opened its new season with a rollicking, musical look at a real life scoundrel. The hit Broadway Musical, "Catch Me If You Can"- The Musical, is based on the life Frank Abagnale, which also became a hit movie that starred Leonardo DiCaprio as the famous impostor and  Christopher Walken and Tom Hanks.

Spectacular Young Talent

The undeniable star of "Catch Me While You Can", is Riley Harper who sings and plays the lead of Frank Abagnale, Jr.  This young rising star, packs a punch while portraying the shifty Abagnale with a combination of guile and bemusement. The story line revolves around a real young man who managed to steal over 2.5 million dollars between the ages of 16 and 21. Bear in mind, the audience knows that the story is based on truth and that puts an additional burden on the lead actor to really fill in the back-story. We want to know, how this kid got away with it. But, we also want to know why.

Harper, pulls it off. Moreover, he sings and dances his way through two hours of a musical, in which he is literally the star of all most each and every scene. If you need a good reason to see this musical at ETC, his performance is reason "numero uno".

Introducing Some Very Surprised Parents

"Catch Me if You Can" has a large supporting cast as well as a large singing and dancing ensemble. Given the antics of their son,  providing actors that can portray the frustrations of the parents of Frank Jr is critical to the plot line.  Brandon Del Castillo, performs masterfully as the father of the wily Frank Jr.  Frank Sr.'s version of the American Dream is certainly one that resonates with most of us. As a result, his ultimate disillusionment and decline is one that truly touches the audience. Dana Buschman, plays Paula Abagnale, with an interesting mix of elegant European disconnection combined  with motherly bewilderment about the nature of her son's crimes.  Each parent, attempts to understand, the strange pathway taken by their son. Frank Sr. vacillates between cheering him on because the boy is a "winner" and crying because he knows Frank Jr. is headed to a prison cell or worse.

The Law Is Not Amused

John Carraro does a wonderful job or portraying Carl Hanratty, the FBI Agent who turns Frank Jr. into a personal cause. Hanratty, plays the sterotyped, hard-nosed agent, with no family and no sense of humor with an air of quiet desperation.  However, by the end of the play he develops a sense compassion tied to Frank Jr's unique profile: their criminal mastermind is basically just a kid.  His loyal squad includes ETC Vets, Taylor Aiken, Cameron Dunbar, and Matt Poole. A special shout-out goes to Ryan Van DeWalli as Agent Cod. His mother, Kathy Van DeWalli credits Trinity Episcopal School for encouraging his interest in theater.

Lance Bleakney, Sophia Carraro, Hanna Harper, Ian James, Genny McClellan, Cailyn O'Hara, Kelsy Perkins, Alli Villines, and Alexis Walters are part of the dancing and singing ensemble that truly bring sixties influenced score by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman to life.  The choreography by Jennifer Daugherty and music direction by Eduardo Guzman truly make the musical interludes a delight.

Opening Night SRO (Standing Room Only)

Opening night for "Catch Me If You Can" was packed. Generous sponsors including Patty Cakes Bakery, Olympia Grill Pier 21, Farley Girl's Café, ZaZa, Bar and Bites and Riondo's Ristorante Bar and Grille provided a wonderful pre-performance reception. The crowd raved about the handcrafted Mimosas with Tito's Handmade Vodka, and craft beer provided by Saloon Door Brewing. Among the many ETC supporters including Bryan Museum and Jennifer Daugherty. Special kudo's go to Tom Schwenk, our local realtor who sponsored the evening's goodies.

Director, Kim Mytelka has started her new season with a winning combination of music and an oddly eccentric and riveting story line. The music compliments the plotline in a manner that doesn’t' interrupt the narrative. In short: you're dying to see what the wayward Mr. Frank, Jr. will do next!




The hit Broadway Musical




JULY 15 - AUGUST 13, 2016


Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays @ 8pm; one Sunday matineé AUG 7 at 2:30pm

TICKETS: $30, $25 Seniors & Students; OPENING NIGHT TICKETS $50


 Island ETC

2317 Mechanic Street

Galveston, Texas 77550

For further information about our 14th season, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, or group rates, please call the theatre at 409-762-3556.


CATCH ME IF YOU CAN  is a glamorous and glitzy musical by a Tony Award-winning creative team with a book by Terrence McNally (The Full Monty, Ragtime) and an irresistibly swinging score by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman (Hairspray).  CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is based on the hit DreamWorks film (starring Academy Award winning actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks) and the incredible true story that inspired it.  This music comedy is about chasing your dreams and not getting caught!

Island ETC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

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