Dexter Rud (left) and Nathaniel Exley play con artist Frank Abagnale and FBI agent Carl Hanratty in Royal Bay Secondary school’s version of Catch Me If You Can. The musical hits the stage at the Teechamitsa Theatre this week. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Catch Me If You Can comes to Royal Bay Secondary

Musical tells the tale of con artist Frank Abagnale

Energetic, funny and colourful.

That’s how Melissa Young describes the musical, Catch Me If You Can, which hits the stage at Royal Bay Secondary school this week.

Catch Me If You Can is based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons with millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor and a Louisiana parish prosecutor. His primary crime was cheque fraud and Abagnale became so experienced in it the FBI eventually turned to him for help in catching other cheque foragers. The 2002 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio was turned into a musical, which debuted on Broadway in 2011.

“The thing that attracted me most to the musical is the music. It’s just so much fun and it’s different shades of 1960s music,” said Young, director of the musical. “I hope people come and they have fun and I hope they’re blown away by the talent that’s on stage.”

Since rehearsals began in October, the 55-person cast and roughly 23 crew backstage have been busy perfecting their performance.

Grade 12 students Dexter Rud and Nathaniel Exley admit they’ve come a long way from singing in the shower to performing at the Teechamitsa Theatre. “I’m feeling good about it. There’s the anxiety that comes along with it, but those are normal and it’s something that I try to put in the back of my mind,” said Rud, who plays the lead role of Frank. “I’m proud of the work I’ve done.”

Exley, who originally wanted to be an extra, ended up being cast in the role of FBI agent Carl Hanratty. He’s excited to step out into the spotlight and show residents of the West Shore their talent.“The anxiety goes away the second you step out on stage,” he said.

Catch Me If You Can hits the stage at the Teechamitsa Theatre (3500 Ryder Hesjedal Way), May 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 7 p.m, and on May 5 at 2 p.m. The performance on May 3 will be followed by an opening night gala reception.Tickets are $12.50 for adults, $10.50 for students and seniors, and $5 for all SD62 students, and are available at the Royal Bay office (250-474-2377), online at or at the door.

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