BOUNTIFUL — The best musicals, like the best conmen, are good at being all things to all people.
Viewmont High’s drama department is offering up both with their upcoming production of “Catch Me If You Can,” running Nov. 11-15 and 17-19 at 7 p.m. at the school. The musical, based on the Dreamworks movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, was inspired by the experiences of real-life conman Frank Abagnale, Jr.
“It’ll make you cry and laugh and feel amazing about yourself,” said Taylore Cahoon, who plays Brenda Strong in the show. “Also, it has great music in it.”
The Tony Award-nominated musical looks at Frank’s childhood and his career as a conman. He’s chased by Agent Carl Hanratty, charms several different women, and ultimately falls in love.
“It’s flirty and funny, but also sad and thought-provoking,” said Sarah Meredith, playing Frank’s mother Paula.
It’s also been edited with local audiences in mind.
“We’ve made it clean for high school level,” said director Wendy Oltmanns. “We’ve dropped the majority of what Utahns would consider bad language, but we did keep scriptural terms.”
She said she chose the musical both because it hasn’t often been seen at local high schools – at the time she chose it, no Utah high school had performed it – and it fit well with her cast.
“We have a lot of talent here, and the show allows pretty much everyone to have a line or a solo,” she said.
The student cast has been having fun with their characters, enjoying the larger-than-life aspect of their experiences.
“I get to be really cocky,” said Boston Curnow, who plays Frank. “I love being cocky.”
Meredith is having an equal amount of fun with her character.
“I get to be sexy, which is fun,” she said of her character. “I’m probably the sexiest character in the whole show.”
As much fun as the characters have, though, the show also takes them to deeper, more serious places. Though Agent Hanratty seems on the surface like an everyday cop and the musical’s main antagonist, Tanner Monk recognizes that there’s more to the story.
“He’s the unrealized emotions,” said Monk of his character. “As you dig deeper into the story, you find out he’s just as much of a victim as Frankie. By the end, he becomes something of a father figure.”
Given the way the show gives most cast members a moment in the spotlight, Oltmanns said the cast has banded together.
“Usually in a musical, it’s the leads versus the ensemble, but because everyone is so important to moving the story forward there hasn’t been that feeling here,” she said. “Everyone just loves and supports each other.”
And all of them hope to bring some of the story’s sparkle to audiences.
“It’ll bring your childhood magic back,” said Curnow.
Viewmont High is located at 120 W. 1000 North in Bountiful. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and children. They can be purchased at the school box office or online at ezticketlive.com/checkout/eventbdate.asp?id=186.