WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - In 1963, a 16-year-old boy decided he was going to be a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. Over the next five years, Frank Abagnale Jr. passed $2.5 million dollars of forged checks.
From a book, to a movie to now a musical, Abaganle's life story continues to be played out in "Catch Me If You Can". "It's a really smart musical, and, I think, it follows a very classic format. As our musical director said, it's done in a wrapper of a 1960s variety show," said actress Aubrey Mae Davis.
Even if you weren't born in the 1960s, you will tap your feet along with the music. "Mark Shaman, who wrote the score, has this amazing ability to write a song that you swear you've known your entire life even though you've never heard it before," assures musical director Matt Smedal.
In fact, actor Ben Laxton says you actually get so wrapped up in the music, dancing and acting, you start cheering for the notorious con man. "Next thing you know, you've fallen for these characters, and your heart breaks for them in the end."
But all good things must come to an end. "We actually got a chance to meet the real Frank Jr., and I can understand why anyone would want to cheer for him, too," explained Laxton. "He was the most wonderful, genuine man that I think I've ever met which is funny because he's a con man for four years of his life."
"But he really believes in paying his dues and paying back where it is owed," Davis added.
But for a few years, Abagnale did enjoy being a doctor, lawyer and pilot. "I have the most fun as the pilot. He is a pilot for a little bit longer, and I get the flight attendants. And that's what the real Frank said,''Pilot, was the best. There was flight attendants everywhere,'" laughed Laxton.
Catch Me If You Can opens November 13 and runs through November 18 at the Kravis Center. Tickets available at Kravis.org.
In case you're wondering, the real Frank Abagnale, Jr. served less than five years before starting to work for the federal government.