If you’re up for a night of fun and frivolity, catch the Russian premiere of the Broadway musical “Catch Me if You Can,” playing at the Moskvich Cultural Center until the end of November.
The musical is based on its eponymous counterpart, a film by Steven Spielberg. It follows the story of Frank Abagnale Jr., a 17 year old boy who runs away from home in pursuit of fortune. Following his own American Dream, he reinvents himself many times, eventually becoming an international pilot who flies all around the globe — without a license or any training. Glamour, glitz and an abundance of scantily clad young women ensue. However, this brazen luck doesn’t last very long, and Frank soon finds himself on the run from a troop of FBI agents who want him in cuffs. In the end his downfall comes not in the shape of a gun, but Cupid's bow. Frank dodges the law but fails to dodge love.
Expect catchy vocal numbers, decent singing and impressive choreography. Unfortunately, on the whole the performance lacks a certain pizazz, maybe because the microphones were rather temperamental during the first half of the performance this correspondent saw — a technical glitch that was hard to ignore. Frank, played by Vadim Michman, delivers the stand-out performance. His characterization consistently captures the boyish charm and devil-may-care attitude of the young con man. His vocal control and range are very impressive.
Choreography by Renat Gubaidullin was also topnotch, and the dance sequences often make up for whatever you might miss in terms of context. Be warned that unless your Russian is very good, it is hard to catch the meaning of every word. Despite its weak points, “Catch Me If You Can” provides a night of easy entertainment.
Moskvich Cultural Center. mskcc.ru/Events/Details/1582. 46/15 Volgogradsky Prospekt. Metro Tekstilshchiki. Tickets online or at the center’s box office from 890 rubles ($14)