Synopsis and Songs
The musical opens In the heart of 1960s America as young con man Frank Abagnale Jr is stopped at Miami Airport by chief FBI Agent Carl Hanratty. Instead of running, he pleads with them to let him tell his story and explain how he had managed to get away with so many disguises. Frank promises to let them know all of his secrets, which Hanratty agrees, “Live in Living Color”.
The story goes back to Frank’s childhood growing up in New Rochelle New York where Frank lived with his parents Frank Snr and Paula Abagnale. His parents met during the Second World War in Paris, after Paula was a performer and noticed Frank Snr in the audience (“The Pinstripes are all That I See”). The couple got married and had Frank Jnr, but struggle financially to bring him up, sending him to public school rather than private school. Frank Jr wears a school jacket to public school and is taunted for looking like a substitute teacher. This inspires him to begin his life of disguises, and within days he is teaching French classes whilst the teacher is absent. After school, Frank gets home to see his mother with one of his father’s friends and is distraught. Although she begs him not to tell Frank Sr, they are later in court fighting over custody of him. He decides to run away (“Someone Else’s Skin”) and learns to fend for himself. His first trick to to create fake checks, which he then cashes in banks all over the country.
Frank travels to New York and is overwhelmed at the attractive women, all of whom are stewardesses. He decides his next step will be to become a pilot, and creates a fake ID card, getting a job with Pan American Airlines. He sings with his new co-workers about the joy of life in the sky (“Jet Set”). Meanwhile in Washington D.C, Hanratty becomes aware of a number of fake cheques and warns whoever has written them that he is coming to get them “Don’t Break the Rules”.
Frank quickly begins to realise the perks of being a pilot, remembering his father’s words that women cannot resist men in uniform: “The Pinstripes Are All That They See”. He begins thinking about home and travels to see his father who has lost so much money his business is in ruins. Despite Frank Jr offering to help him out, Frank Sr refuses his cheques, refusing the charity (“Butter Outta Cream”). Hanratty tracks Frank to a hotel room, looking for “The Man Inside the Clues”, but Frank manages to escape once again by disguising himself as a Secret Service Agent.
As Christmas approaches the airport staff host a holiday party (“Christmas Is My Favourite Time of Year”) but Frank feels lonely and calls Hanratty on a pay phone for some comfort. They mutually realise they have no one to spend Christmas with.
The act opens with Frank at a hospital staff party. He lies and tells the staff that he is Dr. Connors, a paediatrician from Death Valley Children’s Hospital. He gets a job ni Atlanta General Hospital, and is overcome by the amount of nurses who are ready to take the “Doctor’s Orders”. Hanratty continues his search (“Live in Living Color Reprise”) and ends up in Paula’s house where she now lives with her new husband. Paula and Frank Sr. both plead with Frank, “Don’t Be a Stranger”. Hanratty comes across Frank Sr in a bar and the who realize they both had overbearing fathers (“Little Boy Be a Man”).
Over in hospital Frank has falled in love with Brenda Strong, one of the nurses. He woos her, and Brenda takes him to meet her family in New Orleans. He lies about his past to her family and they sing together (“Our Family Tree”), before Frank proposes to Brenda and she accepts. Before the wedding Frank realises that Hanratty is on his tail and admits the truth about his past to Brenda. He tells her he will come back for her after he has shaken off the law, and when Hanratty arrives she refuses to tell where he has gone (“Fly, Fly Away”).
We return to the opening scene at the airport. Frank threatens to run as the passengers are taken away from the area. Hanratty tells Frank that his father died in a drunken accident. He realises that now he has no one and gives in to Hanratty (“Goodbye”). He is given 15 years in prison, but is released after 7 to help the FBI find criminals like himself. The pair now function as a team, singing “Strange But True”.
- “Live in Living Color” – Frank Jr. and Company
- “The Pinstripes Are All That They See” – Frank Sr., Frank Jr, and Ladies
- “Someone Else’s Skin” – Frank Jr. and Company
- “Jet Set” – Frank Jr. and Company
- “Live in Living Color (Reprise)” – Frank Jr.
- “Don’t Break the Rules” – Hanratty and Company
- “The Pinstripes Are All That They See (Reprise)” – The Ladies
- “Butter Outta Cream” – Frank Jr. and Frank Sr.
- “The Man inside the Clues” – Hanratty
- “My Favorite Time of Year” – Hanratty, Frank Jr., Frank Sr., and Paula
- “Doctor’s Orders” – Nurses
- “Live in Living Color (Reprise)”- Frank Jr.
- “Don’t Be a Stranger” – Paula
- “Little Boy Be a Man” – Frank Sr. and Hanratty
- “Seven Wonders” – Frank Jr. and Brenda
- “(Our) Family Tree” – Carol, Roger, Brenda, Frank Jr., and Strong Family Singers
- “Fly, Fly Away” – Brenda
- “Goodbye” – Frank Jr.
- “Strange But True”– Frank Jr. and Hanratty