Catch Me If You Can

Conceptually ambitious and exhilarating in execution, this more-than-you-can-eat pop-art buffet is based on the same events burnished in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 big-screen adaptation with Leo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Here, Aaron Tveit is Frank Abagnale Jr., a check-forging runaway who manages for a time to stay one step ahead of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, played by Norbert Leo Butz—adversaries who come to respect and finally share affection for each other. Composing team Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (the pair behind Hairspray) have more memorable tunes here than any three Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals of the last 20 years. Stylistically, Catch Me is an unqualified triumph, delivering period details without winking irony or kitsch. As a work in progress, Catch Me is well in sight of attaining its Broadway goals. Now if the creators can simply separate the wheat from the chaff, the show will be 30 minutes shorter and 50 per cent better before it leaves town. (Ends Aug. 16; see Web site for showtimes.) KEVIN PHINNEY

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: July 28. Continues through Aug. 16, 2009

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