By Christopher Arnott
4:55 PM EDT, May 21, 2013
How can you cope with the cancellation of that irrepressible, deliriously uncentered Broadway-brouhaha TV series "Smash"? By getting tickets to the Bushnell stop on the national tour of Catch Me If You Can.
Based on the 1980 memoirs of con man and identity thief Frank Abagnale and its 2002 Stephen Spielberg film adaptation (in which Abagnale was played by Gatsby himself, Leonardo DiCaprio), Catch Me If You Can's musical score is by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. This is the composer/lyricist team who wrote the songs for the fictional Broadway show about Marilyn Monroe, Bombshell, the singing-and-dancing scenes which allow for "Smash"'s behind-the-scenes soap-operatics.
Shaiman and Wittman, who appeared in a recent episode of "Smash" as themselves, attending Bombshell's opening night, are also known as the composers of the Broadway hit Hairspray (which has had dozens of productions in Connecticut), the Martin Short mock-autobiographical revue Fame Becomes Me, and special material for the Emmy, Tony and Academy Awards shows. Composer Marc Shaiman also did the arrangements and piano accompaniment for the insane medleys sung by "The Sweeney Sisters" on "Saturday Night Live."
Catch Me If You Can's script is by Terrence McNally, whose prior musical adaptations include The Full Monty and Ragtime. The Westport Country Playhouse staged a revival of McNally's play Lips Together, Teeth Apart in 2011. The tour of Catch Me If You Can, which makes much of the rascal Abagnale's adventures posing as an airline pilot in the swinging '70s, is based on the Broadway production directed by Jack O'Brien, who also did the Broadway renditions of McNally's The Full Monty and Shaiman & Wittman's Hairspray. The show plays the Bushnell (166 Capitol Ave., Hartford) from May 28 through June 2. Ticket prices range from $20 to $65.
"Smash," by the way, burns off its final episodes in a special two-hour second-season (and series) finale, May 26 from 9 to 11 p.m. on NBC.
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